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The imperial premiership

The role of the modern Prime Minister in foreign policy making, 1964–2015

By Sam Goodman

The imperial premiership

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Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0901-9
  • Pages: 376
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.00
  • Published Date: October 2016
  • BIC Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, Humanities / British & Irish history, Society & social sciences / International relations, Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Politics & government, International relations, European history, POLITICAL SCIENCE / General, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, United Kingdom, Great Britain

Description

Recent votes in the House of Commons on British military intervention have put foreign policy at the heart of public consciousness. This book examines fifty years and nine premierships - from Harold Wilson to David Cameron - to offer a unique account of the growing role of the prime minister in foreign policy making.

The prime minister now spends more time on foreign policy than at any previous period outside war, but excepting crises the public and MPs themselves remain relatively ill-informed on the subject. Written by a senior parliamentary researcher and based on first-hand interviews with former foreign secretaries, Cabinet ministers, senior civil servants, party officials, military chiefs and diplomats, this book provides an insider account of votes on military intervention in Syria, and raises questions around the vetting of those who seek the office of prime minister and the educating of the electorate.

Reviews

'As someone who worked at close quarters for five British Foreign Secretaries and three Prime Ministers, I had a worm's eye view of the growing foreign policy role of the British Premier. Sam Goodman's account is detailed, forensic and subtle. For this is not a straightforward story and the interplay between Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary has been shaped by personality as well as by a political dynamic. Goodman understands, and he tells a fascinating story with authority and compelling clarity. Anyone looking for a concise, accurate and interesting account of the big events and challenges in British foreign policy over the last half century will enjoy this book and want to keep it as an invaluable source of fact and insight.'
Stephen Wall

Author

Sam Goodman is a Senior Parliamentary Researcher and has worked with Members of the House of Commons, the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and the US House of Representatives

Contents

Foreword by the Rt Hon. Lord Owen
Introduction
Prologue
1. Harold Wilson, 1964-70
2. Ted Heath, 1970-74
3. Harold Wilson, 1974-76
4. James Callaghan, 1976-79
5. Margaret Thatcher, 1979-90
6. John Major, 1990-97
7. Tony Blair, 1997-2007
8. Gordon Brown, 2007-10
9. David Cameron, 2010-15
Conclusion
Epilogue
Bibliography
Index

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