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The Blair IdentityLeadership and Foreign Policy$
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Stephen Benedict Dyson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719079993

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719079993.001.0001

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The Blair balance sheet

The Blair balance sheet

Chapter:
(p.150) 8 The Blair balance sheet
Source:
The Blair Identity
Author(s):

Stephen Benedict Dyson

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719079993.003.0008

This chapter considers the implications of Blair and this study of him. What judgments can we ultimately make about his influence and his foreign policy? What does an individual as unique as Blair tell us about international relations? It concludes that, in real-world terms, Blair's style made a key difference to British foreign policy in each of the crucial episodes under consideration. Britain would not have been as forward leaning in Kosovo and Sierra Leone, would not have outlined such ambitious goals in the ‘war on terror’, and would have been much more cautious toward, and perhaps ultimately resiled from, the Iraq intervention, had someone else been leading the country. The incentives and constraints of alliance with the world's superpower, and the security challenges of rogue states and international terrorism, would have been faced by any British prime minister during this period, but actor-specific theory leads to the conclusion that Blair played a determinate role in these key episodes. In international relations, the case of Tony Blair makes the point in vivid fashion that individuals matter.

Keywords:   Tony Blair, international relations, foreign policy, war on terror

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