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Interpreting the outsider tradition in British European policy speeches from Thatcher to Cameron

Daddow, Oliver J.

Authors

Oliver J. Daddow



Abstract

This article investigates how British European policy thinking has been informed by what it identifies as an ‘outsider’ tradition of thinking about ‘Europe’ in British foreign policy dating from imperial times to the present. The article begins by delineating five phases in the evolution of the outsider tradition back to 1815 through a survey of the relevant historiography. The article then examines how prime ministers from Margaret Thatcher to David Cameron have looked to various inflections of the outsider tradition to inform their European discourses. The focus in the speech data sections is on British identity, history and the realist appreciation of international politics that informed the leaders' suggestions for EEC/EU reform. The central argument is that historically informed narratives such as those making up the outsider tradition do not determine opinion-formers' outlooks, but that they can be deeply impervious to rapid change. We can therefore understand why Britain has come to hover near the EU exit door because British leaders have consistently drawn upon ‘outsider’ narratives as the organizing frame for their European policy discourses.

Citation

Daddow, O. J. (2015). Interpreting the outsider tradition in British European policy speeches from Thatcher to Cameron. Journal of Common Market Studies, 53(1), https://doi.org/10.1111/jcms.12204

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 22, 2014
Online Publication Date Nov 18, 2014
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 27, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 27, 2017
Journal Journal of Common Market Studies
Print ISSN 0021-9886
Electronic ISSN 1468-5965
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 1
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/jcms.12204
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/40599
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcms.12204/abstract
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Journal of Common Market Studies, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcms.12204. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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