New Labour and the new world order

Britain’s role in the war on terror

Author: Steven Kettell

The war on terror has shaped and defined the first decade of the twenty-first century, yet analyses of Britain's involvement remain limited and fragmentary. This book provides a comprehensive, detailed and critical analysis of these developments. It argues that New Labour's support for a militaristic campaign was driven by a desire to elevate Britain's influence on the world stage, and to assist the United States in a new imperialist project of global reordering. This included participation in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, support for extra-legal measures and a diminution of civil liberties through punitive anti-terror legislation. Ostensibly set within a political framework of promoting humanitarian values, the government's conduct in the war on terror also proved to be largely counter-productive, eroding trust between the citizenry and the state, putting the armed forces under increasing strain, reducing Britain's global position and ultimately exacerbating the threat from radical Islamic terrorism. While new imperialism is typically treated as either an ‘economic’, ‘political’, ‘militaristic’ or ‘humanitarian’ endeavour, this study seeks to enhance current scholarly accounts by setting the events and dynamics of the war on terror within a more holistic and multi-dimensional account of new imperialist forces.

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