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Half-remembered quotations from mostly forgotten speeches: the limits of Labour’s European policy discourse

Broad, M. and Daddow, O. (2010) Half-remembered quotations from mostly forgotten speeches: the limits of Labour’s European policy discourse. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 12 (2). pp. 205-222. ISSN 1369-1481

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-856X.2010.00404.x

Abstract/Summary

This article uses discourse analysis to study the continuities in British foreign policy thinking within the Labour party from the 1960s to the present day. Using representative extracts from speeches by Hugh Gaitskell, Harold Wilson, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, it identifies the ideational consis- tencies in the leaders’ attitudes to: Empire; federalism in the EEC/EU; and laying down conditions that have to be met before any constructive engagement with ‘Europe’ can be countenanced. We argue that these consistencies, spanning a 50-year period, exemplify a certain stagnation both within Labour’s European discourses and within British foreign policy thinking more widely. We develop the idea that Labour party thinking has been crucially framed by both small ‘c’ conser- vative and upper-case Conservative ideology, popularised by Winston Churchill in his ‘three circles’ model of British foreign policy.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:40162
Publisher:Wiley

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