The Anglosphere is a group of English-speaking nations that share common cultural and historical ties to the United Kingdom, and which today maintain close political, diplomatic and military cooperation. While the nations included in different sources vary, the Anglosphere is usually not considered to include all countries where English is an official language (and the term is not, therefore, generally considered synonymous with anglophone), although the nations that are commonly included were all once part of the British Empire. Most definitions include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The term can also encompass the Republic of Ireland and English-speaking Caribbean countries such as The Bahamas, Barbados, and Jamaica.
Definitions and variable geometry
The term Anglosphere was first coined, but not explicitly defined, by the science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his book The Diamond Age, published in 1995. John Lloyd adopted the term in 2000 and defined it as including English-speaking countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa and the British West Indies. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the Anglosphere as "the countries of the world in which the English language and cultural values predominate".[a]
The five main countries in the Anglosphere (the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom) maintain a close affinity of cultural, diplomatic and military links with one another. All are aligned under such programs as:
- The UKUSA Agreement (signals intelligence),
- Five Eyes (intelligence),
- Combined Communications Electronics Board (communications electronics),
- The Technical Cooperation Program (technology and science),
- Air and Space Interoperability Council (air forces),
- AUSCANNZUKUS (navies) and
- ABCA Armies.
Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have Elizabeth II as head of state, form part of the Commonwealth of Nations and use of the Westminster parliamentary system of government. In the wake of the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union as a result of a referendum held in 2016, there has been mounting political and popular support for a loose free travel and common market area to be formed between them known as CANZUK.
Below is a table comparing the five main countries of the Anglosphere. Data are for 2018.
|GDP per capita
|USD millionaires||Military spending|
|Five Eyes (FV)||459,815,862||26,428,470||$26,799.567||$58,283||$129,269||22,515,000||$749,391|
|FV as % of World||6.0%||17.7%||19.9%||329.6%||40.8%||53.4%||42.0%|
Public opinion research has found that people in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand consistently rank each other's countries as their country's most important allies in the world. Relations have traditionally been warm between Anglosphere countries, with bilateral partnerships such as those between Australia and New Zealand, the US and Canada and the US and UK constituting among the most successful partnerships in the world.
Favourability ratings tend to be overwhelmingly positive between countries within a subset of the Anglosphere known as CANZUK (consisting of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom), whose members form part of the Commonwealth of Nations and retain Elizabeth II as head of state. While the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union in 2016 has had little impact on its favourability ratings with other members of the Anglosphere, there has been a marked drop in the United States favourability ratings with other Anglosphere nations since the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States in 2016. In 2017, the United States had negative favourability ratings with the CANZUK countries.
Due to their historic links, the Anglosphere countries share some cultural traits that still persist today.
Market freedom is high in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, as all four share the Anglo-Saxon economic model - a capitalist model that emerged in the 1970s based on the Chicago school of economics with origins from the 18th century United Kingdom. The shared sense of globalization led cities such as New York, London, Los Angeles, and Sydney to have considerable impacts on the financial markets and the global economy. Global culture has been highly influenced by Americanization.
Most countries in the Anglosphere follow the rule of law through common law instead of civil law, and favor democracy with legislative chambers above other political systems. The private property is protected by law or constitution.
The United States and the United Kingdom are multi-ethnic countries compared to other non-English speaking Western countries, especially in their biggest cities. For example, only 45% of London residents identified as part of the White ethnic group (does not include any Mixed background) in the 2011 Census for England and Wales; this figure was as low as 33% in New York City in the 2010 United States Census. This contrasts to Paris, a major non-English and Western city, which corresponding figure is 67%.
Hip hop, pop, and rock are the most popular music genres in the United States and the rest of the Anglosphere, with artists such as Drake, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, DaBaby, Lil Baby, Stormzy, Post Malone, Travis Scott, Kanye West, Ed Sheeran, Migos, Justin Bieber, Tyga, and Taylor Swift enjoying international success especially in English-speaking countries.
The American businessman James C. Bennett, a proponent of the idea that there is something special about the cultural and legal (common law) traditions of English-speaking nations, writes in his 2004 book The Anglosphere Challenge:
The Anglosphere, as a network civilization without a corresponding political form, has necessarily imprecise boundaries. Geographically, the densest nodes of the Anglosphere are found in the United States and the United Kingdom. English-speaking Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and English-speaking South Africa (who constitute a very small minority in that country) are also significant populations. The English-speaking Caribbean, English-speaking Oceania and the English-speaking educated populations in Africa and India constitute other important nodes.— James C. Bennett.
Bennett argues that there are two challenges confronting his concept of the Anglosphere. The first is finding ways to cope with rapid technological advancement and the second is the geopolitical challenges created by what he assumes will be an increasing gap between anglophone prosperity and economic struggles elsewhere.
British historian Andrew Roberts claims that the Anglosphere has been central in the First World War, Second World War and Cold War. He goes on to contend that anglophone unity is necessary for the defeat of Islamism.
According to a 2003 profile in The Guardian, historian Robert Conquest favoured a British withdrawal from the European Union in favour of creating "a much looser association of English-speaking nations, known as the 'Anglosphere'".
New Zealand historian James Belich connected patterns of growth in the industrialisation of the United States and the United Kingdom with former Dominions of the British Empire; New Zealand, Australia, Canada and South Africa, and more loosely to growth in former UK constituent country Ireland, as well as British-allied Argentina, during the 19th and early to mid-20th century, in his book Replenishing the Earth. He used the term "Anglo-World" to refer to the US, UK and former Dominions, arguing that the experience and present reality of former British colonies like India, Kenya, and Jamaica differ in substantial and important ways from this core group of countries.
In 2000, Michael Ignatieff wrote in an exchange with Robert Conquest, published by the New York Review of Books, that the term neglects the evolution of fundamental legal and cultural differences between the US and the UK, and the ways in which UK and European norms have been drawn closer together during Britain's membership in the EU through regulatory harmonisation. Of Conquest's view of the Anglosphere, Ignatieff writes: "He seems to believe that Britain should either withdraw from Europe or refuse all further measures of cooperation, which would jeopardize Europe's real achievements. He wants Britain to throw in its lot with a union of English-speaking peoples, and I believe this to be a romantic illusion".
In 2016, Nick Cohen wrote in an article titled "It's a Eurosceptic fantasy that the 'Anglosphere' wants Brexit" for The Spectator's Coffee House blog: "'Anglosphere' is just the right's PC replacement for what we used to call in blunter times 'the white Commonwealth'." He repeated this criticism in another article for The Guardian in 2018. Similar criticism was presented by other critics such as Canadian academic Srđan Vučetić.
In 2018, amidst the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, two British professors of public policy Michael Kenny and Nick Pearce published a critical scholarly monograph titled Shadows of Empire: The Anglosphere in British Politics (ISBN 978-1509516612). In one of a series of accompanying opinion pieces, they questioned:
The tragedy of the different national orientations that have emerged in British politics after empire—whether pro-European, Anglo-American, Anglospheric or some combination of these—is that none of them has yet been the compelling, coherent and popular answer to the country's most important question: How should Britain find its way in the wider, modern world?
They stated in another article:
Meanwhile, the other core English-speaking countries to which the Anglosphere refers, show no serious inclination to join the UK in forging new political and economic alliances. They will, most likely, continue to work within existing regional and international institutions and remain indifferent to – or simply perplexed by – calls for some kind of formalised Anglosphere alliance.
- British diaspora
- English-speaking world
- White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP)
- History of the English Speaking Peoples (Winston Churchill)
- Border Five, Five Nations Passport Group, Five Country Conference
- Five Power Defence Arrangements
- List of countries by English-speaking population
- List of countries where English is an official language
- Francosphere (French), Hispanosphere (Spanish), Lusosphere (Portuguese)
- "Anglosphere definition and meaning – Collins English Dictionary". www.collinsdictionary.com.
- "CANZUK, Conservatives and Canada: Marching backward to empire – iPolitics". 24 February 2017.
- "The Anglosphere and its Others: The 'English-speaking Peoples' in a Changing World Order – British Academy". British Academy.
- Editorial (3 November 2017). "The Guardian view on languages and the British: Brexit and an Anglosphere prison – Editorial". the Guardian.
- "Which way is Ireland going?". Financial Times.
- Lloyd 2000.
- "Anglosphere – Word Spy". Word Spy.
- Merriam-Webster Staff 2010, Anglosphere.
- Bennett 2004, p. 80.
- Legrand, Tim (1 December 2015). "Transgovernmental Policy Networks in the Anglosphere". Public Administration. 93 (4): 973–991. doi:10.1111/padm.12198.
- Legrand, Tim (22 June 2016). "Elite, exclusive and elusive: transgovernmental policy networks and iterative policy transfer in the Anglosphere". Policy Studies. 37 (5): 440–455. doi:10.1080/01442872.2016.1188912.
- "UK public strongly backs freedom to live and work in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand" (PDF).
- "Survey Reveals Support For CANZUK Free Movement". CANZUK International.
- "World Population Prospects – Population Division – United Nations". esa.un.org. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
- "Land area (sq. km) | Data". data.worldbank.org. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
- "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". www.imf.org. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
- "Global Wealth Report 2017 Databook". Credit Suisse. Archived from the original on 18 September 2018.
- "SIPRI Military Expenditure Database | SIPRI". www.sipri.org. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
- Katz, Josh (3 February 2017). "Which Country Is America's Strongest Ally? For Republicans, It's Australia". The New York Times.
- "YouGov – Who do the British regard as allies?". YouGov: What the world thinks.
- "While 60% of Canadians Consider U.S.A. Canada's Closest Friend and Ally, Only 18% of Americans Name Canada As Same – 56% Instead Name Britain".
- "Poll". Lowy Institute. 2018.
- "The Trans-Tasman Relationship: A New Zealand Perspective" (PDF).
- "U.S. and Canada: The World's Most Successful Bilateral Relationship – RealClearWorld".
- Marsh, Steve (1 June 2012). "'Global Security: US–UK relations': lessons for the special relationship?". Journal of Transatlantic Studies. 10 (2): 182–199. doi:10.1080/14794012.2012.678119.
- "Sharp Drop in World Views of US, UK: Global Poll – GlobeScan". 4 July 2017.
- "From the Outside In: G20 views of the UK before and after the EU referendum'" (PDF).
- "Poll: Who's New Zealand's best friend?". Newshub. 22 June 2017 – via www.newshub.co.nz.
- Marcin, Tim (9 May 2017). "Canada's Opinion of America Hits All-Time Low Under Trump". Newsweek.
- "U.S. Image Suffers as Publics Around World Question Trump's Leadership". 26 June 2017.
- "Global Indicators Database". 22 April 2010.
- Kidd, John B.; Richter, Frank-Jürgen (2006). Development models, globalization and economies : a search for the Holy Grail?. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0230523555. OCLC 71339998.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- "Global Cities Index 2019". A.T. Kearney.
- Michael Chertoff, et a.l. (2008). Building an Americanization Movement for the Twenty-first Century: A Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on New Americans (PDF). Washington D.C. ISBN 978-0-16-082095-3.
- "The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "These are all the world's major religions in one map". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Regional ethnic diversity". www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- The Furman Center (2012). The Changing Racial and Ethnic Makeup of New York City Neighborhoods (PDF).
- "Population by Race/Ethnicity | PEDC - Paris Economic Development Corporation". Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- Ryan, Patrick. "Rap Overtakes Rock As Most Popular Genre Among Music Fans. Here's Why". USA TODAY. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- Staff, Variety; Staff, Variety (4 December 2018). "Drake, Ariana Grande Top Spotify's Year-End 'Wrapped' Charts". Variety. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Top 100 Artists Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- Reynolds, Glenn (28 October 2004). "Explaining the 'Anglosphere'". the Guardian.
- Bennett 2004[page needed]
- Roberts 2006[page needed]
- Brown 2003.
- "The power of the Anglosphere in Eurosceptical thought". 10 December 2015.
- Conquest & Reply by Ignatieff 2000.
- "It's a Eurosceptic fantasy that the 'Anglosphere' wants Brexit - Coffee House". 12 April 2016.
- Cohen, Nick (14 July 2018). "Brexit Britain is out of options. Our humiliation is painful to watch - Nick Cohen". the Guardian.
- "CANZUK, Conservatives and Canada: Marching backward to empire - iPolitics". 24 February 2017.
- "Canada and the Anglo World – where do we stand?".
- "Speaking in tongues".
- Kenny, Michael; Pearce, Nick (13 July 2018). "Opinion – Britain, Time to Let Go of the 'Anglosphere'". The New York Times.
- "In the shadows of empire: how the Anglosphere dream lives on – UK in a changing Europe". 11 May 2018.
- Bell, Duncan (19 January 2017). "The Anglosphere: new enthusiasm for an old dream". Prospect.
- Luca Bellocchio, Anglosfera. Forma e forza del nuovo Pan-Anglismo, Genova, Il Melangolo, 2006 ISBN 978-88-7018-601-7
- Bennett, James C. (2004). The anglosphere challenge: why the English-speaking nations will lead the way in the twenty-first century. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 80. ISBN 978-0742533325.
- Brown, Andrew (15 February 2003). "Scourge and poet". The Guardian.
- Conquest, Robert; Reply by Ignatieff, Michael (23 March 2000). "The 'Anglosphere'". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 24 July 2007.
- Hannan, Daniel (2 March 2014). "The Anglosphere is alive and well, but I wonder whether it needs a better name". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- Kenny, Michael; Pearce, Nick (2015). "The rise of the Anglosphere: how the right dreamed up a new conservative world order". New Statesman. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
- Lloyd, John (2000). "The Anglosphere Project". New Statesman. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- Merriam-Webster Staff (2010). "Anglosphere". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
- Roberts, Andrew (2006). A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0297850762.
- Kenny, Michael; Pearce, Nick (2018). Shadows of Empire: The Anglosphere in British Politics. Polity. ISBN 978-1-509-51660-5.
- Vucetic, Srdjan (2011). The Anglosphere: A Genealogy of a Racialized Identity in International Relations. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-7224-2.
|Look up anglosphere in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|