372 Pages
    by Routledge

    372 Pages
    by Routledge

    British Foreign Policy since 1945 brings a chronological approach to the study of British foreign policy since the Second World War in order to make the principal events and dynamics accessible within a broader historical and cultural context.

    The key features included in this book:

    • a detailed chronological survey of developments in post-war British politics;
    • an integrated discussion of foreign and domestic policy developments indicating connections and interlocking themes;
    • illustrations of British foreign policy drawn from popular culture;
    • analysis of Britain’s role in the world, particularly in regards to the UK’s 'special relationship' with the US and its decision to leave the EU;
    • a range of in-text features including essay questions and seminar/discussion topics.

    This timely book will be essential reading for anyone interested in British politics, foreign policy analysis and British history.


    1. Foreign Policy and International Relations Theory

    2. The Shaping and Making of British Foreign Policy

    3. The Road to 1945

    4. The Limping Lion, 1945-55

    5. Suez and ‘Supermac’, 1955-63

    6. Symbols and substance, 1963-70

    7. Awkward Partnerships and Special Relationships: 1970-83

    8. From Falklands fanfare to Maastricht misery: 1983-92

    9. Ethics and Interventions, 1992-2001

    10. ‘Not in my name’: 2001-7

    11. Heirs to Blair and Brexiteers: 2007-17

    12. Summary, Guide to Further Reading and Topics for Discussion


    Mark Garnett is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Lancaster University, UK. Among many books and articles on UK Politics, he is co-author of Exploring British Politics, 4th edition (2016), and British General Elections since 1964 (2014).

    Simon Mabon is Lecturer in International Relations and Director of the Richardson Institute at Lancaster University, UK. He is also a Research Associate with the London-based think tank the Foreign Policy Centre, and is the author of Saudi Arabia and Iran (2013) and the co-author of The Origins of Isis (2017), among other publications.

    Robert Smith is a Lecturer in International Relations at Coventry University, UK. He has previously taught at Lancaster University, UK, and was a Senior Lecturer in British defence and foreign policy at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and worked for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Iraq advising on the development of Human Rights policies in the immediate aftermath of the 2003 invasion. He has also written on the development of policies of humanitarian intervention in the post-Cold War era.

    "Combining theoretical, historical and political science approaches and exploring both international and domestic contexts, this volume breaks new ground in explaining how and why the belief in Britain’s continuing ‘greatness’ has persisted so long and stymied attempts to shape a more realistic appreciation of Britain’s foreign policy options. As Britain prepares to forge a new international role outside the European Union, this book will serve as both the best single-volume introduction to recent British foreign policy and a valuable warning of the limitations of a foreign policy based on bluster and wishful thinking."Alex May, University of Oxford, UK.

    "British Foreign Policy Since 1945 provides an authoritative and comprehensive evaluation of the critical developments in British foreign policy in the post-war era. Tailored to the needs of lecturers, teachers and students of British politics, the book will facilitate a thorough understanding of the principal themes of British foreign policy - the main factors, events and issues by which foreign policy has been shaped. Garnett, Mabon and Smith provide a fascinating examination of the changes and continuities of British foreign policy."Samantha Wolstencroft, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

    "British Foreign Policy since 1945 provides a rich and timely introduction to the past and present of UK foreign policy. It provides a detailed and carefully researched exploration of change and continuity in Britain’s approach to world politics from the early part of the 20th Century to the EU referendum of 2016. Accessibly written and with insights into theory and institutional structures, the book provides a very useful guide to understanding Britain’s efforts to define its role in the post-War world. Its chronological organisation allows readers to appreciate the connections between different phases of UK foreign policy, Britain’s shifting priorities and position in the world, and its path in an increasingly uncertain 21st Century global politics. The coverage of Brexit provides a pertinent analysis of what is likely to be a turning point for the UK. British Foreign Policy since 1945 is an authoritative work and key reading for students of British foreign policy."Jonathan Gilmore, Kingston University, UK.