Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Political Studies; Global and International Studies

Project Advisor 1

Michelle Murray

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Under the leadership of Tony Blair, the United Kingdom engaged in an unprecedented period of international engagement that was categorized by a foreign policy with an “ethical dimension.” Ethical Foreign Policy dictated British involvement for the entirety of Blair’s premiership, beginning with the British supported NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999, followed by the 2000 intervention in Sierra Leone, and ending with the invasion of Iraq in 2003. While Ethical Foreign Policy was successful at first, it collapsed during the Iraq crisis. This project examines the origins and manifestations of Ethical Foreign Policy under Blair, arguing that Blair and his cabinet created a rhetorical framework surrounding Ethical Foreign Policy that served to securitize it. This allowed for the Blair government to take extraordinary action, in the form of humanitarian intervention, in order to promote and preserve human rights norms in the international system that were framed as critical to the British national interest. This project attempts to provide lessons from Ethical Foreign Policy in order to understand the future of British foreign policy and international norms surrounding humanitarian intervention at large.

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