British Foreign Policy: The New Labour Years by O. Daddow, J. Gaskarth

By O. Daddow, J. Gaskarth

A major evaluate of latest Labour's international coverage from major specialists. This book re-imagines coverage considering, clear of Churchill's suggestion of england as on the intersection of 'three circles' (the English talking international, Europe, and the Commonwealth) and in the direction of a brand new conceptual version that takes under consideration identification, ethics and tool.

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Sample text

There is also a potential weakness as well as strength in the flexibility that this offers, because it would mean British foreign policy-makers might be free to pursue a ‘manoeuvrist’ foreign policy of shifting alliances and fluctuating priorities. When Britain pursued a strategy like this in the 1830–40s in relation to its responses to various revolutions on the continent it led to charges of Britain being ‘perfidious’. In addition, it might enable policy-makers to shift the basis of accountability between each circle since most policies would fit within at least one.

Oliver Daddow and Jamie Gaskarth 11 one because it best illustrates the government’s way of thinking through the issues at stake. New Labour’s collapse of the ‘British versus European’ interpretation of the national past centred on putting a different meaning into a classic symbol of the supposed source of this separation of Britain from continental Europe: the English Channel. As the government saw it, the geography of the English Channel had too often been deployed as a defence against the forces of cosmopolitanism and globalization that New Labour wished to see sweeping through Britain.

Blair’s simultaneous obsession with the ‘special relationship’ (another of New Labour’s historical ‘lessons’) further undermined the credibility of the Iraq adventure by allying Britain with a power that overrode human rights in the pursuit of national security. Legal challenges to the tactics the US used in Iraq have exposed the gap between the rhetoric and reality of Blair’s doctrine of international community. In his chapter on New Labour’s policy on nuclear weapons, David Allen highlights a range of differing aspects of the government’s handling of this issue that could be seen to support the argument of this book that identity, ethics and power are fundamentally linked and need to be considered together to gain a full sense of the motives underlying policy-making.

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