Non-institutional Influences on External Policy-making



In contrast to the influences we have analysed in the previous chapter, the Non-institutional forces that bear on British external Policy-making are much less easy to define or even to list. In some respects it is an overstatement to regard these influences as ‘Non-institutional’, since most things in political life have some sort of institutional base. Indeed, in the case of law — analysed in this chapter — the concern is explicitly to uphold political institutions. Nevertheless, the distinction is useful since it distinguishes between the accepted, stable, political and constitutional influences and those newer and more disparate influences whose impacts on the external Policy-making process, and the channels through which they are exercised, are a matter of some dispute, though they undoubtedly exist as powerful undercurrents. Given what we have said about the changing context in which British external relations now exist, it is entirely likely that such influences will prove to be of growing importance since they represent some of the more dynamic and subtle elements in the environment with which policy-makers have to deal.


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