What it means to be special
DOI link for What it means to be special
What it means to be special book
Claims of inter-state ‘specialness’ feature frequently in international politics. Not only when senior government officials meet and interact in public, but also as an integral element of political debate in the media, in the diplomatic world and in the wider public – as well as in popular culture. 1 But does it really mean anything when one state keeps referring to a specific other state as its ‘preferential partner’, ‘best friend’ or ‘closest ally’, and to the relationship between them as ‘privileged’, ‘unique’ or ‘special’? Can we, based on how such phrases are used in everyday language, identify an analytical definition of what it is that makes some inter-state relationships special – in quality, degree or importance?