The European Union

Jim Buller

in The Oxford Handbook of British Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199230952
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 The European Union

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This article uses a temporal perspective to fully understand the nature of change in the British government's relations with the European Union (EU). It first examines the reason for Britain's awkwardness, concentrating on the period 1987–97. Moreover, it attempts to document and account for a number of gradual changes that has taken place in Britain's relations with the EU over the last decade or so. It specifically deals with the alterations to the international and European context that has benefited British diplomacy since 1997. The depoliticization of Europe at the domestic level reflects in part a conscious strategy by political agents at the top of the Blair government. It has been argued that a subtle change has taken place in the British government's relations with the EU, and that this trend is the result of a complex interplay of institutional and agential factors.

Keywords: European Union; Britain; British government; British diplomacy; depoliticization; Blair government

Article.  8334 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; UK Politics ; European Union

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