The British Labour Party and the break-up of Yugoslavia 1991-1995: A historical analysis of Parliamentary debates

Schreiner, Ann Marie (2009) The British Labour Party and the break-up of Yugoslavia 1991-1995: A historical analysis of Parliamentary debates. Doctoral thesis, University of Southampton; University of Chichester.

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Abstract

The break-up of Yugoslavia, and the ensuing wars, dominated the British foreign policy agenda for the first half of the 1990s. The way in which the British Government reacted to the series of crises was a matter of ongoing scrutiny by those within and outside of Parliament. The complex nature of the conflicts, in the early years of the post Cold War world, meant that responses by British politicians were in no way based on traditional ideological divisions, that is, M.P.s did not form neat, homogenous groups reflecting the three political currents. The Labour Party was no exception to this rule. The thesis is a study of the way in which politicians of the Labour Party responded to the break-up of Yugoslavia, and the way its M.P.s reacted to events in the region, and to the actions of the British Government. With close reference to Parliamentary debates as recorded in Hansard, the thesis shows the many and complex ways in which politicians from one British political party responded to a foreign policy episode. What is demonstrated is that a number of factors influenced the opinions of the politicians. One would expect to find some level of front and back bench division. However, what is apparent is much more complex. Whilst, in general, the Shadow Cabinet mirrored the responses of their Parliamentary opponents, of more interest is the way in which the back bench politicians contributed to debates. Some M.P.s followed the example of their senior colleagues, whereas others took totally different positions. However, the motivations for these opinions varied. It is not possible to offer a simple, generalised reading of the responses that were taken by members of the Parliamentary Labour Party. Contributions to debates were influenced by a variety of features: namely, the way in which an individual viewed an international institution such as the United Nations, NATO and the European Union; the attitude that they took towards military intervention; and [mally, the way in which the events of the Second World War informed their position on a contemporary conflict. The thesis adds to the research undertaken by scholars such as Brendan Simms and Mark Phythian. Through close reference to debates in Hansard, this work offers the opportunity to gain a much more detailed understanding of the responses of one British political party to one episode in international relations.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
Divisions: Departments > History
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Debbie Bogard
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2013 13:51
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2014 16:21
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/821

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