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Constraints on UK World Power Projection and Foreign Policy in the New World Order: the Maritime Dimension

  • Michael Clarke

Abstract

`Power projection’ is back in fashion as the stability of the international order is threatened now more by the weakness of states than by their strength. The desire and ability to project power for policing, crisis management, conflict prevention and to obtain influence in the world order reflects a world freed from the imperatives of the Cold War and the ideological competition that it entailed. But the freedom of individual states to project power is now paradoxically constrained by the structure of international interdependence that finally finished off the Cold War and which has replaced it as the dominant trend in world politics. It is not fear of our adversaries or respect for the rules of a dangerous bipolar game that now constrains the major states from projecting their power so much as an awareness of how difficult it is, these days, to make such projected power effective in achieving our aims. This is particularly so for the United Kingdom, a state that has aspirations to a world role, a maritime and expeditionary tradition and the luxury now of a relatively stable international environment in which to operate.

Keywords

Foreign Policy Monetary Union Power Projection External Policy Conflict Prevention 
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Notes

  1. 4.
    Richard Falk, ‘State of Siegc: Will Globalization Win Out?’ International Affairs, vol. 73, no. 1, January 1977, pp. 123–36.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    See, for example, W. H. Reinicke, ‘Transatlantic Economic Relations and the Globalization of the World Economy’ in Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale, Globalization in the Economy, Regionalization in Security? (Rome: CeSPI, 1997).Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    R. Gilpin, The Political Economy of International Relations, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987), pp.131–4.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    The metropolitan economies of Europe have divided countries since the beginnings of industrialization in the nineteenth century: see N. Davies, Europe: A History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 764–5; but until the last thirty years, this did not promote high interdependence, and governments did not find that this diminished their authority to any significant extent.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    This notion was originally developed by Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society (London: Macmillan, 1977), and has received more attention since then.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    M. Clarke, British External Policy-making in the 1990s (London: Macmillan/Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1992), pp. 44–52.Google Scholar
  7. 17.
    See R. D. Putnam and N. Bayne, Hanging Together: Co-operation and Conflict in the Seven-Power Summits (London: Sage, 1987).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Clarke

There are no affiliations available

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