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A special relationship?British foreign policy in the era of American hegemony$
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Simon Tate

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719083716

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719083716.001.0001

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The Doctrine of International Community, Coalitions of the Willing and the Role of the British Government in the Special Relationship During the War on Terror, 2001–2003

The Doctrine of International Community, Coalitions of the Willing and the Role of the British Government in the Special Relationship During the War on Terror, 2001–2003

Chapter:
(p.121) 5 The Doctrine of International Community, Coalitions of the Willing and the Role of the British Government in the Special Relationship During the War on Terror, 2001–2003
Source:
A special relationship?
Author(s):

Simon Tate

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719083716.003.0006

Chapter five is the book's final empirical chapter exploring Britain's foreign policy in the context of the prelude to the war in Iraq, from 2001-2003. The chapter begins by examining the changing world order at that time, arguing that, as the war in Iraq developed, for the first time in the post-Cold War era the US and British governments attempted to redefine what it meant to be allies. It highlights how, in attempting this, two competing ideas emerged: the British government's ‘doctrine of international community’ and the US administration's idea for creating ‘coalitions of the willing’. The Blair government's doctrine of international community enabled his government to replay the same geopolitical role in the special relationship that those of Churchill and Macmillan had done previously. In contrast, the US idea of establishing coalitions of willing had the potential to de-centre the importance of the special relationship (and the British government) within US foreign policy making. Rebalancing much of the media's focus on contemporary decision making and events during the Iraq war, the chapter concludes that these differing visions for the future of the special relationship were the underlying cause of British foreign policy failure in the prelude to the war in Iraq.

Keywords:   Special relationship, Hegemony, Iraq War, Doctrine of international community, Coalitions of the willing, Tony Blair, President George Bush

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