foreign policy

Elite opinion and public scepticism

Greg Falconer  |  21 February 2013

When it comes to foreign policy, the British public and the three main parties do not currently see eye-to-eye. Two recent polls, on military intervention and Europe respectively, suggest an ominous divergence between the mainstream political elite and the electorate on key issues. In a week when the coalition sent a small UK force on …

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A blueprint for the future

Greg Falconer  |  30 January 2013

In the desert of the Sahel, European foreign policy has finally come of age. The French intervention, supported by the EU and US and backed by regional allies and international institutions has (at least until now) been a resounding success. Not only that, but this model of intervention – militarily and diplomatically– might constitute a …

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Whatever happened to foreign policy?

Stephen Bush  |  22 January 2013

Quite a lot of foreign policy happened this week; but for the sound of silence from the British left you might have been forgiven for thinking that the world outside the British Isles had ceased to exist. The natural posture of opposition parties is parochial: but the natural position of a party with at least …

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Foreign concepts

Greg Falconer  |  21 September 2012

In times of global uncertainty, the ideas market becomes flooded with new paradigms to explain the seemingly unexplainable. Bestsellers lists are filled with innumerable tomes promising to help decision makers understand everything from the rise of China to the Arab Spring and the information revolution. To develop a successful foreign policy these days, the argument …

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A new history of the 21st century

Greg Falconer  |  6 September 2012

Indulge me, if you will, in a thought experiment. Imagine your memory of the past 15 years has been erased, and you are learning about 21st century geopolitics for the first time. In your history book there are two American presidents with different foreign policy approaches. The first conducted a covert war, striking at his …

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Fact-finding in Kurdistan

Gary Kent  |  16 May 2012

Have you heard the one about two Christians, two Jews and two Muslims in a hotel in Iraqi Kurdistan? None of us on the recent parliamentary delegation there devised a witty answer but we did establish that all are welcome in this beautiful region. The sixth fact-finding report in five years of the all-party parliamentary …

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Exposed: the ugly face of Putin’s Russia

Denis MacShane MP  |  11 January 2012

In a powerful documentary on Putin’s Russia made by Norma Percy to be shown on BBC2 on 19 January there is an extraordinary moment when the oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky confronts the recently elected President Putin. On film he tells him that Russia is so corrupt up that to 10 per cent of national wealth is …

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Fulfilling our responsibility to protect

Stephen Twigg MP  |  31 August 2011

Utilising both soft and hard power will be central to reconstructing Labour’s foreign policy At Labour’s National Policy Forum in Wrexham this year I was asked whether we see the UK as the ‘world’s policeman’. It is a profound and important question as we develop Labour’s new foreign policy. The Arab Spring has demonstrated powerfully …

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Cameron must press Kremlin

Gisela Stuart MP  |  8 August 2011

Three years ago the world’s eyes were on Georgia. In scenes reminiscent of the Cold War, Russian tanks rolled in, thousands of people fled, and lives and communities were destroyed. The world’s leaders were caught off guard, in was unclear where it would all end. The lesson I took from that episode was that we …

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Libya and Syria: similar diagnoses, different prescriptions

Stephen Twigg MP  |  2 August 2011

Labour supporters feel a profound sense of solidarity with people across the Arab world struggling for freedom and democracy. We have been appalled by the ongoing attacks on protestors and civilians in Syria and we continue to be deeply concerned by the situation in Libya. Following the expulsion of the remaining Libyan diplomats from the …

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