Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 1–21 | Cite as

‘Superior to anything I had seen in the States’: the ‘Thatcherisation’ of Republican strategy in 1980 and 1984

  • James CooperEmail author


The collaboration and exchange of ideas and tactics between American and British political parties is a well-established and accepted fact of political life. This article examines a previously marginalised aspect of the transatlantic relationship in the Margaret Thatcher-Ronald Reagan epoch, namely the extent to which the Conservative Party’s electioneering in 1979 and 1983 influenced the presidential campaigns to elect Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984. Just as Thatcher and Reagan shared a ‘special relationship’ in foreign affairs, their respective campaigns also had much in common as each sought to secure power in similar circumstances. Whereas previous work has focused on the extent of the ‘Americanisation’ of British political campaigns, the extent of British influence, particularly that of Thatcher and of the Conservative Party’s innovations, has been a relatively neglected issue. Thus, this article contributes to the Americanisation’ debate by proposing that Republican electioneering in the 1980s was ‘Thatcherised’.


Conservative Party electioneering Republican Party Ronald Reagan Margaret Thatcher 


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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History, Philosophy and ReligionAberystwyth UniversityAberystwyth, Ceredigion, WalesUK
  2. 2.Westminster CollegeOxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK

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