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Samuel Gregg: The Anglosphere As Actor On The World Stage

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Samuel Gregg, Acton’s Director of Research, asks whether or not the Anglosphere nations (Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States) continue to be a viable political force in the world today at the Library of Law and Liberty.

Gregg begins with his unique Anglosphere experience:

Given that I am of Scottish and English descent, grew up in Australia, did my doctorate in Britain, and now live and work in America, I am about as much a product of what is often called “the Anglosphere” as it gets. That such a sphere exists, culturally speaking, has never seemed in doubt to me, even beyond the common linguistic and historical connections to the British Isles of this grouping of nations.

Gregg’s real interest here is not simply shared culture, but political force:

A more debatable issue is whether these shared and thus far lasting historical and cultural bonds are matched by the reality of the Anglosphere as a global political actor. Over the past two decades, a number of figures have argued that these bonds should be more consciously cultivated and perhaps further formalized. These include British figures such as the Conservative politician Daniel Hannan and the historian Andrew Roberts; Americans such as the journalist and writer James Bennett; as well as Australian politicians such as former prime minister John Howard and the present prime minister, Tony Abbott (himself British-born).

With some significant qualifications, I would submit that a core Anglosphere group of nations continues to exist as a discernible global political player. Whether this is reinforced or weakens over time, however, is going to depend upon the choices made by the leaders of core Anglosphere countries.

Gregg believes that an Anglosphere political force will be strengthened, under some key conditions:

1) President Obama’s departure from office in January 2017 and his possible replacement by someone with Anglosphere sensibilities; and 2) Britain’s—and more particularly, the Conservative Party’s—decision on the United Kingdom’s future place, if any, in the European Union. The same scenario also assumes the continuance of governments in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand with a positive view of the Anglosphere.

Read “The Anglosphere: A Viable Global Actor or Simply a Culture?” at the Library of Law and Liberty.

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Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.

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