Policy‐Making and Policy‐Makers

David French

in Army, Empire, and Cold War

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199548231
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739224 | DOI:
Policy‐Making and Policy‐Makers

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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Since the early twentieth century British governments had developed an elaborate culture of ‘defence by committee’ in an effort to resolve the difficult issues that surrounded defence policy. After briefly outlining the structure of the ministries and committees within which national strategy and defence policy were made, this chapter addresses three questions whose answers are fundamental to understanding the development of the British army after Second World War: who made defence policy in general, and decided the structure and capabilities of the army in particular; how well‐prepared were they in terms of their previous experience to do this; and how did their perceptions of the security threats facing Britain evolve after 1945.

Keywords: ministries; cabinets and committees; policy‐making elites; threat perceptions; Cold War

Chapter.  13438 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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