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The international relations theorist, Lene Hansen, wrote in 2006:

‘Foreign policy decision-makers are situated within a larger political and public sphere, ... their representations as a consequence draw upon and are formed by the representations articulated by a large number of individuals, institutions and media outlets’.


Hansen’s study was of the Balkan wars of the early 1990s, but this paper will demonstrate that her methodology – the analysis of discourse across a broad range of categories – can equally be applied to the fierce contention which arose in early 18th century British politics over the making of the peace of Utrecht.


Adopting that methodology, and applying a holistic approach absent from the existing historiography, the paper will address three areas: the narratives which characterised that discourse, focussing on narratives of betrayal; the actors promoting those narratives, and the media they employed; and those actors’ objectives, and how successful they were in achieving them.



All welcome. This event is free to attend, but advance registration is required.


This will be a ‘hybrid’ seminar with a limited number of places available in person and a larger number of bookings for online attendance via Zoom. Those attending in person are asked to bring a Wi-Fi enabled laptop, tablet or phone.