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  • Author: Andrew Glencross
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • 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: Katherine C. Epstein
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article uses the centenary of the First World War as an opportunity to re-examine a major element of the existing literature on the war—the strategic implications of supposed British decline—as well as analogies to the contemporary United States based upon that interpretation of history. It argues that the standard declinist interpretation of British strategy rests to a surprising degree upon the work of the naval historian Arthur Marder, and that Marder's archival research and conceptual framework were weaker than is generally realized. It suggests that more recent work appearing since Marder is stronger and renders the declinist strategic interpretation difficult to maintain. It concludes by considering the implications of this new work for analogies between the United States today and First World War-era Britain, and for the use of history in contemporary policy debates.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: When International Affairs first appeared in 1922, recording contributions to the equally new British (later Royal) Institute of International Affairs, the journal set itself the modest goal of becoming 'a source of information and a guide to judgment in international affairs'. It was originally intended only for members of the BIIA, but quickly expanded its readership and impact by beginning to sell copies to non-members as well. In 1931 it took the name International Affairs.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Britain
  • Author: Ian Hall
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Arnold J. Toynbee (1889–1975) was synonymous with the Royal Institute of International Affairs for the first half of its history. He held the post of Director of Studies from 1925 to 1954, and thereafter retained an office in Chatham House until his death. Throughout that half-century he combined the roles of scholar and public intellectual, using International Affairs—along with many other outlets—to communicate the fruits and findings of his research to policy-makers and the wider community. During his 50 years at Chatham House Toynbee contributed 19 essays to the journal—which must surely be the most of any individual author—and produced his two monumental multi-volume works, the Survey of international affairs, which he penned, edited or commissioned from 1925 until 1958, and A study of history, which appeared in twelve volumes between 1934 and 1961. He also published a further 50 books and hundreds of scholarly articles during his lifetime, as well as many interviews and lesser pieces. If one includes reviews of books by others, Toynbee's complete works amount to almost 3,000 items.
  • Topic: History
  • Political Geography: Britain, Middle East
  • Author: Margaret MacMillan
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • 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: Donald E. Abelson
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Before the ink on the Treaty of Versailles was dry, the idea of creating an organization dedicated to educating, informing and advising future leaders about the causes and consequences of war was already gaining traction. At 'a series of unofficial meetings held in Paris in 1919',1 Lionel Curtis, an Oxford professor and visionary with a reputation for possessing an impressive array of entrepreneurial skills, was spearheading efforts to establish an Anglo-American research institution where scholars could explore international problems and advocate policy solutions.2 This kind of organization appealed to Curtis and to those with whom he discussed it for several reasons, not the least of which was that it could provide a valuable forum for both policy-makers and prominent policy experts in the leading western powers to talk to one another about international affairs. It was also a concept with which several of the delegates attending the Paris peace talks had some familiarity. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries a number of institutions had already taken root in Great Britain and in the United States with the aim of helping policy-makers navigate their way through complex policy problems. They included the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (1831), founded by the first Duke of Wellington; London's Fabian Society (1884), home to a number of prominent scholars, including Sidney and Beatrice Webb, co-founders of the London School of Economics; the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1910), established by the Scottish-American steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie; and the Institute for Government Research (1916), which merged with two other institutions to form the Brookings Institution in 1927.3 Curtis and his colleagues in Great Britain and the United States were also aware of the ground-breaking research that had been conducted at hundreds of settlement houses in their respective countries. It was at places such as London's Toynbee Hall (1884) and Chicago's Hull House, co-founded by Jane Addams in 1889, that sociologists and other university faculty with expertise in social welfare policy could study the working conditions of the poor.4 In short, proponents of establishing a foreign affairs research institution recognized the importance of encouraging a dialogue between leading social scientists and high-level policy-makers.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America, Washington, Paris, London, Wellington
  • Author: Geraint Hughes
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 5 January 1974 a column of 150 British Army troops, supported by armoured vehicles, arrived at Heathrow airport in full battle order, and over the course of the following two weeks they patrolled its runways and the perimeter. These soldiers had been ordered in by Edward Heath's government in response to intelligence reports that the Palestinian fedayeen intended to use a portable anti-aircraft missile to shoot down a passenger jet, and the British authorities had already devised contingency plans (codenamed Operation Marmion) to deploy the army in order to deter a terrorist attack at the airport. Marmion was implemented on three further occasions in 1974—in June, July and September—and in each case the troop presence at Heathrow attracted considerable parliamentary and press comment. Some critics argued that in each case the British government was over- reacting to the threat at hand, and that the military patrols at Heathrow were essentially intended as a public relations exercise. However, Operation Marmion also had an effect which ministers and civil servants had not intended, as it fed contemporary fears that the British Army and right-wing extremists within the establishment and security services were preparing for a coup.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Palestine
  • Author: Malcolm Chalmers
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Britain's 2010 National Security Strategy, published shortly after the coalition government took office, was entitled 'A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty'. It made no mention of the two existential challenges—the possible secession of Scotland from the United Kingdom, and the risk of a British withdrawal from the European Union. Yet either event would be a fundamental transformation in the very nature of the British state, with profound impact on its foreign and security policy.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, Scotland
  • Author: Alan Philps
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: From the window in Neil MacGregor's office you can see the swirling crowds of visitors in the courtyard of the British Museum. Seven million people a year squeeze through the Museum's narrow door–almost double the number in 2000.
  • Political Geography: Britain, Germany
  • Author: Phillip Blond
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Looking at structural problems that can blinker academic innovation
  • Topic: Governance
  • Political Geography: Britain, America, Canada
  • Author: Michael Binyon
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A mountain-top airport is about to change island life forever
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, South Africa, Island
  • Author: Klaus Dodds
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 18 January 2012 the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, updated the House of Commons about his government's position on the Falkland Islands: The absolutely vital point is that we are clear that the future of the Falkland Islands is a matter for the people themselves. As long as they want to remain part of the United Kingdom and be British, they should be able to do so. That is absolutely key. I am determined to make sure that our defences and everything else are in order, which is why the National Security Council discussed the issue yesterday. The key point is that we support the Falkland Islanders' right to self-determination. I would argue that what the Argentinians have said recently is far more like colonialism, as these people want to remain British and the Argentinians want them to do something else.
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom
  • Author: Arthur I. Cyr
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • 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: Ian Perrin, David L Heymann
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The war on drugs has been bad for the world's health. Concentrating on criminalizing the producers, traffickers and consumers of narcotics, it has failed to reduce supply. UN figures show that drug consumption during the decade after 1998 rose, with a 34.5 per cent increase in the number of opiate users, 27 per cent rise in cocaine users, and 8.5 per cent rise in cannabis users.
  • Topic: War on Drugs
  • Political Geography: Britain, Germany, Australia, Switzerland
  • Author: Anthony Seldon
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The world loves British independent schools but they may lose their moral purpose if they chase the global super-rich
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States
  • Author: Thomas Raines
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of Britain joining the European community but the odds on it being there a decade from now are lengthening fast.
  • Topic: Oil
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: Robin Niblett
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Bad time to play call my bluff
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Germany
  • Author: Robert Egnell
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article analyses the conduct of British operations in Helmand between 2006 and 2010 and discusses the implications for the legacy and future of British counterinsurgency. A number of lessons stand out: first, competence in the field of counterinsurgency is neither natural nor innate through regimental tradition or historical experience. The slow adaptation in Helmand—despite the opportunity to allow the Basra experience to be a leading example of the need for serious changes in training and mindset—is an indication that the expertise British forces developed in past operations is but a distant folktale within the British Armed Forces. Substantially changed training, painful relearning of counterinsurgency principles and changed mindsets are therefore necessary to avoid repeated early failures in the future. Moreover, despite eventually adapting tactically to the situation and task in Helmand, the British Armed Forces proved inadequate in dealing with the task assigned to them for two key reasons. First, the resources of the British military are simply too small for dealing with large-scale complex engagements such as those in Helmand or southern Iraq. Second, the over-arching comprehensive approach, and especially the civilian lines of operations that underpinned Britain's historical successes with counterinsurgency, are today missing.
  • Topic: Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Britain, Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Paul Cornish, Andrew M. Dorman
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The history of British defence reviews has been one of repeated disappointment: a cycle in which policy failure is followed by a period of inertia, giving way to an attempt at a new policy framework which is then misimplemented by the defence leadership. Each failed defence review therefore sows the seeds of its successor. With this in mind, in 2010 the new coalition government embarked upon an altogether more ambitious exercise: a strategy review comprising a National Security Strategy and a Strategic Defence and Security Review. This article suggests, nevertheless, not only that the 2010 strategy review looks likely to follow past performance, but also that it is coming unstuck at an unprecedented rate. This is a pity since the 2010 review had much to commend it, not least the adoption of a risk-based approach to security and defence policy-making. What is the explanation for this outcome? Is it that the British have, as some have suggested, lost the ability to 'do strategy', if ever they had it? The authors offer a more nuanced understanding of the policy process and argue that the coalition government in fact has a very clear and deliberate strategy—that of national economic recovery. Yet the coalition government cannot allow national defence and security to fail. The authors conclude with an assessment of the options open to the defence leadership as they seek to address the failing 2010 strategy review and suggest a variety of indicators which will demonstrate the intent and seriousness of the political, official and military leadership of the Ministry of Defence.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Britain
  • Author: Clara Marina O'Donnell
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The formation of a coalition government by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, combined with the need for important cuts to Britain's armed forces has raised significant uncertainties about Britain's attitude to defence cooperation within the European Union. Since taking office the coalition, while grappling with the implications of Britain's fiscal challenges, has shown an unprecedented interest in strengthening bilateral defence collaborations with certain European partners, not least France. However, budgetary constraints have not induced stronger support for defence cooperation at the EU level. On the contrary, under the new government, Britain has accelerated its withdrawal from the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This article assesses the approach of the coalition to the CSDP. It argues that, from the perspective of British interests, the need for EU defence cooperation has increased over the last decade and that the UK's further withdrawal from EU efforts is having a negative impact. The coalition is undermining a framework which has demonstrated the ability to improve, albeit modestly, the military capabilities of other European countries. In addition, by sidelining the EU at a time when the UK is forced to resort more extensively to cost-saving synergies in developing and maintaining its own armed forces, David Cameron's government is depriving itself of the use of potentially helpful EU agencies and initiatives—which the UK itself helped set up. Against the background of deteriorating European military capabilities and shifts in US priorities, the article considers what drove Britain to support EU defence cooperation over a decade ago and how those pressures have since strengthened. It traces Britain's increasing neglect of the CSDP across the same period, the underlying reasons for this, and how the coalition's current stance of disengagement is damaging Britain's interests.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, France
  • Author: Harold James
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The geography of power is at present being dramatically transformed, notably by the rapid economic rise of China. What makes international order legitimate in a world in which political and economic foundations are rapidly shifting? This article examines analogies and lessons from a previous transition, from a world order centered on Britain, to a US dominated global order. The article looks at two interpretations of the transition, one by E. H. Carr, the other by Charles Kindleberger. China is beginning to behave in the way expected of a Kindleberger hegemon, but also sees the possibilities of asserting power in a world that in the aftermath of 2008 looks much more like the chaotic and crisis-ridden interwar period as interpreted by E. H. Carr. The challenge for the management of the new international order will lie in the ability of China to embrace the universalistic vision that underpinned previous eras of stability, in the nineteenth century and in the late twentieth century.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, China
  • Author: Stephen Wall
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Fifty years after the founding of the European Community, an enlarged EU has moved far away from the notions of creating some form of European super-state that have dominated the British debate over its EU policy. If anything, as the results of recent referenda on the EU in France, the Netherlands and Ireland have revealed, British scepticism towards complex institutional reforms is increasingly shared across Europe. Far from taking advantage of this pivotal moment to help drive the EU's future development, much of the popular and political debate in Britain questions whether it is worth being a member of the EU at all.
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: Kate Bailey
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The days when the consumer could command ample supplies of ever-cheaper delicacies from around the world may be over for ever. Food prices are rising dramatically, and probably permanently, hitting the world's leading economies. In developing countries, there have been queues for wheat in Pakistan, a shortage of rice in Bangladesh and Afghanistan has appealed for international help with supplies. Mealtime is about to become an important international issue for everyone.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Britain, Afghanistan, Bangladesh
  • Author: Michael Peel
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Financial crime linked to Nigeria is a large and pressing problem for the British authorities, which are short of the information and resources needed to deal with it. Nigeria-related financial crime has grown in significance partly because it is not seen as a priority area. Private-sector fraudsters and corrupt public officials and British companies have profited from the general Western focus on terrorist financing, drugs and people-trafficking. Other types of corruption and money-laundering, some of which involve British business people, have often been neglected.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Africa, Europe, Nigeria