Understanding Labour’s Foreign Policy

  • Paul D. Williams


This chapter explores the main objectives, assumptions and commitments that guided Labour’s foreign policy during its first two terms. To do so, it proceeds in three parts. The first section provides an overview of four of Labour’s most important attempts to publicly articulate its foreign policy objectives. This is followed by a discussion of the constitutive elements of the Blair government’s foreign policies in light of the Labour party’s tradition of liberal internationalism. Put another way, it asks what was new about ‘new’ Labour’s foreign policies? Not surprisingly, I suggest that Blair’s administration exhibited elements of both continuity and change with old Labour’s liberal internationalism. The final section suggests that the main constitutive themes of UK foreign policy under new Labour can be understood as multilateralism, Atlanticism, neoliberalism and moralism.


Foreign Policy United Nations Security Council Mission Statement International Criminal Court 
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Copyright information

© Paul D. Williams 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul D. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BirminghamUK

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