The calm after the storm? Foreign and security policy from Blair to Brown

Richard G Whitman

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This article examines the main aspects of the UK's foreign and security policy across the 2005-2010 Parliament. It begins by discussing the highpoint of foreign policy during the period, and goes on to consider the evolution of the UK's foreign policy doctrine, looking in particular at whether Brown established a world view that was distinctive from his predecessor. The analysis then turns to the key foreign policy actors in the period and in particular the extent to which changes of foreign secretary impacted on the UK's foreign and security policy. The article assesses the foreign and security policy issues that predominated from after the 2005 General Election, through Brown's anointment as Prime Minister in 2007 and until the 2010 General Election. The final part of the article considers the minimal role that foreign policy played in the 2010 General Election campaign. There was a considerable convergence of views between each of the three main political parties in their foreign policy platforms. Labour faced criticism for its resourcing of the war in Afghanistan, rather than objection to continuing engagement. The renewal of the Trident weapons system was one of the few substantive issues dividing the Conservatives and Labour from the Liberal Democrats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-848
Number of pages15
JournalParliamentary Affairs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


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