Strategic alliances have attracted substantial attention from industry and academia over the past three decades. However, due to rapid technological evolution, saturated marketplaces, globalisation of businesses on the one hand and de-globalisation of the market on the other (as marked by Brexit and the trade war between US and China, COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war), the strategic environment of businesses is changing quickly. Fundamental and rapid changes in the wider environment necessitate the review of theoretical and practical insights of earlier and emerging studies - to examine the new challenges, issues and paradoxes of strategic alliances. This special issue attempts to provide a forum to allow researchers to question the assumptions underlying existing theory a little further beyond just “gap-spotting” or “gap-filling”. This special issue includes four very interesting literature review pieces, which venture deeper into the phenomenon, and explore the opportunities, issues and paradoxes of strategic alliances while adopting alternative theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches and interpretations to address issues of managing strategic alliances and maximising returns from them in the new strategic context.