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Palgrave Macmillan

Shaping British Foreign and Defence Policy in the Twentieth Century

A Tough Ask in Turbulent Times

ISBN 9781137431479
Publication Date July 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Security, Conflict and Cooperation in the Contemporary World

Devising any kind of operational strategy to cope with the turbulent years of the twentieth century was never going to be an easy undertaking and the British found this out to their cost both before and after World War II. It's easy enough to be an armchair critic - particularly after the fact - but policymakers are neither similarly placed nor blessed with the inestimable advantages of hindsight, so they must plot their future moves more in hope than certainty of success. This volume is devoted to reviewing the complexity of this decision-making process and showing why it's relatively easy for states to lose their way as they grope for a safe passage forward when confronted by mounting international crises and the antics of a few desperate men with considerable power at their disposal. We often talk of the 'fog of war' without acknowledging that there's a peace-time equivalent. It's a mistake to do so.

Malcolm Murfett is a Visiting Professor at King's College London, UK and the author or editor of a dozen books on the shaping of British foreign and defence policy and the use of the Royal Navy to prosecute these aims in the twentieth century.

1.Professor David Neville Dilks, MA (Oxon), FRHistS, FRSL (1938-): An Appreciation From Afar; Malcolm H. Murfett
2. The British Empire's Image of East Asia, 1900-41: Politics, Ideology and International Order; Antony Best
3. The Struggle to Maintain Locarno Diplomacy: Britain and the Idea of a Political Truce in 1931; Frank Magee
4. 'Leaving us in the lurch': The British Government, the First DRC Enquiry and the United States, 1933-34; Peter Bell
5. Chamberlain, the British Army and the 'Continental Commitment'; George Peden
6. Eden, the Foreign Office and the 'German Problem', 1935-38; Geoff Waddington
7. Harold Nicolson and Appeasement; John Young
8. Another Jewel Forsaken: the Role of Singapore in British Foreign and Defence Policy, 1919-1968; Malcolm H. Murfett
9. Quadruple Failure? The British-American Split over Collective Security in Southeast Asia, 1963-1966; Brian P. Farrell
10. GCHQ and UK Computer Policy: Teddy Poulden, ICL and IBM; Richard Aldrich

Richard Aldrich, University of Warwick, UK

Peter Bell, Independent Scholar, UK

Antony Best, London School of Economics, UK

Brian Farrell, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Frank Magee, Coventry University, UK

George Peden, Stirling University, UK

Geoffrey Waddington, University of Leeds, UK

John Young, University of Notthingham, UK


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