Friendship of the enemies: Twentieth century treaties of the United Kingdom and the USSR

Evgeny Roschchin
Content Type
Journal Article
International Politics
Issue Number
Publication Date
January 2011
Palgrave Macmillan
This article focuses on the use of the concept of friendship in the treaties of friendship concluded by the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union in the twentieth century. The range of reference of friendship and its usage by these two political rivals display a number of commonalities, which indicate a key role this concept plays in maintaining the existing order of interstate relations. The concept is conventionally used in the treaties marking the changes in the global or regional political settings. In the texts of these treaties appeals to friendship are made together with the expression of respect for state sovereignty, independence, borders and so on. It also appears as an exclusive and contractual relationship. These conventions in diplomatic rhetoric, meant to reassert and legitimize the particularistic sovereign order, pose a challenge to the attempts to conceive of international relations in terms of friendship as an ethical, universal and benevolent phenomenon.
Political Geography
United Kingdom, Soviet Union