All the people like us are We/And every one else is They.
—Rudyard Kipling, “We and They,” 1919
Questions of identity may insinuate their way into all forms
of politics, but all forms of politics are not about questions
—Gearóid Ó Tuathail,
“Dissident IR and the Identity Politics Narrative,” (1996)
During the past three centuries the spread of the English-speaking
peoples over the world's waste spaces has been not only the most
striking feature in the world's history, but also the event of all
others most far-reaching in its effects and its importance.
—Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning of the West, Vol.1 (1889)
RUDYARD KIPLING'S EARLY-TWENTIETH-CENTURY poetical reflections on a binary logic to cultural, civilizational, and imperial interactions capture the politics of identity, which has been the conceptual and theoretical foundation of this genealogy. We-they dynamics have indeed been borne out in each of the preceding chapters, even if my story is more complicated than simple Anglos-versus-the rest binarizations would allow. I have indeed argued that the Anglosphere came into existence through a variety of social and political inclusions and exclusions on multiple levels of analysis—at home, abroad, and in-between. The special relationships that crisscross the putative core of this community were once based on claims of shared Anglo-Saxonism, while today they rest primarily on claims of liberal internationalism.
As identity alone does not and cannot capture all relevant questions and answers in the study of world politics, I will now relate my Anglosphere story back to IR, both theoretically and substantively. My goal in this chapter is to clarify and elaborate the main strengths and weaknesses of my arguments, findings, and puzzles. I will begin with a short overview of the theoretical argument made in the book and then move on to engage select IR theories