Chapter 4 builds upon the discussion in chapter 3 which had focused on
economic decline under Labour and how the Conservatives attempted to exploit
this. Chapter 4 will identify how this was aligned to a wider critique of
Labour based around social decline. It will consider how the broken economic
and social policy agendas of Labour were used by the Conservatives to
justify a shift away from Big Government, and towards their new governing
strategy of the Big Society. The chapter will provide a critique of the Big
Society, and the cynicism it provoked within Conservative ranks, before
arguing that it should be seen within the context of depoliticisation.
Chapter 4 will imply that the Big Society slogan was a rhetorical device for
Cameron – i.e. it masked an ideologically motivated strategy to adjust the
balance between the state and society. Therefore, chapter 4 will argue that
the Big Society narrative should be seen within the context of (a) shifting
public expectations of what the state should be responsible for, and (b)
limiting the extent to which the state can be blamed.
This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores how experiences in Kosovo have changed the discourse of European security. It provides new and stimulating perspectives on how 'Kosovo' has shaped European post-post-Cold War reality. The book aims to contribute to the insecurity of the field of security studies by sidelining the theoretical worldview that underlies mainstream strategic thinking on the Kosovo events. It investigates how 'Kosovo' has developed into this principal paradigmatic sign in the complex text of European security. The book also investigates how its very marginality has emphasised the unravelling fringes and limits of the sovereign presence of what 'Europe' thinks it stands for, and how it affects the discourse on European security.