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  • Author: Andrew Glencross
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article scrutinizes the merits of holding a referendum over UK membership of the EU. It queries the assumption that direct democracy can somehow resolve the longstanding Europe question in British politics. To do this, the analysis traces the existence of an exceptionalist approach to the EU within Britain, now associated with re-negotiating UK membership in the shadow of a referendum. The article argues that the prospects for a radical reconfiguration of the UK's treaty obligations are slim, thereby increasing the risk of a vote to withdraw. Yet withdrawal would be the opposite of a simple solution to the Europe question. Political and economic interests dictate lengthy politicking over a highly complex post-Brexit settlement revisiting free movement of goods, services, capital and people. Such negotiations undermine any mooted cathartic benefits of a popular vote, while Eurosceptics will remain dissatisfied in the event of a yes, a result likely to further destabilize the Conservative Party. Consequently, the simplicity and decisiveness that a referendum—particularly one that spurns the EU—promises is merely a mirage as relations with the EU necessarily form part of an enduring British political conversation.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: David Blagden
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The international system is returning to multipolarity—a situation of multiple Great Powers—drawing the post-Cold War 'unipolar moment' of comprehensive US political, economic and military dominance to an end. The rise of new Great Powers, namely the 'BRICs'—Brazil, Russia, India, and most importantly, China—and the return of multipolarity at the global level in turn carries security implications for western Europe. While peaceful political relations within the European Union have attained a remarkable level of strategic, institutional and normative embeddedness, there are five factors associated with a return of Great Power competition in the wider world that may negatively impact on the western European strategic environment: the resurgence of an increasingly belligerent Russia; the erosion of the US military commitment to Europe; the risk of international military crises with the potential to embroil European states; the elevated incentive for states to acquire nuclear weapons; and the vulnerability of economically vital European sea lines and supply chains. These five factors must, in turn, be reflected in European states' strategic behaviour. In particular, for the United Kingdom—one of western Europe's two principal military powers, and its only insular (offshore) power—the return of Great Power competition at the global level suggests that a return to offshore balancing would be a more appropriate choice than an ongoing commitment to direct military interventions of the kind that have characterized post-2001 British strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Brazil
  • Author: David Stevenson
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In what follows I will begin in Houghton Street and from there will broaden outwards in successive circles, from London in the 1920s to Europe in 1914, to the Caribbean Sea in 1962, and to where we find ourselves today. The reasons for so doing will, I trust, become clear. But my focus will be on the origin and applications of the discipline of international history, through an investigation of the Stevenson Chair around which the LSE International History Department grew up; the LSE becoming in turn one of the nuclei from which the subject would spread further, both elsewhere in Britain and overseas. I will underline the practical purposes of the discipline's creators, while highlighting a tension between two intellectual traditions that were present from the outset. I will emphasize the need to synthesize those traditions if the study of international history is to yield the maximum insight and value.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Harold James
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A spectre is haunting the world: 1914. The approaching centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is a reminder of how the instability produced by changes in the relative balance of power in an integrated or globalized world may produce cataclysmic events. Jean-Claude Juncker, the veteran Prime Minister of Luxem-bourg and chair of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, started 2013 by warning journalists that they should take note of the parallels with 1913, the last year of European peace. He was referring explicitly to new national animosities fanned by the European economic crisis, with a growing polarization between North and South. Historically, the aftermath and the consequences of such cataclysms have been extreme. George Kennan strikingly termed the 1914–18 conflict 'the great seminal catastrophe of this century'. Without it, fascism, communism, the Great Depression and the Second World War are all almost impossible to imagine.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Communism, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Margaret MacMillan
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A century ago this autumn the first battle of the Marne ended Germany's attempt to crush France and its ally Britain quickly. In that one battle alone the French lost 80,000 dead and the Germans approximately the same. By comparison, 47,000 Americans died in the whole of the Vietnam War and 4,800 coalition troops in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. In August and September 1914 Europe, the most powerful and prosperous part of the world, had begun the process of destroying itself. A minor crisis in its troubled backyard of the Balkans had escalated with terrifying speed to create an all-out war between the powers. 1 'Again and ever I thank God for the Atlantic Ocean,' wrote Walter Page, the American ambassador in London; and in Washington his president, Woodrow Wilson, agreed.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, Iraq, America, Europe, Washington, France, London, Vietnam, Germany, Balkans, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Richard Reid
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article was commissioned as a contribution to the 90th anniversary issue of International Affairs , and it seems appropriate to note at the outset the prominent place that Africa has occupied in the pages of the journal since the 1920s. Indeed, a list of authors who have written for it reads as a roll-call of modern African history, in terms of both protagonists and analysts, and I doubt whether any specialist Africanist journal can boast a comparable line-up. A handful of examples may suffice. From the era of European colonial rule, Frederick, Lord Lugard, wrote in 1927 on the putative challenges confronting colonial administrators of 'equatorial' Africa, and Lord Hailey, in 1947, on the issues involved in 'native administration' more broadly; notably, the African perspective on these questions was provided in a piece in 1951 by the eminent Tswana political figure of the early and middle twentieth century, Tshekedi Khama. Former colonial governor Sir Andrew Cohen assessed the place of the new African nations within the UN in a 1960 article. A later generation of African nationalist leaders, the founders and shapers of the continent in its first flush of independence, is also represented: of particular note are pieces on the prospects for the continent by the Tunisian leader Habib Bourguiba and by the Senegalese poet and politician Leopold Senghor, in 1961 and 1962 respectively. And then there are the analysts and commentators, some of whom have become the stuff of legend for the author's own generation: Lucy Mair, Ali Mazrui and Colin Legum, to name but three.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Mark Webber, Ellen Hallams, Martin A. Smith
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: When NATO heads of state and government convene in Newport, Wales, in September 2014, it will be their first meeting in the UK since the London summit of July 1990. A quarter of a century ago, NATO was reborn. The London Declaration on a Transformed Alliance was NATO's keynote statement of renewed purpose, issued in 1990 as the Cold War was drawing to a close. In it we find the beginnings of the tasks which would come to define the alliance in the post- Cold War period, along with an appreciation of a fundamentally altered strategic landscape. Europe had 'entered a new, promising era', one in which it was thought the continent's tragic cycle of war and peace might well be over. The 2014 summit communiqué is unlikely to reflect such optimism, but what it surely needs to do is to recapture the spirit of enterprise that NATO has on occasion been able to articulate in demanding times.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, London
  • Author: Ellen Hallams, Benjamin Schreer
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 31 October 2011 NATO successfully ended its seven-month military mission in Libya (Operation Unified Protector). Coalition air strikes were instrumental in protecting civilians and ousting the Qadhafi regime. In terms of alliance politics, the operation also seemed to reflect a new transatlantic burden-sharing model. The United States, the most powerful military actor within NATO, decided to play only a supporting role, forcing some European allies, predominantly France and Britain, to take the lead. Consequently, some commentators saw the Libya campaign as a 'historical milestone' for the Atlantic alliance and a potential model for future NATO burden-sharing. The US government seemed to share this view. In a speech in Brussels in October 2011, acting Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta described the Libya operation as an example of a more equal transatlantic burden-sharing arrangement. He also emphasized that the current level of US commitment to the alliance was unsustainable owing to the significant pressure on the US defence budget. In June that year his predecessor as Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, had also called for better burden-sharing across the Atlantic. Specifically, he criticized the lack of defence spending on the part of most European allies and predicted a 'dim, if not dismal, future' for the alliance if this trend is not reversed. NATO's Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has also called for members of the alliance to make renewed efforts to come to a better burden- sharing arrangement whereby European allies invest more in 'smart defense', with its emphasis on the pooling and sharing of military resources.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, France, Libya
  • Author: Jeffrey Mankoff
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: During its first three years, the Obama administration compiled an impressive record on the politically fraught issue of European ballistic missile defence (MD) cooperation on three different levels: domestically, vis-à-vis Europe and NATO, and in relations with Russia. The administration's MD design, known as the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), will rely on land- and sea-based interceptors to shoot down missiles launched towards Europe by Iran or other Middle Eastern states. It has strong bipartisan support at home and is being implemented in close collaboration with NATO, which agreed in 2010 to make the protection of allies' territory from ballistic missiles a priority. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has ardently pursued MD cooperation with Russia, which has long regarded US missile defence as a threat to its own strategic deterrence capabilities. Given political realities in the US, the administration has little choice but to proceed with plans to deploy a European MD system. Nevertheless, its focus on MD cooperation as a kind of magic bullet in relations with both its European allies and Russia appears too ambitious, and risks doing more harm than good—unless the administration can do a better job of managing expectations, while embedding its ideas for MD cooperation into a broader security dialogue with both the Europeans and Russia.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Andrew Hurrell, Sandeep Sengupta
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: There is a widespread perception that power is shifting in global politics and that emerging powers are assuming a more prominent, active and important role. On this account the global system is increasingly characterized by a diffusion of power, to countries including emerging and regional powers; by a diffusion of preferences, with many more voices demanding to be heard both globally and within states as a result of globalization and democratization; and by a diffusion of ideas and values, with a reopening of the big questions of social, economic and political organization that were supposedly resolved with the end of the Cold War and the liberal ascendancy. There is a strong argument that we are witnessing the most powerful set of challenges yet to the global order that the United States sought to construct within its own camp during the Cold War and to globalize in the post-Cold War period. Many of these challenges also raise questions about the longer-term position of the Anglo-American and European global order that rose to dominance in the middle of the nineteenth century and around which so many conceptions and practices of power-political order, of the international legal system and of global economic governance have since been constructed.
  • Topic: Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Chad Michael Briggs
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The effort to tie together environment and security is not a new endeavour. The Epic of Gilgamesh spoke of floods, possibly referring to actual changes in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, resulting in clashes over water access and land use. Stories from the Third Punic War (albeit of disputed veracity) spoke of the Romans sowing the fields of Carthaginians with salt in order to prevent the communities from rebuilding. Environmental factors have been crucial in warfare throughout history, from storms warding off the Spanish Armada in Elizabethan times to the decimation of European troops by disease during the Crusades. Later colonial powers, recognizing that the conquest of land overseas required also the conquest of nature, established schools of tropical hygiene and medicine to provide adaptation strategies for new environmental conditions.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Julie Smith
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Many people believed that Great Britain was not and did not wish to become European, and that Britain wanted to enter the Community only so as to destroy it or divert it from its objectives. Many people also thought that France was ready to use every pretext to place in the end a fresh veto on Britain's entry. Well, ladies and gentlemen, you see before you tonight two men who are convinced of the contrary.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Robert Cooper
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Forty years after Britain joined Europe both have changed, mostly for the better. This story does not, however, begin in 1972 when the negotiations finished and were ratified by parliament, nor in 1973 when the UK took its place at the Council table as a full member, but ten years before with the first British application and the veto by General de Gaulle. Sometimes, going further back still, it is suggested that if Ernest Bevin's ideas for West European cooperation had been pursued, or if Britain had decided to join talks on the Schuman Plan, or to take the Spaak Committee seriously, things might have been different. But the truth is there was no Robert Schuman or Jean Monnet in Britain, and no readiness to think in radically new terms. Had the UK been present at the negotiations that led to the European Coal and Steel Community, the outcome for Britain would probably still have been the same, precisely because the vision was lacking. The decision on the Schuman Plan was a close-run thing—the idea of planning for heavy industry being in accordance with the ideas of the Labour government. But British ideas were very different from those of the French or the Americans, who were thinking in terms of supranational bodies—indeed, for Monnet this was a cardinal point. His approach was supported by the Benelux countries, which were already setting up their own customs union. Bevin had an ambition to lead Europe, but it is not clear where he wanted to take it. British policy was sensible and pragmatic but it offered no vision and few resources, and still gave as much priority to the empire as to Europe. Most probably, participation in those early talks would only have postponed a decision not to join the new enterprise. It was only when that enterprise looked successful and likely to last that Britain began to take it seriously and to think of membership.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, France
  • Author: Quentin Peel, Michael Stürmer
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Michael Stürmer: Occasionally, and very pointedly, you have described yourself as 'the man from Halle'. What does Halle stand for in your life? Hans-Dietrich Genscher: It is the city that has moulded me. It is a very defiant, revolutionary city, with a great tradition in the Enlightenment, in the Reformation, but also in the labour movement. So it is no surprise that on 17 June 1953, the centre of the uprising, outside Berlin, was in Halle. But also in the Third Reich there was strong resistance in this region.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Europe, England
  • Author: Oliver Daddow
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This may be the most important proposition revealed by history: 'At the time, no one knew what was coming.' With Britain's main parties of government deeply divided on the question of European integration, the country's politicians have been reticent to the point of paranoia about opening up national debates about the European Economic Community/European Union. The national media, by contrast, have had no such qualms about professing their opinions on the merits and downsides of the European project and Britain's contribution to it. This article argues that on the issue of 'Europe' most organs of the British media have, in a variety of ways and for various reasons, been on a journey between 1973 and the present from permissive consensus to destructive dissent. In putting forward this interpretation the article adapts Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks's judgement that, since the signing of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1991, European policy-making elites have increasingly had to 'look over their shoulders when negotiating European issues'. This is because public interest in notionally European-level affairs has risen in proportion to the number and contentiousness of landmark decisions being taken at the supranational level. Crucially, there has been a marked rise in Euroscepticism across the Continent, with national politicians having to 'make room for a more Eurosceptical public' when coming to decisions on European integration, especially on sensitive topics such as fiscal union and constitution-building.2The title of this article reflects the specificity of the British case, where a seismic shift took place during the 1980s. Widespread (but by no means total) media support, sometimes manifest as quiet or just plain uninterested acquiescence in the European project in its 'common market' guise, has given way to a vigorously partisan hostility bordering on a nationalist and in some arenas xenophobic approach to the coverage of European affairs.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: James Spence
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Shadows of 'bougets', in the old sense of moneybags, loom over Britain's stance on the EU budget today, as they did over EC budgets 40 years ago. Three of the make-or-break issues for the UK in the negotiations over the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the period from 2014 to 2020 concern the direct cost of UK membership. The first is maintaining the British correction or 'rebate', while also maintaining member state sovereignty over budget revenue decisions. (The current rebate, some claim, was finally gained by another 'bouget', Mrs Thatcher's fabled handbag, in 1984.) Cutting finance to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the second, and closely linked to the first. At the time Britain was negotiating its terms for accession, its less Eurocentric agricultural trade patterns, and its higher dependence on cheap food imports from outside the Communities, marked it off from the six founding EC member states for which food security was a high priority. UK food prices were relatively low compared to Continental prices. Agriculture was a smaller economic and employment sector in the UK than it was in Continental Europe, and land ownership patterns also differed markedly. The third, and again related, issue is reducing the overall size of the MFF: that is, limiting the amounts available for the EU's annual budgets over several years, and therefore reducing the UK's contributions.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Julie Smith
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: European integration is a cross-cutting political issue that has divided British political parties for over half a century. When Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath sought to take Britain into the then Common Market, he relied on the votes of 69 pro-European rebel Labour MPs to get the European Communities Bill through the House of Commons in 1971—an early sign of the divisive impact membership of the European Union would have on British party politics. Barely a decade after accession, the Labour Party had sought to renegotiate the UK's terms of membership, held a referendum on whether the UK should remain in the Common Market, split in part over the issue and finally fought an election in which it called for withdrawal. Fast forward another three decades and the Labour position was broadly pro-European, while Tory rebels, alongside a party established to oppose membership, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), were advocating withdrawal from the Union. And if withdrawal was not the official Conservative position, Euroscepticism has certainly become prevalent in that party, leading one Conservative parliamentarian to claim: 'The dividing line in the Conservative Party is now in/out.'
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, England
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The problem of European defence is that it does not work with the United Kingdom, but would not work without it either. Unlike in other policy areas, in defence the issue is not British resistance to Brussels directives. Populist outcries against a mythical 'Euro-Army' notwith-standing, British sovereignty is not under threat. The real issue is that other European countries are not doing enough in spite of being urged from both sides of Brussels—by the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 'Too many countries are failing to meet their financial responsibilities to NATO, and so failing to maintain appropriate and proportionate capabilities. Too many are opting out of operations or contributing but a fraction of what they should be capable of ', in the words of Defence Secretary Philip Hammond. Britain, on the contrary, is the leading European military power, accounting for 22.4 per cent of defence expenditure and 11.8 per cent of armed forces, and it is more willing than most to deploy those forces (providing 20.8 per cent of the average number of troops deployed), including for combat operations. Its military clout enables the UK to lead the others—any scheme for European defence without it would indeed be severely handicapped. But does Britain want to lead? The paradox is that while the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) would not have come into being without British leadership, it would be much more effective without British reluctance to make full use of it. In contrast to most European countries, the UK has never stopped seeing European defence and the continued assurance of transatlantic partnership (in the shape of its special relationship with the United States and the NATO alliance) as a zero-sum game.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe, North Atlantic
  • Author: Arthur I. Cyr
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: There is no shortage of attention to disagreements and tensions between the United States and the nations of Europe, considered both individually and collectively. The 40th anniversary of Britain's entry into the European Economic Community (EEC), now the European Union (EU), is a good benchmark anniversary not only for reflection on what has transpired to date but also for evaluation of current trends and likely future developments. The nation's course, regarding both entry into membership and participation, has hardly been smooth, but the relationship with the institution has endured.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, Europe
  • Author: N. Piers Ludlow
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Recent trends in both Britain and Continental Europe have made the question of the United Kingdom's position as a fully fledged member of the European Union more contentious than it has been for decades. The almost unchecked rise of Euroscepticism among both the British political elite—especially within the governing Conservative Party—and the media means that the possibility of British withdrawal from the Union, or at very least the renegotiation of its position within it, is discussed more openly and in more mainstream political circles than at any time since the 1970s. On the other side of the Channel, meanwhile, the perceived need to address the weaknesses of the single currency by increasing integration, whether across the EU as a whole or simply among those countries that share the euro, has helped create a situation in which many of the key decisions are taken in forums within which the British are either not represented at all or are marginal players at best. Few European governments openly aspire to a situation in which the United Kingdom moves away from the core European decision-making system, and several have publicly deplored the possibility. But faced with the need to press ahead, and the ever decreasing likelihood of the British being able to follow any such advance, European governments are being forced to contemplate the prospect of a core Europe without Britain.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe