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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: A 'Special Relationship'?: US-UK Relations From World War II to the War on Terror (HIST10377)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryPoliticians, diplomats, and journalists on both sides of the Atlantic frequently refer to the 'special relationship' between the United States and the United Kingdom. However, is there really a 'special relationship'? If there is one, what form does it take and what influence does it have? Does such a relationship only exist because of specific circumstances and interpersonal relationships?

This course examines the 'special relationship' from World War to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, analysing key moments of Anglo-American friendship and tension. From Lend-Lease to the Skybolt Crisis, from Suez to the War on Terror, this course will allow students to develop a thorough understanding of the often celebrated, derided, and misunderstood 'special relationship'.
Course description Seminar 1: Introduction/World War II
Seminar 2: In Bombs We Trust: The Not-So-Special Nuclear Relationship to 1957
Seminar 3: Asia, 1945-1964
Seminar 4: The Middle East, 1945-1960
Seminar 5: In Spies We Trust: The Special Intelligence Relationship
Seminar 6: The Mac and Jack Show: Harold MacMillan and John F Kennedy
Seminar 7: Crises: Skybolt and Vietnam
Seminar 8: Stagnation?: Edward Heath and Richard Nixon
Seminar 9: The Iron Lady and the Great Communicator: Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan
Seminar 10: The Wall Comes Down: The end of the Special Relationship?
Seminar 11: Tony and George: Blair, Bush, Iraq, and the War on Terror
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  52
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay of no more than 3000 words (40% of overall assessment); class participation across the semester (10% of overall assessment); presentation (10% of overall assessment); one two-hour examination paper (40% of overall assessment).

Visiting Student Variant Assessment:
When this course is taught in Semester 1, the Visiting Student assessment will be:
One essay of no more than 3000 words (40% of overall assessment); class participation across the semester (10% of overall assessment); presentation (10% of overall assessment); one 'take home' examination paper (40% of overall assessment).

If taught in Semester 2, the assessment is as detailed for full year students.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete this course should be able to demonstrate by examination, the completion of an essay, the completion of a ten-minute presentation, and participation in class discussion an ability to:

- demonstrate a detailed understanding of the main features, themes, and events of Anglo-American relations from the mid-twentieth to the early twenty-first centuries;

- engage in historical arguments both orally and in writing;

- set their own historical research agenda in relation to the study of trans-Atlantic relations by: formulating seminar and essay questions; identifying the significance of key changes and continuities in policy and perception; understanding key theoretical concepts surrounding the position of nuclear weapons in international relations

- understand the utility of different types of primary materials, written and non-written, in evaluating historical processes;

- actively participate in group discussion;

- to access library and IT resources efficiently.
Reading List
Baylis, John, Anglo-American Defence Relations 1939-1980, 2nd edition (London: Macmillan, 1984) - three copies available in main library

Clark, Ian, Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship: Britain's Deterrent and America, 1957-1962 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994)

Dickie, John, "Special" No More: Anglo-American Relations, Rhetoric and Reality (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1994)

Dumbrell, John, A Special Relationship: Anglo-American Relations in the Cold War and After (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2001) - two copies available in the main library.

Jeffreys-Jones, Rhodri, In Spies We Trust: The Story of Western Intelligence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)

Ovendale, Ritchie, Anglo-American Relations in the Twentieth Century (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998)

Powaski, Ronald E, Entangling Alliance: The United States and European Security, 1950-1993 (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1994) ┐ one copy available in the main library.

Richardson, Louise, When Allies Differ: Anglo-American Relations During the Suez and Falklands Crises (New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1996) - one copy available in HUB reserve.

Rossbach, Niklas H., Heath, Nixon and the Rebirth of the Special Relationship: Britain, the US and the EC, 1969-74 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) - one copy available in the main library.

Svendsen, Adam D.M., Intelligence Cooperation and the War on Terror: Anglo-American Security Relations after 9/11 (London: Routledge, 2010)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The transferable skills for this course will consist of the following:

- Developing the students┐ ability to organize and lead meetings through taking control of seminar discussions on selected weeks

- Developing the ability to express complex arguments through giving oral presentations on selected weeks

- Developing student competency with IT resources and developing the necessary skills to conduct thoughtful and effective independent research
KeywordsSpecial Relationship
Course organiserDr Malcolm Craig
Course secretaryMs Marie-Therese Rafferty
Tel: (0131 6)50 3780
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