Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Anglosphere

The 'West' is quite an unclear construct, with uncertain geographical borders. Is Poland Western? Is Russia, or industrialised Japan? Even 'Western' culture is unclear: does it mean Christianity? Secularism? Consumerism?

When the world is divided into chunky civilisations of West and East I wonder if a more useful global civilisation is the Anglosphere.

The most obvious candidates are UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Each of these have major ethnic populations descended from Britain and Ireland. They all speak English and thus share lots of (especially British and Ameican) cultural exports like movies and literature.

The cultural connection is obvious. How about economics? The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom lists the six obvious Anglosphere countries as follows:

3) Australia
4) New Zealand
6) Canada
7) Ireland
9) United States
16) United Kingdom

Eight of the top ten are former colonies of Britain: Singapore, Hong Kong and Bahrain being the others. So we see that these are all considered highly free market economies. French president Nicholas Sarkozy seems to have noticed, complaining about the 'free-wheeling Anglo-Saxon' economic model.

Of course these states are scattered between NATO, EU and so on, with no common political policies. Still, I don't see the Anglosphere being discussed much but it seems a much clearer reason to put countries together than many others.

I suppose the borders here are vague too. Do we count Hong Kong and Singapore? India and South Africa? Any thoughts?

*Image from Iamvered on Wikipedia


  1. The Internet is the "genetic spreading" of the Anglosphere.


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