In democracies an effective media and opposition are both needed to sanction leaders’ foreign policy missteps

Common wisdom in international affairs is that when democratically elected leaders and governments make threats towards other states, these are credible; voters will punish leaders who do not follow through on their words. New research by Philip B. K. Potter and Matthew A. Baum argues however, that not all democracies are equal in the credibility of their threats of military […]

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 […]

Ed Miliband and Syria: A glimpse of what a Labour foreign policy could look like

Ed Miliband decided to not support the government’s call for military action against Syria this past Thursday, a bold move for a leader that has been under fire from all sides. Eunice Goes argues that Miliband’s position on Syria has the merit of offering British voters a clear Labour approach to foreign policy that is distinct from the coalition’s and from New […]

Diplomacy is the only real way forward in the Syrian conflict. Military intervention could make the situation even worse.

With the failure of the Annan Plan in Syria, the situation looks increasingly bleak. But Syria in 2012 is very different from Libya in 2011, and Western leaders should resist the temptation for military intervention writes Chris Brown. Instead of calling for intervention, leaders like David Cameron need to support the diplomacy of the Arab League and other non-Western countries. This […]

The political cost to any British government of giving way on the Falklands would be prohibitively high and there is no strong need to pay it

George Philip argues that the war between the UK and Argentina changed the politics surrounding the Falkland Islands. Prior to 1982, the government was looking for a way to transfer authority. Now, since the memory of the war is still very much in the public mind, the British position is verging on intransigence. A well-attended meeting at LSE in May to discuss ways […]

Book Review: Blair’s Just War: Iraq and the Illusion of Morality, by Peter Lee

When is it right to go to war? Peter Lee argues that Tony Blair’s “illusion of morality” evaporated after the 2003 Iraq invasion because the ideas he relied upon were taken out of their historical context. Dr Matthew Partridge is not convinced by the author’s arguments, and finds that exaggerations make the book into a polemic, rather than a serious academic study.  Blair’s […]

David Cameron, Barack Obama and The US-UK ‘Special Relationship’

With David Cameron currently in Washington, John Dumbrell reviews the recent history of US-UK relations. The special relationship has clearly not been so stellar in recent times. With American foreign policy pivoting towards the Asia-Pacific region and US irritation with European contributions to NATO, Cameron will need to be very persuasive to resurrect the possibility of London acting as an ‘Atlantic […]

Book Review: The Labour Party and the World: Labour’s Foreign Policy Since 1951

Rhiannon Vickers should be congratulated for delivering a concise, balanced, and accessible account of how left of centre thinking on foreign policy has evolved over the last sixty years, writes Matthew Partridge.   The Labour Party and the World: Volume 2: Labour’s Foreign Policy Since 1951. Rhiannon Vickers. Manchester University Press. September 2011. Find this book:    Writing a book about the Labour Party’s approach […]

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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.