The capabilities of Britain’s armed forces may not be diminishing as starkly as the numbers might suggest

Following a new announcement of cuts to the UK armed forces, many are asking whether we are seeing Britain’s defence capabilities in decline. Andrew Dorman warns against simply focusing on focus on numbers or money. There is no direct relationship between amount spent or size of the armed forces and the security of the nation or between numbers of personnel and capability. Also, […]

Westminster’s phoney war against Blackadder

Michael Gove, the education secretary, appears to be on a personal mission to persuade the British to adopt a view of the First World War which emphasizes the ‘patriotism, honour and courage’ of those men who fought in what he describes as a ‘just’ war. Pointing to a survey which reveals only 16% of 18-24 year olds think the war ‘just’ […]

‘New’ old politics: The case for doing things differently regarding defense and security in an independent Scotland

As the independence referendum date draws closer, there has been a retreat from the bold vision espoused by Scottish government ministers regarding defence and security in an independent Scotland, argues Fiona Veitch and Gordon Heggie. The opportunity exists for Scotland to move closer to the ideal of a less militarized view of national identity and follow the example of the devolution project, […]

The US and UK should strengthen their relationship with greater cooperation in the area of foreign policy

Ever since it began after World War II, the ‘special relationship’ between the UK and US has been subject to continual comment and scrutiny. Dr. James D. Boys looks at the current state of the UK/US relationship, writing that while the UK should not be overly concerned at a potential ‘Pacific Pivot’ by the US, more does need to be done to […]

What George Osborne and Boris Johnson’s visit to China means for economic and trade relations

In a recent visit, George Osborne and Boris Johnson rolled out the red carpet to Chinese businesses and banks. Among other deals, Osborne surprised many by leaving the door open for Chinese banks to operate as branches rather than subsidiaries in London, which would enable them to avoid being regulated by UK regulators. Kerry Brown writes that the UK stands to […]

David Cameron has created a new vision of Conservative foreign policy, one which is far happier to intervene to stop suffering and expounds a bigger, and more liberal, view of Britain’s interests in the world

Tim Oliver and Matt Beech contend that the Conservative Party changed its philosophical approach to humanitarian intervention during its years in opposition. David Cameron and William Hague have articulated views of humanitarian intervention that bridge the gap between more traditionally realist Conservative views of humanitarian intervention, focused on order, sovereignty and a narrow conception of Britain’s interests, and a more justice-centric […]

Prominent coverage given to repatriations does not seem to undermine the public’s willingness to stay the course in military campaigns

James Strong investigates whether the greater prominence given to individual military casualties in recent years made the British public more sceptical about military action in general. He finds that prominent coverage of military casualties causes the public to pay greater attention to military campaigns, but does not necessarily shape public attitudes towards those campaigns. An MoD study from 2012, obtained by The […]

What should we do about Syria?

What policy should Britain and other Western countries adopt with regard to what’s going on in Syria? Nigel Biggar explores this question in terms of the ‘just war’ theory. We could decide that, although the civil war is terrible and tragic, it’s just not our problem. That needn’t be immoral, since there’s more injustice in the world to sort out than we can; and […]

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This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.