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Gottlieb Preview

Gottlieb Preview

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Published by: cqpresscustom on Jan 27, 2012
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Uncorrected page proo. Copyright ® 2012 by CQ Press, a division o SAGE. No part o these pages may be quoted, reproduced, ortransmitted in any orm or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing rom the publisher.
Chapter 2
British Foreign Policy: Continuity and Transormation
Brian White 
This chapter marks the beginning of our analysis of foreign policy behavior in thirteendifferent countries. Brian White describes the continuity of British foreign policy after World War II, within the context of Winston Churchill’s global, Atlantic, and Euro- pean “circles” of activity. Even as these circles remained constant arenas for British foreign policy, this chapter illustrates the incredible complexity of challenges Britain faced with changes in the world. Most notably, Europeanization has blurred the dis-tinction between what is domestic and what is foreign and has significantly altered how foreign policy is made. Today, Britain continues to wrestle with its orientationtoward and identity in Europe and with its role in the promotion of international ethics and interventions.Britain may be compared with a number of different countries examined in this volume. First, Britain’s reluctance to participate fully in the European Union differs  from the pro-European Union policies of France (Chapter 3) and Germany (Chapter 4).This reluctance stems in part from British identity. The effects of identity as a core value of the general public can also be seen in the foreign policy of India (Chapter 8) and Turkey (Chapter 9). The importance of alliances, particularly the “special relationship” between the United States and Britain, parallels the strong relationship that Japan(Chapter 7) also has with the United States. Finally, the influence of Prime Minister Blair’s beliefs and decision-making style on British foreign policy in the Iraq war is similar to the impact of leaders seen in the foreign policies of Iran (Chapter 10) and Brazil (Chapter 13).
Uncorrected page proo. Copyright ® 2012 by CQ Press, a division o SAGE. No part o these pages may be quoted, reproduced, ortransmitted in any orm or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing rom the publisher.
ittle appears to havechanged in the rheto-ric associated with Britishoreign policy since thelate 1940s. In October1948, Winston Churchilllocated Britain unequivo-cally at the center o worldpolitics in the amous“three circles” speech:“Now i you think o thethree interlinked circles(British Commonwealthand Empire; the English-speaking world; a unitedEurope) you will see that we are the only countr which has a great part toplay in any one o them.”
More than fty years later, in November 1999, PrimeMinister Tony Blair gave an important oreign policy speech in which he identi-fed Britain as a pivotal power in world politics: “We have a new role—to use thestrengths o our history to build a uture not as a superpower but as a pivotalpower, as a power that is at the crux o the alliances and international politics which shape the world and its uture.”
 This idea o continuity is urther underlined by the most recent attempt toconceptualize Britain’s role in the world. In a series o speeches ater the electionin May 2010 o a Conservative/Liberal Democratic coalition government underPrime Minister David Cameron, the new Foreign Secretary William Haguesketched out a “vision o a new, distinctive British oreign policy.”
For Haguethere were no easy metaphors to capture Britain’s contemporary role. But, havingidentiied the ways in which the world has changed, he did articulate some amil-iar themes. Foreign policy must extend “our global reach and inluence” by engag-ing more eectively with networks o relationships that include new centers o power in Asia and Latin America. Turning rom the global to the Atlantic “circle,” Hague uses the interestingphrase “solid but not slavish” rather than the more amiliar “special relationship”to describe uture relations with the United States. While this phrase was intendedto distance the new government rom the image o being a “poodle” o successiveU.S. governments, particularly in the context o the war in Iraq, it clearly did notindicate any downgrading o the Atlantic relationship. Much is made in thesespeeches o the continuing importance o state-centered bilateral relations in world politics and this provides a conceptual home or Britain’s relations withboth the United States and Europe. The United States—“the unbreakablealliance”—is the most important bilateral relationship “and will remain so.” The
British Foreign Policy: Continuity and Transormation29
Uncorrected page proo. Copyright ® 2012 by CQ Press, a division o SAGE. No part o these pages may be quoted, reproduced, ortransmitted in any orm or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing rom the publisher.
European Union is also seen essentially as a network o twenty-seven individualstates with which Britain should develop largely bilateral relations.But i we look behind the rhetoric about roles that underlines the idea o con-tinuity and try to analyze the substance and the sources o contemporary Britishoreign policy, we see evidence o substantive change and transormed environ-ments in which policy is made and implemented. The central dilemma that Brit-ish political leaders ace today is the need to adapt oreign policy to a rapidly changing regional and global environment while at the same time giving theimpression, at least to domestic audiences that nothing undamentally haschanged with respect to sovereignty and independence. This chapter identiies the major problems aced by both the British policy maker and the oreign policy analyst. To this end two key distinctions are drawn—one historical and the other analytical. The irst distinction deals with the periodbetween the late 1940s and 1990, generally known as the Cold War, and theperiod since 1991, still labeled rather unsatisactorily the post–Cold War era.Comparing and contrasting dierent themes, issues and problems over time canhelp us to make sense o change in British oreign policy. The past is a particularly important guide to the present in the case o Britain. The second distinction,drawn or more analytical reasons, involves the domestic and international set-tings o policy. This analytical perspective helps us to understand the sources o policy and policy change. How has a changing international environment aectedBritish oreign policy? Is it now more appropriate to see British oreign policy asan extension o domestic politics, explaining policy in terms o domestic ratherthan international actors? More radically, what are the implications or our anal- ysis i we accept the important point made in Chapter 1 that the distinctionbetween internal and external environments has become increasingly blurred? Without that clear boundary, it might be argued, oreign policy itsel may lack distinctiveness.
Historical Context
 When the Cold War began to rame British oreign policy in the late 1940s, therecould be little doubt about the distinctiveness and importance o oreign policy.
  With World War II still a very resh memory, it is not surprising that politicalleaders relected on Britain’s role in an international environment that remained very threatening but also changing. When ormer Prime Minister Churchilladdressed the annual Conservative Party conerence on this theme in 1948, there were already important indicators o change, such as the ceding o independencethe previous year to the Indian subcontinent. What was signiicant aboutChurchill’s three circles vision, however, was its prescriptiveness. In it he sought toestablish the continuing “realities” that should guide British policy makers despiteclear indications o signiicant change in the postwar international environment. Three key assumptions underpinned this powerul and continuing vision.First, it depicted Britain as a global power with global interests to deend rather

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