Foreign and Defence Policy: The Impact of Thatcherism
The aims of this chapter are to depict Britain’s current role in international politics and to establish the impact of Thatcherism upon foreign and defence policy. It is important to recognise that before 1979 fundamental changes had occurred in Britain’s international position. Britain was a world power in 1945, presiding over an empire but by 1973 had become a regional, middle-ranking, European power. In the same period the international system had changed too. In military terms profound disparities developed between the superpowers and the arsenals of other states. The substance of international politics also changed with the growth of economic interdependence which has blurred the boundaries of foreign and domestic policy. These are the contexts within which policy-makers have had to act since 1979 and upon which they should be judged.
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