Britain in the 1990s is part of a world that is immensely different from that of the 1970s, let alone from what we casually refer to as the ‘post-1945’ world. The contemporary world, of course, always appears uniquely confusing and intractable: only when it becomes the past do we perceive in it strong elements of continuity. Indeed, current affairs would simply be incomprehensible were it not for the many consistent strands interwoven with the politics of the past. So many of those strands have been cut or ruptured by the events of recent years, however, that it may now seem commonplace to assert that the 1990s will be a time of great change for British foreign policy.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Good modern expressions of realist thinking can be found in Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society, (London: Macmillan, 1977);Google Scholar
  2. 1a.
    Martin Wight, Power Politics, 2nd edn, (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1986);Google Scholar
  3. 1b.
    Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics, (Cambridge, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1979);Google Scholar
  4. 1c.
    John Garnett, Commonsense and the Theory of International Politics, (London: Macmillan, 1984).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 2.
    There are a wealth of behaviouralist and process approaches to contemporary world politics. Some of the more explicitly theoretical such works of recent years are, Robert O. Keohane and J.S. Nye, Power and Interdependence: The International Sources of Domestic Politics (Boston: Little Brown, 1977);Google Scholar
  6. 2a.
    Richard W. Mansbach and J.A. Vasquez, In Search of Theory: A New Paradigm for Global Politics, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981);Google Scholar
  7. 2b.
    Gavin Boyd and G.W. Hopple, (eds), Political Change and Foreign Policies (London: Frances Pinter, 1987).Google Scholar
  8. 2c.
    The most recent formal behaviouralist expression is that by Michael Nicholson, Formal Theories in International Relations, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).Google Scholar
  9. 3.
    See, Alan James, Sovereign Statehood: The Basis of International Society, (London, Allen & Unwin, 1986).Google Scholar
  10. 4.
    Wolfram Hanreider, ‘Dissolving International Politics: Reflections on the Nation State’, American Political Science Review 72(4), (1978), pp. 1276–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 7.
    Basil Williams, The Whig Supremacy 1714–1760, 2nd edn, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1960), p. 8.Google Scholar
  12. 7a.
    For a distinctively more modern view of the same phenomenon see Paul Langford, A Polite and Commercial People: England 1727–1783, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 700–25.Google Scholar
  13. 8.
    For a good discussion of the development of sovereignty in British political philosophy see Ellen Kennedy, ‘The State and Sovereignty’ in Lawrence Freedman and Michael Clarke (eds), Britain in the World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  14. 9.
    Enoch Powell, ‘Towards a Europe of Sovereign Nations’, The Independent, 6 September 1989, p.12.;Google Scholar
  15. 9a.
    Richard Ritchie (ed.), Enoch Powell on 1992, (London: Anaya, 1989).Google Scholar
  16. 10.
    Dahrendorf, Ralf, On Britain, London, BBC Publications, 1982, p. 133.Google Scholar
  17. 11.
    Paulo Cecchini, The European Challenge, (Brussels: European Community, 1988).Google Scholar
  18. 12.
    On the historical development of sovereignty see F.H. Hinsley, Sovereignty, 2nd edn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986).Google Scholar
  19. 12a.
    Also Edmund Morgan, Inventing the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America, (London: Chatto, 1989).Google Scholar
  20. 13.
    On the relationship between Britain’s present conditions and the concept of sovereignty see, William Wallace, ‘What Price Independence? Sovereignty and Interdependence in British Politics’, International Affairs, 62(3), (1986), pp. 367–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Institute of International Affairs 1992

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations