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British Foreign Policy: Crises, Conflicts and Future Challenges



British Foreign Policy: Crises, Conflicts and Future Challenges

Jamie Gaskarth

ISBN: 978-0-745-67000-3 July 2013 Polity 288 Pages

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Britain has been a significant voice in global politics in the last two decades and its impact on world events far outweighs its material resources. But how does a small island on the edge of Europe continue to exercise this level of power on an international scale? What kind of actor is Britain internationally? And what future challenges will confront British foreign policymakers in a multi-polar world of emerging powers?

In this comprehensive introduction to British foreign policy today Jamie Gaskarth addresses these and other key questions. Against a rich historical backdrop, he examines the main actors and processes involved in British foreign policy-making as well as the role played by identity in shaping such choices. Later chapters focus on the relationship between economics and foreign policy, what it means to be ethical in this policy sphere, and the justification for and benefits of the UK’s continued use of force to achieve its foreign policy goals.

Combining interview research, theoretical insight and analysis of contemporary and historical trends, this book charts how British foreign policy has come to be understood and practised in the 21st Century. It will be an invaluable guide for students of British politics, foreign policy, international relations and related courses.
1. Introduction
2. The Actors in British foreign policy
3. How is British foreign policy made?.
4. Self-identity and British Foreign Policy
5. Britain in the world
6. Ethics and British foreign policy
7. Defence and British foreign policy
8. Economics and British foreign policy
Conclusion: The future of British foreign policy
"An excellent introduction to the study of British foreign policy, laced with wit and illustrated throughout by well-chosen analytic case studies."
LSE Review of Books

"Jamie Gaskarth has written an extremely lucid, challenging and well informed study of the making and execution of British foreign policy. The study combines fascinating interview material with in-depth coverage of the existing academic literature and as such should be essential reading for all students, scholars and practitioners of British foreign policy today."
Oliver Daddow, University of Leicester

"Gaskarth sets out to offer a holistic view of British foreign policy and achieves just that. With detailed and wide-ranging chapters that are informed by original source material, this book will become a key text in the teaching and research of the subject."
Jason Ralph, Leeds University

"The study of British foreign policy needed this book. Theoretically sophisticated, yet not overcomplicated. Empirically up to date, but with a good grasp of historical circumstance. Ethical choices and dilemmas at the forefront, without taking flight from the limits of the possible. Deserves to be regarded as one of the very best books in this area. Readers at all levels will appreciate the clarity and depth Gaskarth brings to his craft."
Tim Dunne, University of Queensland

"A broad and ambitious endeavour, theoretically solid and empirically rich, Gaskarth’s work certainly merits to be included in any reading list on British politics in general, not just foreign policy."
ERIS – European Review of International Studies
  • A rich, comprehensive introductory guide to the subject
  • Examines a wide range of issues, from economics to ethics to Britain’s relationship with newly emerging powers
  • Combines theoretical analysis with a wealth of empirical research, including interviews
  • An invaluable guide for students in politics and a range of related disciplines