Introducing Myth to Foreign Policy Analysis: The Blair Poodle Myth and Its Impact on Constructions of the “Special Relationship”

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This article introduces the concept of political myth to foreign policy analysis. It explains how myth can influence the construction of foreign policy events and decisions and creates a new lens that analysts can use to study this. To do that, this article draws upon conceptual literature on political myth to explain what myth is and how it shapes discursive constructions of the world. Adopting an interpretivist approach, it then uses the concept as a lens to analyze the impact that the Blair Poodle myth has had on the construction of the US–UK “special relationship” from 2002 to 2022 and considers how this has influenced the diplomatic behavior of five UK prime ministers. It finds that the myth has been integral to negative constructions of the “special relationship” over the past twenty years and has inspired political action, including protests, resignations, and more formal diplomatic engagement with the United States.
Original languageEnglish
Article number orad021
Number of pages19
JournalForeign Policy Analysis
Issue number4
Early online date21 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © The Author(s) (2023). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Studies Association. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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