Controversies in UK Foreign Policy: Diplomacy or Military Force?
Weekly series of lectures
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This lecture series evaluates six controversial decisions in British foreign policy over the last century, all of which weighed in the balance whether to pursue diplomacy or to resort to military force.
You can register for individual lectures, see list below, or you can register for the entire series. (Booking the complete series offers a reduced rate compared to booking lectures individually.)
Please note: enrolments for the complete lecture series will close at 23:59 BST on 17 October 2023. Enrolments for each individual lecture will close a couple of days before each lecture.
Chamberlain favoured diplomacy to outwit the dictators but ended up with war; Bevin was the architect of Cold War foreign policy backing nuclear weapons and NATO; Eden authorised force against Nasser’s Egypt but its failure brought him down; Thatcher favoured war to reclaim the Falklands, impatient with diplomatic alternatives, Blair’s Iraq war was militarily successful but politically toxic; and Johnson established a bi-partisan support for Ukraine to oppose Putin.
Each policy was controversial at the time and has remained so under the spotlight of historical scrutiny.
About the lecturer
Dr Martin Holmes is a member of the Senior Common Room at St Hugh’s College, where he was previously Lecturer in Politics for over 20 years. Additionally, he has been Director of the annual Nebraska at Oxford summer programme since 1989. For the Department, he has taught several syllabi on our Foundations of Diplomacy pre-master's course over the past decade, as well as guest lectures for the Diplomatic Studies Programme. A strong supporter of lifelong education, he has also been a regular lecturer for the University of the Third Age (U3A).
A specialist in International Relations and European Integration, he is the author of seven books. His latest publication, a diplomatic history of 20th century Europe, was published by Routledge in August: From the Treaty of Versailles to the Treaty of Maastricht: Conflict, carnage and cooperation in Europe 1918 – 93.
- Fri 20 Oct 2023
- Fri 27 Oct 2023
- Fri 03 Nov 2023
- Fri 10 Nov 2023
- Fri 17 Nov 2023
- Fri 24 Nov 2023