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The AnglosphereContinuity, Dissonance and Location$
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Ben Wellings and Andrew Mycock

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266618

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266618.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

The Political Economy of the Anglosphere: Geography Trumps History

The Political Economy of the Anglosphere: Geography Trumps History

(p.95) 6 The Political Economy of the Anglosphere: Geography Trumps History
The Anglosphere

John Ravenhill

Jefferson Huebner

British Academy

Economic integration among Anglosphere economies peaked during the period from 1870 to 1960. Maintenance of Imperial Preferences and the Sterling Area ensured that Britain remained the dominant market for most colonies and Dominions in the early post-Second World War period. Britain’s entry into the EEC, the ending of Commonwealth preferences, and the rapid growth of Asian economies caused the UK’s share in Anglosphere economies’ exports to decline rapidly. Growth in the US market share offset some of this decline until the financial crisis of 2007–8 reversed this trend. The significance of intra-Anglosphere trade has declined substantially – from approximately two-thirds of countries’ total trade in 1913 and in 1947 to just over one-third in 2016. Contemporary trade patterns are shaped more by geography than history. The world economy remains substantially regionalised, especially for manufacturing. Many preferential trade agreements (PTAs) are regional in scope: Anglosphere economies have been prominent participants in these arrangements but their partners are typically neighbouring countries rather than other Anglosphere economies. The EU has been the most active negotiator of PTAs: the challenge for a post-Brexit UK will be to negotiate access to markets equivalent to that currently enjoyed through membership of EU PTAs.

Keywords:   Anglosphere, political economy, Sterling Area, Imperial Preferences, regional trade, preferential trade agreements

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