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The Uk Foreign Policy

This essay seeks to determine the role the Best Minister takes on in establishing, shaping and employing foreign policy in the UK by exploring decision-making habits by former Primary Ministers in the related field, as well as current government's alternatives and dreams on the international industry, and the contribution of Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and other systems. As Paul Williams (2004: 911) noted that 'overseas plan is not made in a politics vacuum' it is paramount to consider Britain`s national desire for international relationships and the country's position in the prevailing paradigm of world politics.

First, it will identify what 'international insurance policy' is and why it takes a special place in insurance plan making. Foreign insurance policy will be analysed against following factors: globalisation, general population opinion and national interest. Also, it will summarize the key types of the Foreign Plan Analysis (Allison 1971) and question their effectiveness and downsides.

Second, the article will refer to case studies on the subject to bring empirical data into analysis. The situation studies are the Europeanization of the international policy in the united kingdom, the US-UK involvement in Iraq in conditions of the honest foreign policy. They'll help to gain access to the role played by foreign coverage makers. Given the space of this essay it will not comment at length on the impact of NGO's, British ambassadors overseas and the overall economy; however, they are really undeniable parts of international policy-making process.

Finally, the article will discuss a possible course of action for the UK to take order to accomplish a successful foreign policy and recreate the power to British decision-makers. What could be done to get over common thinking of foreign coverage being about 'getting our way in an unhelpful world' (Cradock 1997: 99-100).

What foreign policy is? Definition, context, goals

In the modern world it is impossible to assume a country without a well-defined group of rules of behaviour towards its geopolitical neighbours and financial partners. The question remains, however, in regards to what extent foreign plan represents interests of leaders, political parties and public of a specific country. 'Collective coping with the international environment is, indeed, a good shorthand definition of foreign coverage' relating to Christopher Hill (2003: 9) but this description leaves infinite variants of interpretation of what 'collective' is and who plays the primary role in doing so - the Best Minister, the Foreign Secretary, a cooperation of both, public brokers interpreting and implementing insurance policies or impact of powerful countries that Britain has close romance with?

In order to comprehend who conducts the British isles foreign policy it is vital to outline the policy goals first. William Hague, the existing Foreign Secretary, in his speech on the very first of July, 2010 claims to

'deliver a distinctive British foreign insurance plan that expands our global reach and impact, that is agile and dynamic in a networked world, that uses diplomacy to secure our prosperity, that accumulates significantly strengthened bilateral relations for Britain, that harnesses the appeal of our culture and heritage to market our values, which sets out to help make the most of the abundant opportunities of the 21st century systematically and then for the long-term. So for the first time in years in my own view Britain will have a overseas plan that is clear, focused and effective. '

His assertion highlights the actual fact that UK overseas insurance plan is not seeking one goal; on the other hand, it seeks to accomplish multiple aims: to increase Britain' global impact, to secure wealth, to promote principles through culture, etc. Effectively reaching them means attaining each part separately that involves resources and celebrities in various areas. Because of this some policies might overlap and even contradict one another (Williams 2004: 913) which is worthwhile looking at specific parts of the policy rather than a whole.

Foreign insurance policy has been characterised by being extremely secretive and elitist rendering it more difficult to track the decision-making process. International policy requires a special place in the complete policy-making field as it is carefully associated with politics. It will not come as a shock since it handles very sensitive issues like brains services and diplomacy, which hardly ever become available to general public, for obvious reasons: the info might fall into the wrong hands and undermine the targets placed by the insurance policy. Nevertheless, it is possible to comprehend where direction foreign plan is headed predicated on days gone by decisions created by politicians and the impact they made at the time. This direction circumstances chooses to follow is based greatly on the personality of a leader, current supervision and economic situation a state finds itself in. Overseas plan is conducted in intricate inside and international conditions; it results from coalitions of active actors and teams situated both inside and outside state restrictions; it requires bargaining and bargain affecting the pursuits of both domestic and international categories (Neak cited in Carlsnaes 2008).

Foreign Plan Analysis

To analyse international policy medically Graham Allison (1971) in his work Essence of Decision comes up with three models of decision-making related to foreign affairs (known as Foreign Insurance policy Analysis) trying to explain the reason why and causes behind claims' decisions in a crisis. The first model, Rational Acting professional Model (RAM), assumes that a single professional (express) makes decisions upon a computation of possible benefits, thus decisions are rational reactions to a particular situation. It can be said that condition chooses a course of action in line with its nationwide interest aiming to avoid deficits and optimize benefits. The next model, Organizational Process Behaviour (OPB), is characterised by decision created by multiple organisations that look back again at past precedent and action consequently. Thus it tries to lower the importance of central control in decisions. The final model, Bureaucratic Politics, is summarized by Allison's own words - 'where you stay can determine where you stand', meaning that governmental organizations as a rule have a preferred way of working with an international crisis.

These models were employed by the scholar to apply different 'lenses' to explain the roots of the Cuban Missile Crisis and establish how and just why the united states and the USSR arrived to the choices they made through the discord. Allison admits these three models aren't capable of encompassing all possible variations, his review became a milestone in FPA as it attempted to present social knowledge capable of attaining clear and objective explanations of communal and political activities.

Stein (2008) advances the idea of rational-decision making further: for a policy manufacturer to produce a logical choice, he/she needs to value how reliable the info is, and whether it comes from a dependable source. Furthermore, any new information that may turn up needs to be evaluated against diagnostic data that takes into consideration the results the policy manufacturer is considering.

Who is in charge?

On paper it's the Foreign Secretary who conducts international policy in the UK although it hasn't always been the truth. The Prime Minister retains the power to declare warfare and deploy military troops, making the delicate equilibrium of vitality change. Tony Blair shows that depending on who's leading the country, the design of policy-making changes significantly. During New Labour the most crucial decisions on foreign policy were not considered at the FCO but in the Cupboard. His leadership acquired the name 'interventiolalist' as Britain got part in a number of military functions: Barras in Sierra Leone, Desert Fox in Iraq between others. It is the Primary Minister's decision whether to send soldiers into battle or not and Blair chose to consult not the cabinet all together but instead small ad hoc committees of advisers. Anthony Sheldon (2004: 692) named these groups 'denocracy' as their conferences took place in Blair's office, 'the den'. Such exclusiveness promotes misunderstanding as a small group of trusted ministers and advisors gives the feeling that the plan all together is reactive alternatively than proactive.

It is advantageous mentioning that the united kingdom is a parliamentary monarchy and the Queen is the state ruler in the united kingdom. Although her vitality is mostly of an ceremonial nature, nevertheless, she performs an important role in representing the country at various levels: the UK, the Commonwealth and internationally. In her speech to the Parliament on the 9th of May 2012 the Queen established the following agenda: to strengthen oversight of the security and brains agencies, to get authorization of Parliament on the expected accession of Croatia to the EU, to aid a secure and stable Afghanistan, to lessen the risk of nuclear proliferation in Iran and build proper partnerships with the emerging capabilities. These goals show that the Queen is definately not being above politics, on the other hand, she is greatly concerned with Britain's position in the fast growing world and foreign insurance policy is one of her concerns.

Factors influencing the United kingdom foreign insurance policy: American influence

The UK provides to truly have a special romance with the united states in terms of foreign insurance policy. British foreign plan has privileged the idea of working carefully with the United States, particularly in the region of international security, where the UK has provided the most significant & most effective non-US contingent to three American-led issues in recent years - twice in Iraq and once in Afghanistan (Wallace and Phillips, 2009: 267). Both countries have been allies for an extended time period and acted accordingly. Britain considers its international relationships with the united states to be as important as its ties with Europe, if not more. However, in the light of Britain sacrificing its imperial vitality way back when and the hegemonic climb of the united states, arguably, Britain performs combined with the American directives. This was the case in all interventions where the USA needed part in the last 60 years except the conflict in the Falklands.

It appears that Britain is torn among its own interests, the EU integration and Anglo-American ties (Atlanticism). Blair made a decision to fortify the country's position by dealing with these three issues at once. The USA will reap the benefits of a special romance with the united kingdom when making decisions in Europe and vice versa. This special romance (Wallace and Philips 2009: 267-274) includes defence assistance, military nuclear co-operation, provision of bases to america and intelligence relationship. But does indeed Britain get out up to the united states in this romantic relationship? The answer to this question remains unclear:

'On issues as assorted as the Kyoto Treaty, the Ottawa Treaty banning landmines, the battle in Kosovo, the assault on Afghanistan, the Middle East calmness process, the Iraq warfare and subsequent occupation, or the holding of English captives at Guantnamo Bay, there's been little evidence of the UK's potential to shape US plan. Indeed, British government authorities, in clinging to the thought of the 'special romance', have generally overlooked the actual fact that the united states has several privileged connections, notably with Mexico, Israel, Australia, Italy and Poland. ' (Wallace 2009: 65)

While Brits suppose that Americans carry certain sentiment towards shared past and noble goals, the USA might be seeking its own countrywide interest instead. Riddell (2003) argues that America 'is not disposed to sacrifice countrywide interest on the altar of nostalgia or sentiment - and shows scant regard for those who do'. It demonstrates no matter who the united states considers to be its allies, it is going to go after its own countrywide interest and overseas policy.

Tony Blair was not the first Primary Minister who thought we would play a greater role in foreign-policy making. Margaret Thatcher in her role as the Leading Minister experienced her own very specific view how to conduct foreign policy. Her initiative to take part in the military turmoil in the Falklands wasn't backed by the united states initially which didn't stop her. She possessed very distinctive views about Anglo-European romantic relationship as well and the FCO was often excluded from the decision-making process. She blamed the FCO to be pro-European and considered creating another body to counteract the FCO's dominance in overseas policy-making.

The UK and the EU: the FCO adapting to Europeanization

While Anglo-American relationships take up an important devote Britain's foreign insurance plan there may be another undeniable spouse that has been increasingly more relevant in the modern times - europe. English policy-makers have usually accorded an increased priority to transatlantic security relations than to relationships with their European partners. That is despite having savored arguably more success in shaping the activities of the EU than in influencing key decisions in Washington. In recent years, and on critical issues such as defence, energy and environmental insurance policy, Tony Blair played out an essential role in shaping the EU agenda. (Wall cited in Menon, 2010)

After Britain became a member of the EU (EEC) in 1973 it became obvious that the united states needs to integrate into the EU and also to do so that it had to change and reform its international insurance plan. The FCO anticipated the changes both with suspicion and high hopes for a stronger Europe. Undoubtedly the brand between 'local' and 'overseas' is becoming thinner and leaner as the European union touched upon an array of issues. Since the creation of the EU has influenced its member state governments so greatly it is argued that they became Europeanized. Bulmer and Burch (1998: 602) define Europeanization as 'the extent to which EC/EU requirements and policies have afflicted the perseverance of member areas' insurance policy agendas and goals'.

Arguably the FCO lost part of its capacity to the European union in conditions of policy-making towards European countries. The FCO wanted to retain its electric power as a exclusive determinant of Britain's national interest. David Allen (2008: 3) points out that 'the FCO's position within English central administration has been both improved and challenged by European integration. ' At the same time David Milliband (2009) stresses how important albeit difficult the integration is - 'we may lead a strong Western foreign coverage or - lost in hubris, nostalgia or xenophobia - watch our effect on the globe wane'.

Structurally, a Permanent Under-Secretary (PUS) remains as the very best role of the FCO. PUS coordinates the FCO's work overseas and its administration. Another key role is placed by Political Director, who makes certain that Britain's hobbies are represented at European Politics Assistance (EPS), which is currently effectively the very best insurance plan advisory post. Allen (2008) clarifies how these content are a tandem:

'The specific position of Political Director can be described in terms of Europeanization for the reason that the FCO willingly designed its management framework in order to effectively participate in the EPC. This adaptation has led to spillover whereby the Political Director now performs a larger role than perhaps actually intended. However, different roles enjoyed by the PUS and Political Director will be the result of both EU membership and other factors, especially the need for superior management within the FCO. '

Britain remains being euro-sceptic towards further integration in the European union, it frequently criticises the existing weakness of the current economic climate in Europe and it is unhappy with being truly a member of the three major states (along with Germany and France) that have to help out weaker countries sometimes at their own price. However, in the era of globalisation further integration is inescapable and the united kingdom is more Europeanized than it believes is.

'At an over-all level British international policy has certainly been affected with a process

of Europeanization, although magnitude to which this has impacted upon genuine policy will vary from concern to issue. Specifically, British insurance plan has been Europeanized at an ideological level, in regard to foreign policy-making, and in relation to the plan and content of insurance policy. However, the procedure of Europeanization hasn't completely subsumed a distinctly United kingdom foreign policy. In this particular sense, successive United kingdom governments have been quite successful at using the Western european level of overseas policy to attain its own objectives and simultaneously prevent unnecessary degrees of integration. ' (Williams, 2002)

Paradoxically, the European union shouldn't have international policy in the first place as it isn't a sovereign express. Due to Maastricht Treaty 1993 the European union member areas are focused on a common Western european and Security policy (CFSP) which permits them to follow their own countrywide interests but at the same time to coordinate them on the Western european level. This is achieved with the aid of the European Community, the CFSP and Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) that happen to be responsible for different insurance plan issues such as exterior economic relations, politics and security question, international offense and terrorism respectively.

Sometimes occurrences on a worldwide scale are capable to change overseas policy almost overnight. The 9/11 terrorist attacks in NY transformed British, Western and American overseas policy in support of after three times, on the 14th of September, the EU exceeded a declaration on Western arrest warrants and steps to beat terrorism.

This brings another foreign-policy problem - the moral dimension. As Tone Blair declared to bring individual rights at the very heart and soul of foreign-policy it remains unclear which 'ethics' English foreign insurance plan should follow. The conflict on terror possessed best motives in its center; nevertheless, Britain has to draw a brand on its use of capacity to do so. Blair followed the doctrine of liberal interventionism, promoting liberal beliefs and sometimes imposing it on the countries with contrasting views: Afghanistan, East Timor, Iraq, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. If democracy and the rule of law are imposed in a non-negotiable way it becomes unethical as a result. Conditions such as Iraq invasion in 2003 bring to attention this sensitive matter in overseas policy. There was no direct menace to either US or UK sovereignty, the public polls disapproved of the treatment, yet both countries favoured the invasion.

'The workings of the EU institutional system imply that the coalition federal may also struggle to exert the impact it dreams. Britain already suffers from its exclusion from and insufficient clear proposal with a key consultative forum - the Eurogroup (composed of those member expresses that have implemented the euro). This structural weakness is only heightened by the absence of the Conservative Party from the Western People's Get together, whose members include the German Chancellor, the French Leader and the Leader of the Western Commission rate. David Cameron will never be able to be present at their pre-summit meetings, of which they organize negotiating positions. In other ways too, Traditional suspicions of European integration may limit the power of the united kingdom to achieve everything that it could within the platform of the Union. '

'What is more, to be reliable and effective foreign policy must draw in domestic legitimacy, this means involving the public in the same kind of continuous dialogue as takes place over taxes or transport coverage. If we can acknowledge the centrality of international policy inside our politics life without discovering it as a way of merely exporting our own superiority, we shall stand an improved potential for, first, coping collectively with outsiders; second, making a contribution to a far more steady and civilized international system; and third, preventing the type of catastrophic mistakes which cost vast sums of people their lives within the last century, the hundred years of improvement. '

Public view and media shaping overseas policy

Public view is another important 'zoom lens' of foreign-policy making. Even as we live in a world where communication has become instantaneous powered by digital press both politicians and policy-makers try to use it with their advantage. Matching to Robinson (2008) there are present two models capable of inspecting the impact of general public opinion and multimedia on an insurance plan. The pluralist model suggests that 'the advertising and publics are indie of political impact and, consequently, can act as a robust constraint upon government authorities. ' The elite model, on the other hand, assumes that marketing act 'just as mouthpieces for authorities officials, working to mobilize publics to get respective guidelines. ' The case of the polls on the Iraq Conflict in the UK proved that although almost all disagreed with Tony Blair's decision to activate in the discord, they didn't stop the Primary Minister from changing his plan of action. The consequences of this decision led to Blair not being re-elected, as the press coverage revealed additional information about the increasing range of casualties in the conflict. Bias of the marketing should also be put under scrutiny - the newspaper publishers in the UK (as well as the rest of the world) often focus on different political celebrations promoting a certain agenda and delivering an insurance plan chosen by that party to the general public. Thus, it is rather difficult to account for the influence of the advertising due to the fact that public opinion is probably not incomplete having been designed by the advertising. 'Foreign policy is usually the product of a contemporary society, a polity, interpreting its situation and choosing - who selects is another matter - to act or react in a specific, unpredetermined way. '


In conclusion there is not a definite answer to who conducts the British isles foreign insurance policy. Different Best Ministers proved a ranging level of involvement into foreign policy-making process. Factors such as Europeanization, the US-UK alliance, open public opinion and economical crisis make it more challenging to understand from what extent one individual or several people (the Primary Minister and the Foreign Secretary along with advisors) can follow through with the propositions established at the beginning of an government's term. The process of foreign-policy making requires civil servants, ministers and officers of all spectrums as well as 3rd party advisors, experts from the UK and worldwide. While most significant decisions are created by the Prime Minister, he makes his choice based on the data and proof he has been given. Finally, it is not enough to simply formulate international policy, the major phases of the policy-making process fall onto the shoulders of civil servants who interprete, put into action and present the insurance plan. Furthermore, there are multiple overseas policies in the united kingdom which demand different methods. If the united kingdom wants to stay its international ability that is in decline following the show up of the Empire and keep maintaining the foreign coverage that is coherent whatsoever stages of the policy-making process, it requires to find balance between chasing its nationwide interest, skilfully presenting and implementing the coverage at the domestic and the international levels and handling the members involved in the process. Britain faces not a menu of alternate routes to far-reaching international effect, but a choice between imperfect options (Cradock 1997). UK must go through the three-step process recognized by Christopher Layne (cited in Menon, 2010) - deciding the country's essential interests, identifying hazards to these and deciding how better to deploy national resources to be able to safeguard them.

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