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Bevin’s Boys Abroad: British Labor Diplomacy in the Cold War Era

Geert Van Goethem
Published Online: 2017-07-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ngs-2017-0015


In this article the rise and fall of the position of the labor attaché in British diplomacy during the Cold War is analysed. Experts from outside the diplomatic corps worked, and continue to work, in British embassies alongside diplomats. Labor was a prominent domain of expertise during the entire Cold War era, but this has almost disappeared today. It could therefore be claimed that British diplomacy was able to adapt to changing political circumstances. However, this is a story with multiple layers and contains not only elements of change but also continuity over the longer term of the diplomatic enterprise that, despite flexibility and increasing openness, remains a world apart.

Keywords: labor attaches; Ernest Bevin; Cold War; Ariel Foundation; Foreign Office; Ministry of Labour


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-07-01

Published in Print: 2017-08-28

Citation Information: New Global Studies, Volume 11, Issue 2, Pages 117–131, ISSN (Online) 1940-0004, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ngs-2017-0015.

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