Building stability overseas: three case studies in British defence diplomacy – Uganda, Rhodesia–Zimbabwe, and Sierra Leone

Ford, Matthew Building stability overseas: three case studies in British defence diplomacy – Uganda, Rhodesia–Zimbabwe, and Sierra Leone. Small Wars & Insurgencies, 25 (3). pp. 584-606. ISSN 0959-2318

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Abstract

In 2011, the Department for International Development, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and the Ministry of Defence launched the Building Stability Overseas Strategy (BSOS). This document sought to integrate cross-government activity as it related to conflict and security so as to ‘take fast, appropriate and effective action to prevent a crisis or stop it escalating and spreading’. At the heart of the strategy was the recognition that addressing instability and conflict overseas was morally right and in the UK's national interests. This confluence of foreign policy realism and ethical outlook most clearly found harmony in the acknowledgement that it was cheaper for the international community to avoid conflict than it was to try to manage it. Through an examination of three historical case studies (Uganda 1964–1972, Rhodesia–Zimbabwe 1979–1981, and Sierra Leone 2000–2007), this article seeks to demonstrate just how difficult this seemingly sensible strategic outlook is. In particular, the article shows there are historical parallels in British postcolonial history that very closely resemble contemporary policy choices; that these can be used to define what is different about past and present practice; and, which in turn, can be used to – at least tentatively – mark out the potential strengths and weaknesses in BSOS.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations > JZ1305 Scope of international relations. Political theory. Diplomacy > JZ1400 Diplomatic and consular service
J Political Science > JZ International relations > JZ6360 Non military coercion
Depositing User: Matthew Ford
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2014 10:54
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 08:41
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/49591

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