The radicalisation of foreign and defence policy in the 1980s

Rhiannon Vickers

in The Labour Party and the World

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780719067464
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703243 | DOI:
The radicalisation of foreign and defence policy in the 1980s

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This chapter examines the radicalisation of the Labour Party's foreign and defence policy in the 1980s with the détente and the deepening of the Cold War. During this time, foreign and defence policy became a political battleground when the Conservative Party moved to the right while Labour to the left. Though Labour's shift to the left on foreign and defence policy did the party immense harm electorally, it left the party better prepared to deal with the immense changes in the international system at the turn of the 1990s, with the end of the Cold War. Labour was well placed to accept the new tenets of globalisation in the 1990s and to deal with the rise in transnational issues that was a concomitant part of international relations at the end of the twentieth century.

Keywords: foreign policy; defence policy; radicalisation; Labour Party; Conservative Party; Cold War; globalisation; transnational issues; international relations

Chapter.  13152 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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