Morgan, Philip William (2020) The coalition government and liberal intervention: Britain’s response to the crises in Libya and Syria. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This thesis is a study of the response of the Coalition government (2010-2015) to the crises in Libya and Syria. It examines the key drivers of British policy in both cases, focusing particularly on government attitudes towards the use and non-use of military force. While existing academic literature has discussed the ‘‘liberal conservative’’ approach of the Conservatives who led the Coalition, there has been very little empirical analysis of British involvement in the Libyan conflict of 2011 and even less on the government’s response to the Syrian civil war. The primary contribution of this thesis is to therefore fill this gap in our understanding of an important area of contemporary British foreign policy. This research employs a historical methodology to reconstruct the development of British policy and analyse the motivations and structural pressures that explain the decisions (and non-decisions) that were made during this period. It draws heavily on primary sources including parliamentary debates, the inquiries carried out by House of Commons committees, public statements made by Downing Street, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence, in addition to statements, speeches and interviews given by key government ministers. Existing research has not yet taken advantage of the availability of these sources. In addition to providing a detailed empirical analysis of British policy toward the crises in Libya and Syria, this research also identifies a wider theme. Specifically, this thesis argues that Britain’s approach to both conflicts can be characterised by the presence of a particular world-view and a corresponding set of assumptions about the use and non-use of military force in situations of perceived humanitarian necessity. Importantly, these beliefs show strong parallels with the approach of the Blair governments and the philosophy of ‘‘liberal interventionism.’’

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Political and Global Studies
Contributors: Parr, Helen (Thesis advisor)
Catney, P (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 14 May 2020 08:41
Last Modified: 14 May 2020 08:41
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/7973

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