1 : IDENTITY AND LEGITIMATION IN BRITISH FOREIGN POLICY By STUART STROME A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGRE E OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2014
2 Â© 2014 Stuart Strome
3 To my grandfather
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my mom, dad, grandparents, and entire family for supporting me through this taxing process. Thank you for being voices of encouragement through can sometimes be a discouraging undertaking. Thank you to the rest of my family for being there when I needed you most. I truly love you all! I would like to thank my professors and colleagues, who provided guidance, direction and invaluable advice colleagues and mentors wh o provided intellectual inspiration and encouragement. Most Hozic, Matthew Jacobs, and above all, my committee chair, Leann Brown. Dr. Brown was incredibly supportive th roughout the process, kept me grounded and on track, and committee chair that would regularly answer phone calls to field questions, or sometimes just to act as a sounding p ost with whom to flesh out ideas. You are an inspiration, and I a m lucky to have you as a mentor and friend. I would like to thank my beautiful and wonderfully supportive girlfriend, without whom I would lack the inspiration to follow through on my goals. Finally, I would like to thank my close friends for all the help and support: Manu Samnotra, Jessica Peet, Koreen Alvarado, and everyone else without whom I would have caved under the pressure .
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ............................. 7 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 9 The Rese arch Question ................................ ................................ ............................ 9 The Importance of this Inquiry ................................ ................................ ................ 15 The Context British Decline in Perspective ................................ ........................... 19 Summary of Chapters ................................ ................................ ............................. 24 2 THEORY AND METHODS ................................ ................................ ...................... 30 The Shortcomings of Foreign Policy Analysis ................................ ......................... 30 Legitimation ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 37 Identity ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 46 Self and Other ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 49 Narrative and Identity ................................ ................................ ....................... 59 Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 64 Method ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 64 The Analytical Process ................................ ................................ ..................... 68 Data ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 71 Case Selection ................................ ................................ ................................ . 73 Overview of the Following Chapters ................................ ................................ ....... 77 3 SUEZ CRISIS, 1956 ................................ ................................ ............................... 80 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 80 Background to the Crisis ................................ ................................ ......................... 82 Policy Options ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 85 Identity Narratives ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 8 8 Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 102 The Non action Option ................................ ................................ ................... 102 The Diplomatic Options ................................ ................................ .................. 106 The Military Option ................................ ................................ ......................... 112 Alternative Narratives ................................ ................................ ............................ 121 Epilogue ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 127 4 THE FALKLANDS WAR, 1982 ................................ ................................ .............. 131
6 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 131 Background to the Crisis ................................ ................................ ....................... 134 British Decline and the Ramifications for Identity ................................ .................. 139 Policy Options ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 141 Ident ities ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 144 Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 157 The Non action Option ................................ ................................ ................... 157 The Diplomatic Options ................................ ................................ .................. 163 The Military Option ................................ ................................ ......................... 171 Alternative Narratives ................................ ................................ ............................ 181 E pilogue ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 186 5 THE IRAQ WAR , 2003 ................................ ................................ .......................... 188 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 188 Background to the Crisis ................................ ................................ ....................... 190 Policy Options ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 195 Identities ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 204 Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 216 The Containment and UN Options ................................ ................................ . 216 The Military Option ................................ ................................ ......................... 222 Alterna tive Narratives ................................ ................................ ............................ 228 Epilogue ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 234 6 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 237 Comparing the Cases ................................ ................................ ........................... 238 Strengthening the Research Design ................................ ................................ ..... 246 Contributions to Existing Literature ................................ ................................ ....... 250 Possibilities for Future Research ................................ ................................ .......... 255 ................................ ............ 258 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 262 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 279
7 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS DPT Democratic Peace Theory FPA Foreign Policy Analysis IAEA IMF IR MP UK UNMOVIC UNSC UNSCOM US SCUA WMD International Atomic Energy Agency International Monetary Fund International Relations Member of Parliament United Kingdom United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission United Nations Securi ty Council United Nations Special Commission United States Weapon of Mass Destruction
8 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Re quirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy ANSWER : IDENTITY AND LEGITIMATION IN BRITISH FOREIGN POLICY By Stuart Strome August 2014 Chair: M. Leann Brown Major: Political Science How do elites legitimate foreign policy crises? I sugg est that any answer to this question is incomplete absent a turn to identity and narrative. Legitimation of policy choice during crisis depends heavily upon construction of identity. While identity has been conventionally understood in categorical terms, I suggest this leaves us with an incomplete picture. Narratives provide meaningful context within which identities are understood, construct meaning for the crisis in question, and relate policy options to constructions of identity. In this study, I exam ine identity construction and foreign policy legitimation during three security crises post World War II Britain. My findings suggest foreign policy elites indeed rely on identity in order to legitimate policy choice during crises. Yet, the identities upon which legitimates are provided with meaning through the articulation of a legitimating narrative. I conclude that, to better understand legitimation in IR, studies must incorporate a more complex conceptualization of identity as well as that includes a co nceptual and analytical space for narrative.
9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The Research Question How do elites legitimate military action during foreign policy crises ? While security and economic imperatives commonly justi fication, what role does identity play? To be sure, foreign policy maker s in any political context are bound by the constraints of satisfying the wishes of sectors of their constituencies, but how do they go about doing this? I argue that constructions of identity, deployed through narratives, render certain policy options legitimate or illegitimate. Constructions of identity create bounds for acceptable action on the part of the state, as well as bounds of probable action on the part of other actors (Jacks on 2006). Identities constitute the actors themselves, imbuing them with behavioral, ethical and psychological qualities; they are invoked in order to make sense of diff erent actors and their behavior in various situations. Identities are used to convey me aning, interpret political landscapes, and most importantly, justifying policy. Throughout this analysis, constructions of a democratic, law abiding, strong United kingdom in opposition to a criminal, irrational, morally corrupt radical Other, and a victim ized partial Other served to legitimate military action during three different British foreign policy crises. Despite differences in temporal and political contexts, British policy makers legitimated military action during these three foreign policy crises via identity narratives based upon remarkably similar categories and constructions. In order to understand how identities are used to legitimate foreign policy, we must first understand the constitutive nature of state and actor identity. First, identitie s are not essential features of political beings, but rather are created socially, as the
10 product of discourse and language. Second, identity is not created in a vacuum, but rather, it is bound and shaped by historical circumstance s . It is formed by actors who rely upon a repertoire of historical elements, including former identity constructions, stereotypes, and intersubjective meanings. Therefore, identity is produced and reproduced throughout history, as policy makers reflect back upon the past in order to excavate and appropriate historic identities in order to understand and legitimate action in contemporary crises. For this reason, it is imperative that we conceive of identity diachronically. Third, constructions of identity must not be understood as c ategorical markers. Instead, policy makers construct identities through narratives, which imbue actors with meaning vis Ã vis one another, as well as meaning vis Ã vis the crisis in question. Indeed, if identities create boundaries of acceptable action, th en these boundaries are meaningless absent a construction of the crisis itself. Constructions of crises and constructions of identity exist as a holistic unity, weaved together through narrative. Policy makers articulate narratives, but do so only within b oundaries created by history and language. Policy makers are constrained by their own narratives, as these narratives, once made, render certain actions legitimate and others illegitimate. Fourth, the identities within these narratives are constructed rela tionally as opposed to individually. In accordance with poststructural ist theory, the identity of the Self is irrevocably bound to a construction of the Other. Identity of the Self is only known through a relationship of differentiation with the Other. Ide ntity construction is an infinitely complex phenomenon, especially when understood in the context of foreign policy crises. As a result, I narrow my focus to three types of constructions in particular: the Self, the radical Other and the partial Other. I
11 f ocus on these three categories simply because constructions of Self, radical Other, and partial Other are present throughout my case studies, despite the immense diversity in As I demonstrate in later in the analysis , the process of legitimation on the part of foreign policy maker s could not proceed absent constructions of these three types of identity, and constructions of these identities remained surprisingly const ant given the variation am ongst the crises . In order to understand how identity was constructed to legitimate foreign policy choice across a variety of contexts, I employ a diachronic three case study approach. The three cases I choose, the Suez Crisis (1956), the Falklands War (19 82), and the Iraq War (2003) represent three phases of history in the British state and Empire as well as three diff erent types of security crises. I find that, despite the disparate contexts of these three crises, government policy makers constructed Brit ish identity in a remarkably similar fashion. Policy international order, as well as an advocate for and supporter of universal interests. Alternatively, throughout these three crises, the radical Other was constructed as morally corrupt, behaviorally reprehensible, corrosive of international law and order, an international outlaw or criminal, and to blame for the cri sis tout court . While the construction of the partial Other differed across the three cases, more often than not government policy makers constructed its identity as helpless, lacking agency, and as victims of the radical Other. The identity narratives and narratives of crises legitimated military intervention, and delegitimated non violent options such as negotiation and mediation.
12 Why examine the UK and these three crises? First, the political structure of the United Kingdom necessitates a fair amount of legitimation of foreign policy. Indeed, prime ministers can be removed through votes of no confidence and, as de facto heads of their parties, are responsible for how well they do in parliamentary elections. Moreover, the United Kingdom has a long history of free press, a platform that both allows, and in some cases forces, the government in power to legitimate its policy publicly. Second, there is a prodigious amount of primary and secondary source material available for the United Kingdom during this peri od, including complete records of parliamentary debates, governmental speeches, Foreign Office records, newspaper articles, memoirs, and commentary. Finally, the UK presents an excellent case, uniquely suited to a diachronic study of identity formation and policy legitimation. Examining the UK allows a considerable amount of variation amongst the cases, providing the opportunity to analyze identity representing differe nt geopolitical, economic, and ideational contexts. The Suez Crisis (1956), the first case, provides a glimpse of Britain at the beginning of its geopolitical decline. At this time, it still retained a fair portion of its pre World War II Empire, and, as I , still partly identified with its pre war prestige and dominance. The second crisis, the Falklands War (1982), provides a glimpse of Britain at the twilight of empire. By this ti me, the British had undergone significant economic an d political decline , having relinquished their entire Empire , with the exception of a few outposts such as Hong Kong, Gib raltar, and the Falkland Islands. During this period, a fair share of policy elites within Britain spoke with great trepidation of the day when Britain would
13 Finally, by the onset of the 2003 Iraq War Britain had recovered a measure of its lost prestige (partly as a result of the Falklands War and the subsequent economic rebound during the 1980s). The British had long since relinquished most of their empire, and had undergone a significant decline in their relative power vis Ã vis other European states. By the early 2000s , the British began to further extend what were already significant relationships with oth er parts of the world, including most importantly, their relationship with Europe. Despite this variation, Britain remained a significant player in its former imperial domains, embarking upon military interventions during all three of these periods, and in some of these periods, on more than one occasion. This research examines how this military action was legi timated across these varied cases . Through examination of one country at a number of different points in time, we provide a natural control (it is , a fter all, still the same country, so many things remain the same) for variations in culture or political system that otherwise may confound our attempts to understand legitimation, while still preserving a considerable amount of variation. Diachronic analy sis of a single ght into the dynamic process of foreign policy legitimation ( Lijphart 1971, 689). Thus, by examining three cases across one country, we can see how similar identity narratives were employed in legitimating foreign policy crises, despite the different contexts of the crises themselves. Apart from case selection, what methods should be used to decipher the relationship between identity and foreign policy legitimation? Which data sources are most useful in detangling this relationship, and how should this data be approached and
14 interpreted? I employ House of Commons debates from the periods in qu estion as my primary source. I chose this as my primary source for a number of reasons. First, the House of Commons is a forum that is specifically designed for legitimation of policy choice on the part of the government to other foreign policy elites. Ind eed, while policy responsibility of the House of Commons to hold the executive (i.e. the Prime Minister and his Cabinet) to account (Garnett and Lynch 2012, 190). The House o institutional purview is to question the Prime Minister and his policies. Second, the House of Commons not only acts as a forum within which to legitimate policy decisions on the part of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, but it also gives a fo rum for backbenchers to legitimate their positions vis Ã vis their own constituencies. While the narratives forwarded in order to legitimate military interventions in these three cases were proffered mainly by the party in power , the House of Commons offer s a forum for alternative identity narratives to legitimate competing policies. In addition to the House of Commons debates, I also employ auxiliary sources where possible, including Cabinet meetings and memoirs. While these are not as ideally suited to ex amining the process of legitimation, they add important supporting reference s to my case studies, and act, as a check against bias that may exist within the House of Commons. Methodologically, I adopt a form of grounded theory, which seeks to identify cate gories of analysis through an inductive immersion in the sour ce material (Glaser and Strauss 1967). Through careful analysis of House of Commons records, I identified identity categories (Self, radical Other and partial Other) that were common across all t hree cases, although they differed in many respects as to their content. Moreover,
15 reference to these identity categories, both within the narratives that privileged military intervention as well as those privileging non military options, was key to the pr ocess of legitimation across all three cases. In analyzing each identity narrative , I adopt a variant of discourse analysis known as predicate analysis in order to identify how the Self qua the British state, as well as the concomitant radical Others and p artial Others are constructed (Milliken 1999, 232). Predicate analysis examines the adjectives and verbs that modify the subject in order to understand how that subject is constructed in discourse. I will discuss this in more depth in the Chapter 2 . What f ollows is a brief discussion of the importance of this research question to the field, and more broadly, the importance of the interrelationship between identity, legitimation, and narrative in IR. The Importance of this Inquiry IR scholars over the past t wenty years have come to recognize the importance of a number of heretofore unaddressed factors in the formation of foreign policy, including identity, narrative, and legitimations. Despite this, only recently have IR scholars attempted to reconcile these three factors, so integral to the foreign policy process. Identity figures prominently amongst these factors (Doty 1996; Epstein 2008; Finnemore 1996; Hansen 2006; Kaztenstein 1996; Neumann 1999). Yet, while identity scholarship has gained a significant fo llowing, some scholars have critiqued how identity has traditionally been conceptualized in the study of social entities, prompting a turn towards employing the concept of narrative in order to more fully grasp this phenomenon ( Neumann 2004; Ringmar 1996; Somers 1994; Wibben 2012). Narratives are devices by which individuals make sense of the world around them. It is through narrative that events, identities, and even time are related to one another and imbued with meaning. Indeed, many forms of IR scholars hip have made the mistake of imputing a fixed
16 This is an unfortunate misstep. Lik e the individual Self, the Self of a political entity 203). Rather, narrative and identity exist in a co constitutive relationship: identities are only unde rstood through narratives , yet these very narratives Finally, the process of legitimation has re emerged as a subject of interest in IR only during the past 15 or so years ( Crawford 2002; Jackson 2006; Risse 2000; Schimmelfennig 2001 ). It is quite puzzling that such an oversight should have remained uncorrected for so long, as legitimation is th e sine qua non of political processes. Legitimation is a process which all policy elites must undertake, regardless of the political system in question (Crawford 2002, 33). Although this process is worthy of attention in and of itself, legitimation presupp oses reference to identity, which in turn constitutes the interests, ideals, and values upon which societies are based (Crawford 2002, 25). It is only recently that sustained explorations of identity and legitimation have come together (Crawford 2002; Jack son 2006). This project is an attempt to expand upon this literature, and better understand the relationship between identity and legitimation of foreign policy through examination of three foreign policy crises: the Suez Crisis (1956), the Falklands War ( 1982), and the Iraq War (2003). This question of how identities are used to legitimate military intervention during foreign pol icy crises is important because it all o ws us to address a number of shortcomings in the IR literature: first, the study of foreig n policy has conventionally focused on processes of decision making, either through a rationalist perspective or a psychological standpoint. Scholars of FPA focus on the individual policy elite and
17 conceptualize m 2007, 25; Hudson 2005, 1). Much FPA research challenges the individualist rational actor paradigm, focusing on limitations and processing of information and decision making by policy actors within different organizational context s (Houghton 2007, 25; Allison 1971; Jervis 1976). Despite the challenge to the rational actor paradigm, replacing it with a modified methodologically individualist approach retains many of the same problems. Politics is a social process. It is, by necessit y, a realm of explaining, arguing, negotiating and justifying policies and beliefs to others. In conceptualizing policy makers as individual , instrumentally rational, information processing units, FPA scholars are committing a categorical error. Recent sch olarly focus on the compatibility between social constructivism and FPA has recognized and addressed this shortcoming ( Benes 2011; Flanik 2011; Houghton 2007 ). Since legiti mation is an indispensable part of the political process, engagement with this heret ofore ignored element of the foreign policy process may provide a richer and more nuanced understanding of the process. Understanding the relationship between legitimation and identity helps us to shed the restraining assumptions of an individualist model of foreign policy, and provides us a more comprehensive, nuanced, and clearer image of the foreign policy process as a social process. Second, this project elucidates processes in foreign policy theories that remain obscured or simply assumed. The case of DPT is instructive in this regard. DPT argues that democratic states do not engage in military conflict with one another, in part because of the normative perceptions of political culture these countries share (Russett 1993, 35). Moreover, DPT scholars sug gest certain structural or institutional elements
18 inhibit democracies from going to war with one another, including constraints upon debate to enlist widespread supp Furthermore, democratic states are more likely to engage in war with non democratic states, since democratic leaders neither perceive a similar political culture of compromise nor the institutional checks and balances they would if the competing state was democratic (Russett 1993, 35, 40). In cases in which democracies do go to war, mostly against non democracies, these institutional checks and balances must be overcome by convincing sectors of society that war is necessary. While t mentioned, DPT scholarship has not addressed this as a social process. Audience costs, i.e. yed by DPT scholars to explain why democratic states refrain from war with one another (Fear on 1994; Schultz 2001; Smith 1998; Tomz 2007). Democratic states refrain from war with one another because, in democracies, audience costs are high as state leaders may be held accountable by their electorate for reneging on a threat or a promise . Audience cost arguments presuppose a continuous process of legitimation on the part of democratically elected explore how th is legitimation is achieved, which categories and arguments are used, or how enemies and friends are represented to audiences. Indeed, legitimation is perhaps the most important political process in democracies, especially pluralistic democracies where a n umber of interest groups must be satisfied. It analytically separates the
19 normative model, which relies on identities and perception for its explanatory heft, from the institutional model, which relies, implicitl y, on processes of legitimation in cases in which a military option is chosen. A close examination of how identity is employed in this process of legitimation may uncover this heretofore unexcavated link uniting the two models. These first two points will be explained in greater dept h in Chapter 2 . Finally, approaching identity from a narrative perspective helps us to better understand the relationship between identity and legitimation. As I demonstrate in Chapter 2 , the ways in which identities are constr ucted must ultimately square with a particular narration of a crisis in order for military action to be legitimate. Invocation of certain identities must be commensurate with constructions of the crises at hand. For example, the construction of Britain as a protector of international law only has meaning if policy makers construct the crisis as a criminal act. Thus, examining identity from a narrative perspective will allow us to give a more nuanced account of the process of identity formation and its relat ionship to legitimation in relation to foreign policy crises. The Context British Decline in Perspective In order to understand how identity was employed in legitimating military intervention during the three crises I examine, we first must understand th e context in which these identities were deployed. The story of Britain in the years directly following World War II is a story of relative decline in influence. During the post World War II era, the United Kingdom underwent a profound geopolitical, social and economic transition. From 1945 to 1967, the United Kingdom undertook what Churchill termed the In rapid succession, first in the Middle East and South Asia, and then in Africa and Sou theast Asia, British colonies were granted independence. By 1967, the British had resolved to move their
20 military assets east of the Suez Canal, thus abandoning any pretense of global Empire. Thus, over a period of less than twenty five years, the United K ingdom went from relegated simply to its home territory. Despite the evident decline of British capabilities on the world stage, the United Kingdom became entangled in a var iety of international conflicts throughout this period. Many of these interventions took place in former colonies, such as the 1946 1947 Greek Civil War, Palestine in 1947, Kenya and the Mau Mau Rebellion in 1954, Cyprus in the late 1950s, and combat again st a communist insurgency in the Malayan Emergency, spanning the entire decade of the1950s. This pattern of military involvement continued well after the retreat from East of Suez in 1967. Post 1970 military inventions include: the Falklands War, the first and second Gulf War, military intervention in Sierra Leone in 2000, the 2001 NATO invasion of Afghanistan, and most recently, the 2011 intervention in Libya, spearheaded by the British and French forces with the United States military playing a supporting role. In a speech given at West Point on December 5 th , 1962, United States Secretary Great Britain has lost an empire, but has not yet found Implicit in this claim is the notion that the once formi dable geopolitical and economic power of Great Britain had been eclipsed by the new superpowers on the world stage, the United States and the Soviet Union. Yet, there is an additional claim implied here: the loss of geopolitical and economic power was not commensurate with the self perceived prestige of the UK. The implication follows that the British political anomie at the conclusion of World War II involved a search for a
21 sh self identity was. A number of scholars have analyzed similar phenomena, internal projects of self identity formation, over the past twenty years (Campbell 1998; Epstein 2008; Hansen 2006; Katzenstein 1996; Prizel 1998; Steele 2008 ). The question is not only how identity is formed, but how that identity is employed within the context of crises in order to legitimate some policies, and delegitimate others. This decline had significant implications for British identity over this period. While the British h ad exited the war supreme amongst European powers, it soon devolved in to a primus inter parus , and eventually, at least economically if not politically, a middle power. manipulated and controlled economies would be sufficiently free and confident to The British state after World War II was facing a set of circumstances which overstretched both its military and economic capacities, and challenged its formerly hegemonic position in global affairs. First, its economic position had been severely undermined by the immediate needs of the war effort. The British government had sold off many of its public assets, and w as suffering under an immense debt of 3.5 billion British Pounds owed to India and its dominions (Sanders 1990, 47). In addition to this, the British were dependent upon American loans in order to buttress their flailing currency (Sanders 1990, 52). Most B ritish leaders understood that their place in the economic order could only be assured through collaboration with the Americans, though this collaboration was
22 reluctant at times, to say the least (Curtis 1995, 30 31). 1 Second, in addition to economic probl ems, the British military was suffering from tremendous overreach. The British military was stationed in no less than forty different locations overseas in 1945 (Sanders 1990, 50). Despite the bevy of obstacles facing British leaders throughout the 1940s a nd early 1950s, as well as the new found economic and political influence of the United States, there was still a sense amongst many political elites that British foreign policy should still be allowed to operate on an autonomous footing as it had prior to the war. British leaders in the immediate postwar atmosphere were specifically concerned with the maintenance of Great Power status, as well as an insulation of its Empire from forces that would seek to dissolve it, including the United Nations and the Un ited States (Curtis 1995, 10 11). During the late 1940s, there was still ambivalence concerning the British relationship with the United States as well as Europe. Moreover, the British possessed an immense political inheritance in the form of the Commonwea lth, influence in which many in the Labour party favored cultivating as an alternative to a strong US or European alliance (Ovendale 1985, 21; Curtis 1995, 56; Reynolds 2000). It was hoped in practice this never came to fruition (Curtis 1995, 13). Despite the troubling lack of resources, British leaders still thought themselves the undisputed hegemonic power in many of their spheres of influence, including the Middle Eas t, as evidenced by the 1956 decision to act in Suez without US approval. 1 This was e specially true after the demise of the British Empire in South Asia and Africa throughout the 1940s and 1950s, given that much postwar British economic planning focused on preserving the Empire and the material resources and access to markets that came alo ng with it.
23 were not shared by others throughout the world. Despite this lack of material resources, and the . Throughout the and to be treated as such. Through consultation and negotiation and through political, economic and military measures, Britain remained an active participant in international Britain, along with the other members of the western alliance during the Cold War, exerted political pressure upon the United States out of proportion to the level of actual economic and military power they commanded (Risse Kappen 1997). This is partly due to the overwhelming cultural influence that went al ong with decades of colonial rule, in addition to being home to the London metropole, which remained the center of imperial life even long after the demise of the Empire itself (Mackenzie 2001). vacuum at the heart of With the decline of its imperial role, Britain has sought to clarify its identity in the world, vis Ã vis Europe, vis Ã vis its former Empire, and vis Ã vis the United States, or even as a willing participant in a globally interdependent society (Freedman 2010; Mackenzie 2001; May 2001; Millful 1999; Turner 2010 ; Ward 2001 ). The question of British identity was left without a clear definition subsequent to the decline of its imperial role ( Kumar 2000; Kumar 2003 ). Constructing this definition is an ever continuing project, as Britain is even today
24 in terms of a rapidly changing g lobal situation on a life of their own distinct from their former material underpinnings ( Millful 1 999, 3). Despite this anomie, my analysis will demonstrate that a certain core of British identity has remained both constant, and influential in legitimating foreign policy decisions ( Tate 2012; Wallace 1991 ). What follows is a brief overview o f Chapters 2 through 6 . Summary of Chapters T his project assesses how identity narratives are employed to legitimate and/or delegitimate foreign policy alternatives in three British security crises. Chapter 2 explores three different concepts, legitimation, identity and narrative, and an alyzes their interaction with one another. First, I address the process of legitimation. While most the eyes of both the public (at least in a democracy) as well as in the eyes of foreign policy elites, this tends to be an assumption rather than a focus of analysis. Previous attempts at understanding the process of legitimation in IR have tended to conceptualize legitimation as an argumentation process aimed toward s a pre defined normative end, the aim of which is to modify actors' belief systems. I instead adopt an approach pioneered by Jackson (2006) who argues that legitimation is a process that should be studied empirically as patterns of public justifications f or which evidence of changing belief systems cannot be adduced. If legitimation is a process of public justification, on what elements do these justifications rely to resonate with the target audience/s? To answer this, I explore the concept of identity co nstructed through narrative. Narrative is a fundamental part of human existence, and is essential in construction of
25 the Self (Barthes 1977; Macintyre 1981; Ricouer 1984; Somers 1994; Thiele 2006; White 1987 ). The structure of narrative is common across cu ltures and some have argued it is an essential feature of the human cognitive process (Barthes 1977; Dennett 1991; Thiele 2006 ). Individuality is not instrumental in creating narratives, but instead, the idea of "individual" is constituted through a narrat ive story (MacIntyre 1981; Thiele 2006). Man does not create the story, but the story creates "man". Not only does narrative constitute the Self, but it also constitutes the identity of multiple Others against which the Self is directed. We as individuals do not exist in a vacuum, but rather, a number of characters and events populate our worlds, and in doing so, the relationships erected between ourselves qua elements of narrative and the events that occur in our lives our important in understanding behavi or. Moreover, interpretations of these characters and events are heavily influenced by prior constructions of identity, many of which are constituted through the use of western categories of thought (Said 1979; Todorov 1984). The ontology of identity remai ns a contentious issue in IR to this day. Many IR scholars contend that state identity is not a positive category, but instead is constituted through a set of oppositional t raits, such as rationality versus irrationality, morality versus heathenism, etc. (Connolly 1991; Doty 1996; Neumann 1999; Todorov 1984; Weldes 1999 ). While I agree that the constitution of the Self is irrevocably bound by the Other, this need not be a rad ical opposition, and the Self may be constituted through a set of partial Others in addition to radical Others, entities constituted in a somewhat similar fashion to the Self (Hansen 2006). I examine how the British Self is constituted
26 through a set of opp ositions, not only vis Ã vis its enemies, but also its potential allies, as well as the populations of the enemy state. Narratives not only construct identities, but they construct the crisis itself, as well as the menu of policy options legitimately avail able to state leaders ( Epstein 2008; Hansen 2006; Miller 2012; Neumann 2004; Ringmar 1996; Steele 2008; Wibben 2012;). While a number of narratives that exist at a given time , policy maker s, including the government in power, adhere to a dominant narrative , which legitimates its policy to other elites within and outside of the ruling party. In short, narratives propounded during foreign policy crises contain within them constructions of identities as well as constructions of the crises themselves. Particula r constellations of identities legitimate certain policy options and delegitimate others. In short, legitimation is the process by which identities and crises are constructed in such a way that creates boundaries of acceptable action, making possible some policy options while rendering others impossible. Chapter 3 examines how British and Egyptian identities were constructed in order to legitimate military intervention during the 1956 Suez Crisis. I demonstrate that the drive to war was not inevitable, and rather, military intervention had to be legitimated to a skeptical opposition. tripartite relationship of identities. First, the British were constituted as rational, democratic, the paragon and protect or of international law, and the protector of universally valid principles. In opposition to this, Eden administration and its allies constructed Nasser, the radical Other, as a child like, irrational , criminal, interested not in the protection of the curr ent international order (which is characterized as just) or
27 even his own peoples' interest, but rather power hungry and engaged in a process of Finally, the Eden administration and its a llies constructed the Egyptian people as the partial Other, harboring neither the insidious intentions nor the moral turpitude that characterized Nasser, yet, robbed of agency or rationality and in need of rescue from their own government. The Egyptian peo ple were constructed as a polity that was not yet fully formed, susceptible to demagogue ry, thus necessitating a skeptical gaze on the part of the British. In constructing these identities, the Eden administration and its allies, either consciously or unco nsciously, relied upon back many years. The need on the part of the British to minimize the impact of Arab limited the menu of policy options. The dominant narrative emanating from the Eden administration and its allies constructed non military options as dangerous appeasement of a power hungry criminal, or useless delaying tactics that would end up benefiting Nasser, alternativel y legitimating the military option as the only acceptable route forward. Chapter 4 explores how narratives propounded by the Thatcher administration and its allies constructed British, Argentine, and Falkland identities and employed them to legitimate the military option during the 1982 Falklands War. Despite the different context of the war, British identity was constituted in a similar fashion, as rational, democratic, and the protector of international law and order. In addition to this, the Thatcher adm inistration and its allies forwarded a dominant narrative that constructed British identity in opposition to an identity of decline that had emerged throughout the
28 1970s. The Thatcher administration and its allies constructed the radical Other, the Argenti ne regime, in a fashion similar to Nasser, despite the different geopolitical, geographic, and cultural contexts. While constructions of Nasser relied upon Orientalist stereotypes, constructions of the radical Argentine Other relied upon stereotypes of Lat inos. Finally, the Thatcher administration and its allies constructed the partial Other, the Falkland Islanders, as romantic exemplars of a long past British way of life, and victims of the deplorable Argentine regime. military united by history and blood. military options as wasteful delay, and appeasement, thus delegitimating attempts at further ne gotiation or mediation. Chapter 5 is devoted to a more recent conflict, the 2003 Iraq War, and how the legitimated military action. Similar to the previous two crises, the Blair administration and its allies constructed the British Self as an exemplar of and protector of world order and universal values, including democracy and international law, while it constructed the Iraqi government as untrustworthy and unable to be ne gotiated with. Similarly, the narrative forwarded by the Blair administration and its allies constructed the Iraqi people as victims, acted upon rather than acting, and subject to the brutality of the radical Other. Despite the fact that the Iraqi state po sed little if any immediate danger to the British or their allies, the narrative and the identities propounded therein limited the menu of legitimate policy options. Negotiation and diplomacy was constructed as appeasement, and was not commensurate with th e identity of the radical Other . On the
29 other hand, military action was constructed as commensurate with a British identity that underscored belief in protection of universal values and international law (of which Saddam Hussein was in breach) as well as p rotection of the Iraqi people. Chapter 6 offers a brief comparison of the three cases and what we may learn from them in regards to foreign policy theories . I suggest that, despite shifts in geopolitical and economic context among the three cases, many ele ments of British identity have remained remarkably constant, including a focus on political rights and international law. Similarly, constructions of the radical Other and partial Other exhibited stark similarities, despite their obvious differences. The p artial Others were constructed Similarly, I demonstrate that constructions of identity in prior crises informed and molded the repertoire of elements of identity construction for later crises. Additionally, I suggest that the exploration of the process of legitimation, and identity construction as an ineluctable part of legitimation, can inform both the FPA literature and IR literature in general. Finally, I suggest some routes for further research into how id entity is used to legitimate foreign policy choices during security crises. This analysis suggests that narratives of identity are indeed instrumental in explaining how government elites legitimate foreign policy during security crises.
30 CHAPTER 2 THEORY AND METHODS The Shortcomings of Foreign Policy Analysis Why has the question of how policies are legitimated remained so thoroughly ignored in the contemporary IR literature until quite recently? To begin with, structural and state centered theories reserv e no place for the study of legitimation in IR. For neorealists, legitimate foreign policy options secure the state from encroachments by other states, or worse, elimination from the system. To be fair, neorealists acknowledge that theirs is not a theory o f foreign policy, but rather a theory of international relations (Waltz 1979). Legitimation plays little if any role in the decision making process, as the process itself is a response to structural material conditions (Mearsheimer 2001). Neoliberal instit utionalists add little the ontological or epistemological understanding of foreign policy (Keohane 1984). This lack of focus on domestic or social processes is The field of FPA rose in re sponse to the limitations placed on the understanding of foreign policy by structural theories which tended to abstract the state and the processes entailed within (George 1993). between nations and across nations is grounded in human decision makers acting FPA theorists make a distinction between actor general and actor hu man decision The theoretical core of FPA, unlike structural theories of IR, argues that individuals make policies under certain restrictions, but still retain a kernel of agency that allows us to conceive of them as
31 wi llful actors. In an effort to understand this decision making process, FPA borrows liberally from a number of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, organizational behavior, anthropology and economics (Hudson 2014, 7). collect detailed information about such diverse matters as the social system, the values of the actors involved in the policy making process (McClosky 1962, 201). For FPA , while the center of the analytical process is the human decision maker, and the goal is to understand why he or she sets ou t on any specific policy course; the means by which this is done is to understand the psychological, sociological, and economic mil ieu within which this individual operates. Further, to fully understand the process, FPA scholars argue it is best to conceive of this in a temporal manner. Hudson The stages of decision making may also be the focus of inquiry, from problem recogn ition, framing, and perception to more advanced stages of goal prioritization, contingency planni This is done through an empirical decisi which the individual policy makers came t o their decisions (Hudson 2014,4 5). Because FPA has grown organically in opposition to a certain methodological stance in IR, variant s of this scholarship are taxonomized according to the level of analysis they employ. Individual and g r oup levels of analysis focus on characteristics of the individual personality type, the psychological attributes of the individual in question, or the ps ychological traits of individuals in group settings, in order to identify how policy -
32 makers come to decisions. 1 Jervis (1976) argues that foreign policy decisions may be the result of psychological limitations of the individual in what has traditionally be en conceived of as a rational process. George (1969) argued that operational codes, or the underlying core beliefs of an individual, indelibly affect the foreign policy decision making of the individual. political decision maker will engage in conflict (Hudson 2014, 24; George 1969; Goldstein and Holsti 1977; Johnson 1977; Keohane 1993; Larson 1994; Reifler et al. 2011). Other research has examined factors such as cognitive maps and schemas (Axelrod 1976; Carbonell 1978), stereotypical imaging of the enemy (Herrmann 1993) and in dividual life experience of policy makers (Stewart 1977) as influences upon foreign policy decision making. Janis (1982) moves the level of analysis up to the group, arguing that a psychological property of individuals to be in agreement with one another i n small groups results in a stifling of dissent , resulting in questionable policies policy makers collectively agreeing on policies they have doubts about individually. While these theories lend their understanding of how foreign policy is m ade, t heir focus is overly narrow in two ways. First, by examining the individual in a psychological sense, they neglect the fact that policy making is inherently a social process. Aside from Janis (1982), these scholars examine the effects that ideas have upon the individual, yet, they do not engage the notion that the individual is engrossed in a process of social interaction that is part and parcel to the policy making process. As a demonstration of 1 See also Medlicott (1968) and Young (1984), as well as historical studies sympathetic to a political science perspective, such as Steiner (1969), Watt (1965), Thorne (1978) and Kennedy (1981).
33 this principle, we could imagine two different individu als, with the same ideational background, psychological biases, coming to completely different decisions based upon the societal and cultural milieu within which they are steeped. Furthermore, they make basic assumptions about the essential nature of indiv iduals as psychological beings. Indeed, ideational backgroun d, or psychological limitations may limit policy choice, but one must dig further in order to understand this process in its totality. Individuals are social beings, and thus, the process of forei gn policy making is not fully encompassed by a singular decision maker and the coterie of influences that surround him or her. Rather, foreign policy is a social process, and the policy makers should be analyzed as a social beings rather than individual ps ychological being s . Second, a narrow focus on the point of decision blinds us to other important parts of the foreign policy process. The individual policy maker is not an empty vessel to be filled by ideational backgrounds, cultural and psychological bias es, resulting in a decision. Further, the policy makers role is not complete at the point of the decision. Rather, the individual foreign policy maker is active, and must justify his or her positions to a wider audience. In short, focusing on the individua l level of decision making makes assumptions about the individual that are overly restrictive, as well as places focus narrowly on the decision making process at the expense of other important political processes. National level factors have also garnered significant attention in FPA, especially the roles of cultural and national beliefs and values. Traditionally, national attributes such as wealth, size, and political accountability, which have been treated as independent variables in determining foreign p olicy outcomes (East 1978; East and
34 Hermann 1974). For example, Buzan (2010) argues that economic interdependence has played an important role in the construction of British foreign policy in the post imperial era. Yet, constructivist scholarship has moved beyond material factors, identifying ideational factors as important considerations in analyzing foreign policy outcomes. This scholarship regards the individual policy maker as inserted in a milieu of intersubjective values an d ideas, which constrain po licy options, both at the individual and the societal level. Katzenstein (1996) argues that domestic culture invariably influences foreign policy outcomes, limiting decision makers ability to undertake war. While Katzenstein examines the national level, S ylvan et al. examines how policy was policy community, certain statements are fitted together into a comprehensible This vein of scholarshi p examines how underlying societal opinions helped to shape patterns of argumentation within bureaucratic culture. Another variant of FPA scholarship focuses on ideas regarding the role that states play vis Ã vis the global political system. Role specifica perceptions of the actions their states should undertake (Hudson 2014, 130; Breuning 1997; Holsti 1970 ). Wilken ing (1999) suggests that deeply held c ultural meanings regarding the role of individuals vis Ã vis nature in Japanese society helped to foster an environmental activism in the 1990s. Recent scholarship has also attempted to explain contemporary British foreign policy through the lens of role t heory (McCourt 2011). While this focus on ideational factors and culture as an explanans of foreign policy outcome represents a significant advance over theories that understand the
35 individual policy maker as an amalgam of psychological biases or ideas, it still suffers defects present in the individualist explanations. Katzenstein (1996) assess how cultural norms have remained constant over the past half decade in an area such as Germany, and how this has constricted the ambit of potential policy choices f or policy makers. Yet, as stated prior, this is only half the story. The other half must address how these ideational factors are deployed by policy makers in order to justify to their constituencies why they undertook the policies they did. Thus, this pro ject represents a work along constructivist lines, with a slightly different focus. Whereas constructivist scholarship along the lines of Katzenstein seeks to identify why foreign policy choices are undertaken, this project will not tackle that ques tion. Instead, this project will focus on how these choices a re legitimated to fellow policy elites. The final vein of scholarship in FPA examines how domestic political processes affect the outcome of decisions. Most of these are taken from the perspectiv e of liberal states, and examine how legislative or democratic processes alter foreign policy outcomes. The liberal state is defined in part by inclusive institutions in which interest groups can give voice to their preferences and concerns. These institut ions allow for both participation and contestation of these different interests, as well as modes of transmission from interest groups to policy makers (Dahl 1971, 15). Political outcomes (in this case, foreign policy choices) are a reflection of the compe ting interests in these societies. Domestic FPA claims that exogenous national imperatives, or psychological or group processes, do not fully dictate foreign policy choice. Rather, foreign policy choice is a function of the policy omestic and international political imperatives (Putnam 1988). This insight has been adopted in the study of British foreign
36 policy, as a number of scholars address the nexus of domestic and international imperatives as an explanation of British foreign po licy over the past 60 years ( Frankel 1975 ; Smith 2010, 43; Wallace 1975; Wallace 1984 ). FPA scholars in this tradition examine how a wide array of institutions, including political parties, interest groups, legislators, public opinion and elections, affect foreign policy in democratic states ( Coker 1986; Frieden 1988; Holsti 1992; Lewis 2004 ; Lindsay 1994; Shapiro and Page 1983; Shlaim et al. 1977; Sobel 2001 ). Some studies analyze economic interest groups, examining the conflict between domestically orient ed economic groups and internationally oriented economic groups in dictating foreign policy choice (Frieden 1988). Others examine the legislative process and how it constrains the executive in creating foreign policy (Linsday 1994). Still others look at th e role of public opinion, including the variables that dictate whether or not it is effective in constraining foreign policy choices (Holsti 1992; Page and Shapiro 1994). As addressed earlier in this study, Democratic Peace Theory is related to this vein o f research. DPT suggests that democratic states are peaceful both due to ideational factors, the perception on the part of democratic states that other democratic states share a compatible political culture, and structural factors, limitations placed upon policy makers by the need to get other sectors of society to agree (Russett 1993). All of these variants of sch olarship share a similar defect --they all presuppose some type of legitimation yet do not fully explore this phenomenon. Holsti (1992) suggests that public opinion is an important factor in the formation of foreign policy, yet public opinion is not a static entity. Not only are publics notoriously uninformed, their opinions are subject to influence through the arguments and action of policy elites
3 7 ( Bullock 2011 ; Eagly and Chaiken 1993; Page et a l. 1987 ). This broaches the question of how this occurs. What devices or ideas do policy makers rely on to persuade individuals, publics and other policy elites, as to the validity of their opinion? Lindsay (1994 ) focuses on how congress limits executive foreign policy choice through procedural legislation and opinion framing. Yet, while legislatures have many ways of influencing foreign policy, the opposite is also true. The executive is regularly understood to be the more powerful actor regarding foreign policy in the UK. In many cases, foreign policy choices are made behind closed doors, often prior to consultation with the wider legislature. How does policy justification flow from top (the executive) to bo ttom (the legislature)? Furthermore, what are the categories and arguments used in order to justify policy choices? Indeed, if as DPT posits , democracy involves a political culture of compromise, surely arguments must be forwarded as to the acceptability o f any policy in question. What are the contours of these arguments? On what ideas and devices do they rely? To examine this, we must arrive at a fuller understanding of the process of legitimation itself. Legitimation As previously established, a sustained engagement with the phenomenon of legitimation is necessary in order to enhance the existing FPA literature. I define by policy making elite to justify a certain policy to other elites (Jackson 2006, 23) . In doing so, I place legitimation within the realm of tangible social and empirical processes. This is opposed to contending conceptualizations of legitimation, either a process of argumentation whereby either beliefs or motives are shifted, or the proce ss by which the normative superiority of a proposition is demonstrated ( Finnemore 1996; Klotz 1995; Price 1998). Analyzing
38 legitimation as an empirical and social phenomenon has garnered a significant following over the past fifteen years, and overcomes s ome of the shortcomings of previous attempts to grapple with this phenomenon (Jackson 2006; Krebs and Jackson 2007; Krebs and Lobasz 2007 ; Schimmelfennig 2001 ). Viewing the phenomenon in this way resolves many of the issues associated with legitimation sch olarship. First, legitimation scholarship has traditionally defined this phenomenon as patterns of argumentation whereby the transcendent normative validity of a position is over other competing arguments (Crawford 20 02; Muller 2004 ; Risse 2000 ). Risse states, for example, that the persuasive power of an Imagini ng legitimation in this fashion presupposes the normative validity of the policy or idea in question, and thereby elides the process of legitimation altogether. The legitimacy of a proposition or policy is assumed at the outset. Instead, what is interestin g is (Jackson 2006, 20). By assuming the transcendent normative validity of a position (for example, going to war over the Falklands because of a violatio n of state sovereignty or individual rights) , we leave aside the messy analytical work of demonstrating how this came to be valid. processes whereby various notions were made available for conc (Jackson 2006, 21; Crawford 2002, 122 23; Doty 1993, 314 16). What categories were employed to make intervention seem not only preferable, but a natur al outcome of the crisis itself? This requires a careful examination of the structures of these ideas, and
39 how particular constellations of identities were formed in order to construct boundaries of actions for states and other actors, and how these boundaries of action legitimated or delegitimated foreign policies. Indeed, many would suggest the interventions were not legitimate, but this is not so important. The question is by which process, adopting makers? Second, competing explorations of legitimation focus on the pr ocess by which the motives and believes of individuals are changed through persuasion. Hurd claims Checkel asserts that social a ctors come to (1999, 89 90). These arguments rest on the presumption that operant motives and beliefs of actors may be discerned through empirical evidence (Jackson 2006, 22 ; Crawford 2002, 49 52). Yet, this is a difficult task to achieve in a social landscape where actors may have numerous reasons for complying with norms or rules. Do political actors support a policy because they deem it legitimate, or have they something t angible to gain in exchange for their support? More apropos to our topic, MPs or members of a cabinet support a policy because they deem it legitimate or might they have other motives? If we conceptualize legitimation in this way , can we depend on what act ors say given the immense incentives for political actors to lie about their motives? The problem with conceptualizing legitimation in this fashion is we must always impute, or find revealed, or assume at the outset, that motives or beliefs are changed wit hout actually empirically demonstrating this fact.
40 A focus on legitimation as a socially relative, empirically identifiable process focusing on patterns of claims made in public is the best way to approach this phenomenon. Adopting this approach sidesteps the thorny issues attendant to other conceptions of legitimation. legitimating rhetoric that they are dep 2006, 22 23). Furthermore, this conceptualization of legitimation neatly elides questions of whether or not any legiti The legitimation that set out to undertake . Therefore, legitimation in all three cases was successful in this very narrow sense. Indeed , due to the structure of the British political system, the outwardly challenge government policy by voting against it may result a vote of no confidence. This could result in t he loss of power, a risky proposition for potential rebel backbenchers. Yet, what is at stake here is something altogether different. The theoretically and empirically interesting part of this analysis is how identities were constructed in order to legitim ate foreign policy choice, not whether those choices themselves were legitimate in the eyes of erstwhile challengers. Therefore, it is best to think of legitimation as a set of productive linguistic in which they operate. . within which certain actions can be performed, and it cordons off others as falling
41 24 25). [these boundaries] produce 25). To be clear, these boundaries of action are malleable, and the product of linguistic acts on the part of those doing the legitimating. These constructions are challenged by competing legitimations offered by contending policy elites. Indeed, they often adopt similar categories in the process of legitimation, but construct their meanings in radically opposed ways. These constructions are n ot extant features of the political lan d scape, but rather are produced and reproduced in speech. Yet, by creating boundaries of action for social actors, this process produces certain policies as legitimate for certain actors, while rendering others unjust ifiable. This view of legitimation makes sense in the context of the state. Indeed, the state is not naturally imbued with any powers or privileges. Instead, the boundaries of the state as a social actor are constructed by policy makers seeking to accompli sh actions (in our case, military intervention) using the state as a vehicle. Therefore, if a state is to take any action, the action in question must be deemed legitimate for the state. The crisis must be constructed as within the ambit of the state, or t he state must be constructed in a manner such that action is within the acceptable purview of the state. Of course, we must not solely focus on how British actors construct Britain. Legitimation as a process of boundary creation involves not only to the st ate doing the acting, but other actors that must be constituted through this process in order to justify policy. In justifying military action, boundaries of possible action must not only be drawn for the state in question, but for rivals, international or ganizations, and even the
42 populations of rival states. Indeed, the legitimation process may involve boundary creation for a number of actors in order for the policy c hoice to be rendered acceptable. The question remains: if we identify legitimation as patt erns of public claims whereby policy makers draw boundaries of action for social entities, what is the form these boundaries take? Policy makers may legitimate political action based on a number of factors, including an appeal to ethics, an appeal to philo sophical or instrumental motives, or appeals to survival (Crawford 2002, 42). Yet, in the context of military action, what unites all of these is dependence upon a certain identity of the state undertaking these actions. While Crawford imagines appeals to identity as apart from these other categories of appeal, in fact, these different forms of appeal are often included in the identity itself or presuppose a certain identity. For example, if military intervention in any given context is ethically justified, does not that presuppose that the state is an ethical actor? If military action is undertaken by the state in order to save groups of people, or save the state itself, does not that presuppose an identity of the y? As I will focus on later, these identities are not created in vacuo but are contingent upon a constellation of prior invocations of identity on the part of prior policy makers or actors. Policy makers draw upon this ideational milieu in order to craft i dentities for their home states and other actors in order to draw boundaries of acceptable action. If legitimation involves boundary creation, I argue this process of boundary creation should be conceived of as identity. Articulation of boundary between Se lf and Other, the characteristics that define them in opposition, operates in exactly the same fashion as Jackson (2006) describes. It sets boundaries for acceptable action on the
43 part of an actor, it imparts an identity, and distinguishes it from its Othe r through invocation of opposing characteristics. Thus, we should imagine the relationship between identity, policy, and legitimation as follows: legitimation is the process by which identity is reconciled with policy. It is the patterns of justification t hat argue why the Self must act in a certain way. Identity, culture, or ideas in general do not exist and construct Bukovansky 2002, 17). If policy makers operate in this fa shion, deploying identity in order to construct boundaries of acceptable action, we must examine the form which identity takes and the role it plays in this social process. This reconceptualization of legitimation prompts a number of questions. First, when discussing legitimation, how can one tell if a legitimation was successfully undertaken? In the realm of public debate focusing on mass audience this is often easy to discern. If one is seeking to legitimate in reference to public opinion, public opinion polling may suffice to answer the question. Yet, it is quite a different task when reserving inquiry to policy elites. After all, policy elites have entrenched interests and are not so easily swayed. Additionally, metrics such as vote counts cannot be used because norms of party discipline and linkages to other issues would certainly provide incentives for MPs to vote for policies they deemed illegitimate. After all, an MP may be convinced to vote on military intervention against personal preference because the entire party agenda depends upon allowing the party to remain in office. Moreover, since we cannot assume that reasons given during the legitimating process are beliefs actually held by individuals (after all, even if a policy elite supports the propo sal, this may be done for cynical reasons such as vote trading), this presents a significant obstacle.
44 Perhaps a turn to the text may solve this problem. One way to discern whether legitimation was successful or not is to see how many MPs changed their pos ition during the debate. This doesn't necessarily mean supporting a policy, but instead a small shift. Did an MP downplay a formerly significant element of identity to which he or she was committed? Or did that MP change the way in which he or she interpr eted that identity or the crisis itself? Furthermore, was this done in response to an event? This still accords with the definition of legitimation set forward earlie r. Yet, because we are examining aggregate patterns of justification as opposed to individual justifications, the contours of the general debate itself are what are important. Indeed, even though it was rare that individual MPs changed their position in th e midst of the crisis, even if they did, this is important only insofar as it affected these overall patterns. It is ng vote counts as a metric of legitimation would similarly be misleading. Rather, there are more illuminating questions. How did the contours of the debate develop? How were identities constructed in relation to one another and how did these identities sh ift over time? Ultimately, success legitimates any policy in the long run. It is questionable whether military action in the Falklands Crisis had the military invasion not been successful. Moreover, while the Iraq War and military action in the Suez Crisis was undertaken with questionable support from within the government (especially in the case of the latter), what is interesting is the sh ape that these narratives too k and the choices the
45 government made in relying upon these constructions of identity. Given the status of legitimation in this analysis ( consisting of patterns of public argumentation, combined with the e mpirical focus of this analysis) or legitimations. Rather, there are multiple narratives legitimating multiple policy choices. However, this analysis will focus on the ones that the government offers to justify its preferred policy. While I do focus on the contestat ions that took place between these competing narratives, defining which narrative was more legitimate is not possible. This brings us to our second concern: who is legitimating what to whom? In the subsequent analysis, we will focus on how the respective g overnments in power offer arguments in order to legitimate policies to other policy elites. As stated prior, because this analysis focuses on patterns of public justification rather than single narratives offered by actors, the government here is defined r ather broadly. To be sure, this will include the Prime Minister and his cabinet, but it will also include supporting backbenchers whose legitimations cohere with those of the government. I will refer to these actor as the government and its allies. The re sponse to the first part of the In all three cases, the action that is being legitimated is military intervention. As I explain lat er, I focus my analysis on House of Commons debates. To whom are MPs speaking during House of Commons debates? First, they are speaking to other MPs. They are addressing their critiques or defenses of policies to their political opponents. Second, MPs may be using their speaking time in order to reach constituents, defending their positions to the voters who ultimately decide their fate in subsequent elections. It is also
46 a possibility that they are speaking to interest groups, or even speaking to global au diences. Thus, speeches in the House of Commons, because of their public nature, must serve all of these functions. Yet, we cannot focus on all of these audiences. If we are to focus on the latter two, the question would arise: how would these actors speak back? Indeed, voters could make voice their concerns at the polls, but how would we know whether they were voting MPs out of office due to the specific policy legitimation? If we examined legitimation on the part of the governments and their allies to a g lobal audience, this would further complicate matters. How would these global audiences speak back? Are legitimations being aimed at all global denizens equally? For this reason, I narrow my focus on the legitimation of the government and its allies to oth er policy elites within the House of Commons. In short, the process of legitimation, defined as patterns of public argumentation that set boundaries of action for states and other actors. Yet, what is the content of the arguments that are used in this proc ess? What are the categories upon which these arguments depend? I argue that, in order to grasp a fuller image of the process of legitimation we must maintain a focus on the role identity plays in this process. Identity The focus on identity in IR has proc eeded apace since the 1990s as a reaction to the constraining rationalist assumptions of both neorealists and neoliberal institutionalists. deducible through a priori assumptions, the construc tivist focus has been to trouble this suggestion (Finnemore 1996; Katzenstein 1996 ; Wendt 1992 ). Constructivists contend of intersubjective meanings. Conventiona l constructivism focuses on the process by
47 i.e. through relations with states or other social entities, such as international organizations. seminal account of identity formation is a good place to begin our inquiry. For Wendt, Identity is not formed in a vacuum, but rather through a process of path dependent social learning borrowed from symbolic interactionism (Mead 1934 ; Wendt 1999 ). Wendt provides a stylized encounter between constructed through an interpretation of behavior, and an attribution of intentions. Thus, the formulation of identity is a process of reciprocal interpretation of behavior, attribution of intentions, and adjustment to those intentions (Wendt 1992, 404 5). Structures of intersubjective meanings arising from these initial interactions create an ideational environment that does not merely influences states with pre defined interests, but constitutes both identity and interests. ity has attracted some criticism in recent years from a number of sources, specifically regarding his failure to account for language in his conception of identity. process of strategic bargaining rather than linguistic, social interaction (Zehfuss 2002). Strategic actors may engage in bargaining with one another in order to maximize gains, or two individuals may engage in a conversation with one another. The question, then, is what is necessary fo r social interaction to occur, especially as it relates to identity formation? imputation of certain intentions. Wendt
48 may consist, for example, of an advance, a retreat, a brandishing of arms, a laying down of arms, or an attack on which it is prepared to respond to alter. This basis is unknown to alter, however, and so it must m given that this is anarchy, about whether ego is a threat He concludes that through a process of signaling and interpreting that the costs and probabilities of bein g 5). s ve intelligence and consciousness for this process. The problem is that, in order to be able to reflect and interpret, actors have to be capable of using language Instead of using language, ctors relies on gestures Zehfuss 2002, 48 49). behavior [i.e. physical signaling as opposed to communicating ] remains at the cen tre of the latter must offer an account of language. Due to the absence of language in his theory, Wendt cannot offer an account of how ideas ever become why states may be compelled to do anything apart from a consideration of costs and benefits . [so important in forming identity] is no t necessarily the coherence of the argument in
49 Instead, shifting identities through social (Zehfuss 2002, 120; Kratochwil 1989, 120). Indeed, as Zehfuss points out, the interpretation of behavior, not to mention the communications of the intentions of that behavior cannot be conveyed absent langu age and narrative. Self and Other The variant of identity scholarship which places the most emphasis on languages emerges from the poststructural ist camp , which argues that scholars such as Wendt misinterpret the ontological nature of identity. While often appear ing as essential, inevitable, and natural features of an entity, identities are instead contingent and constructed. Identities are not fixed, intrinsic parts of the agent to be positively identified, but rather, ar e fractured, incomplete, and must b e articulated to achieve coherence (Campbell 1992; Doty 1996; Edkins 1999; Epstein 2011; Neumann 1999; Weldes 1999 ). For these scholars , articulation stabilizes, produces, and reproduces identities. Since identities must be constantly stabilized, moments o f rupture are perhaps just as important for understanding the phenomenon of identity. According practices that constitute it can never be fully resol ved . . . This paradox inherent to their Yet, this very reproduction . Iden tity is fluid, constantly shifti ng, evolving, an d developing, not only to resolve the tension inherent in adapting a particular identity to the
50 but also simply because the nature of language itself, as an open system, means that meaning can never be ultimately finalized. For poststructuralists , while identities are created (an ultimately undecidable, Edkins notes, each Subjectification is the process by which identities are inscribed upon people and political entities, the process by which they are imbued with properties and cast as a political subject in relation to other political subjects. Yet, this contingency is soon forgotten as the originary moment is folded into a causal story, identifying the necessity of how the moment came about, and how it could not have been otherwise. In summary, poststruct ural it seeks to uncover the processes and techniques whereby identities as discursive structures are stabilized and perpetuated, while similarly recognizing both the contingency and inherent instability in s uch configurations. As such, moments of rupture, creation, and change, where identities break down, merit significant attention in the study of IR. Moreover, this process of subjectification coincides with a process of naturalization, whereby the contingen cy of such identities is pushed into the background, and these The originary moment is forgotten, and becomes a product of scientific necessity, as causes are retroacti vely imputed to show why the course of events had to have taken place in that particular way.
51 As identities are products of articulation, research in this area has focused on the study of discourses and their relation to identity. While it is difficult to provide an Discourses are productive, because they give meaning to physical an d social entities, and dictate the way that individuals, organizations, and other entities are classified, analyzed, and categorized as subjects of knowledge (Milliken 1999, 229). At the root of this focus in discourse is the relationship between signifie r (the actual word) and signified (the concept that that word stands for). The relationship between signifier and signified is arbitrary, and furthermore, signifiers are never stably attached to signified s . This is because signifiers can only be defined in terms of their relationship with other signifiers. Thus, identities are often expressed as the connection of one signifier to a web of other signifiers. webs of signification are constantl y in flux, and thus final meaning (connection between signifier and signified) is never fully arrived at (Derrida 1994). Thus, the focus of poststructural ism is often placed on how these relationships between signifiers are stabilized and reproduced. In Ch apters 3, 4, and 5, I demonstrate that certain signifiers, substantive, defining characteristics. Rather, they are attached to Britain as elements of its identity, and onl y defined in relationship to a radical Other, who does not possess such qualities. These insights have prompted a number of scholarly explorations that focus on this linguistic relationship of difference as the ontological structure of identity (Connelly
52 1 991). Campbell (1992 , 54 55 ) argues that states only come to know their identity through identification of a radical Other to which they are inextricably ontologically moored. He notes, on the subject of decrease in ecclesiastical authority and the subsequ have to fear defining elements that stand in the way Doty (1996) justify a brutal British colonial policy during the Mau Mau rebellion. Constructions of Mau Mau rebels as less than human, morally corrupt, intrinsically dangerous and emotionally stunted, as opposed to the British who were characterized as civil, morally upright, etc. were used to legitimate inhumane treatment, including summary executions and internment, as necessary and unavoidable. Neumann (1999) examines how the concept of Russia was historically constituted in relation to its European Other ; at times, distinct, and sometimes mixed. Wel des (1999) examines how US Identity was constructed in masculine terms vis Ã vis the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis, resulting in the construction of a crisis and resulting hostility between the two countries. Yet, viewing identity formation through this narrow lens needlessly oversimplifies the process. However , the Self Other relationship need not be narrowly construe d in this
53 In many cases, t he construction of identit y is more nuanced, identified by complex webs of sometimes complementary, sometimes competing identities. For example: was constructed by Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian politicians during the Cold War as an identity transcending th e nuclear neutrality, disarmament, development aid, and peacekeeping (Hansen 2006, 35; Joenniemi 1990). Policy makers construction of Eastern Bloc countries in opposition to a su perior Western Europe, while still underscoring their own essential European ness, provide another example (Hansen 2006, 35). Moreover, identity construction does not necessarily hinge on opposition with only one other entity, but rather, identity may be triangulated through a web of Self Other relationships, some more radically oppositional than others. These need not involve solely state identities, but may include cultural, religious, even personal identities. Moreover, they may include the splitting of otherwise singular subjects; for example, during the Gulf War and the later Iraq War, the US government took care to distinguish between the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi regime, the latter of which was constituted as radically other (2006, 36). Finally, th ere is nothing that suggests that the relationship between Self and Other necessarily occur between two different agents existing at the same time. Waever (1998) leaves open the possibility that the Self may be constructed vis Ã vis a past Self rather than a contemporary other. He notes that the peaceful Europe of today constructs itself in opposition to its past, endemically contentious Self .
54 In this analysis, I employ both conceptions of Self and Other, but include a third category in the form of the part ial Other (Hansen 2006) . In the three cases I examine, the British Self is constituted in radical opposition to another actor, yet, this underdetermines the legitimation of the chosen policy. It is an understatement to comment upon the complexity of the in ternational system, and any given crisis is bound to involve narratives that are similarly complicated and invoke many different identities. These identities often have complex relationships to one another. It thus falls to the researcher to strike a balan ce be tween simplicity and depth of interpretive explanation . Depending on the case, the partial Other is allied with the Self, or exhibits qualities that are reminiscent of the Self, but is constituted in a relationship of inferiority. The partial Other is constructed as an entity with limited agency, lacking the requisite political power or sensibilities to affect change. In Chapters 3 and 5, the partial Others (the Egyptian and Iraqi people, respectively) are constituted as passive, irrational, and untrus tworthy. This inferiority played an important role in legitimation of military intervention. Since the partial Other did not have the ability to free itself from the radical Other, it fell to the British to embark upon this mission. While partial Others ar e regularly constituted as inferior to the Self, this need not always be the case. As I demonstrate in Chapter 4, much of the legitimation of military intervention in the Falklands Crisis was contingent upon both the constru ction of the Argentinian Other. their construction of the Falklanders as an embodiment of more perfected British ideals. to allow for the conquest of the Falklands by Argentina would be endangering not only
55 its geopolitical interests, but more importantly, the values and identity that constitute it. Thus, recovery of the Falkland Islands constituted a recovery of British ident ity. As I will elucidate in the Chapter 6 , British legitimation for military conflict involved a constructed relationship between the British Self and the partial Other that necessitated intervention . Sometimes it identified more fully with this partial Ot her (as in the case of the Falklands, where it was symbolically retrieving lost imperial glory and by extent, its founding principles) and others it identified less fully. I argue that, in all three cases inclusion of the partial Other to the standard Self Other rubric provides a fuller account of the crises, and a complete account of legitimation could not proceed absent this inclusion. This account of identity raises a number of issues. First, since it is individuals construct identities upon which legiti fundamental unit of analysis? In response to the first charge, there is nothing in my account that suggests the priority of individuals over the ideational structures in narrative. This hinges upon the diff erence between the agency that individuals possess naturally , and the agency that inheres in the roles that agents occupy. It is because of fully reduced to the actions of individuals. An account of the state is proffered through narrative, and the role of the state regarding boundaries of action cannot be determined by what the Prime Minister says about it, nor what the entire government says about it. Rather, ideas and ins titutions constrain the Prime Minister in his actions as well as the acceptable limitations of how he constructs those actions. In fact, the state identity
56 constructs the role of the office of the Prime Minster itself, imbuing it with powers and responsibi lities in relation to the crisis. Yet, to suggest that individual policy makers within government are fully constrained by the narratives they create would also be incorrect? Rather, it is best to consider governments and their relationship to identities t hrough the lens of structuration (Giddens 1984; Wendt 1987; Wendt 1999). Certain agents, via their place in political structures, are enabled to mold those structures. Yet, these agents are simultaneously limited by those structures. In my account, the go vernments and their allies construct the British state and its competitors as Selves, radical Others, and partial Others, and reserve some agency in this process. Yet, present and past articulations of these identities limit the ability of future agents to construct completely different identities, or at least provide obstacles to be surmounted. Since, as I made clear at the outset, I am examining patterns of public speech , the identities policy makers offer in the process of legitimation are irreducible to the immediate utterances of individuals. the government and is allies in how it legitimates policies. Rather, the main focus of the analysis is the narrative, the relational identities within them, and how competing narratives provide competing boundaries of action for states and other actors. Governments are often quite imaginative in how they construct identities in order to legitimate policies. It is narrative, a device I explore later in this section , that embodies the nexus of agency and structure, and this is what I take as my main unit of analysis. The second charge that may be leveled is that this treatment of identity entails a dilemma. Either I must treat Self, radic al Other and partial Other as essentialist
57 identities that exist distinct from one another, or as mere analytical conveniences that allow me to gloss over other factors that are doing the true explanatory work. To be clear, I do not suggest that the identi ties found within these narratives are ontologically prior, or exist in any capacity other than within the narratives proffered. Indeed, I adopt the self other rubric as an analytical tool in order to better understand how the foreign policy choices were l egitimated in my three cases. The identities in my account may have been constructed alternatively, and in fact, I demonstrate that there were alternative constructions forwarded in all three cases by members of the opposition or rebel backbenchers. Yet, j ust because these constructions are not essential, this does not mean they are mere analytical conveniences. In subsequent analyses, I demonstrate that these identity constructions are essential in legitimating policy. I undergo a careful process of ground ed discourse analysis in which I identify the presence of these three categories of identity. These identity relationships are both constructed and relational. They are constructed through a narrative, and therefore, the meaning of one identity is only abl e to be construed in relation to other identities within that particular narrative. For example, the British Self as a protector of international law only has meaning if there is a law being transgressed. Furthermore, identifying the appropriate action nec essitates identifying a perpetrator. While these identities are relational, for analytical convenience I examine them separately. This is because to examine them together would provide an overly complicated and unclear picture of the identities as they we re constructed through these narratives. In the analysis, despite examining them separately, I will
58 demonstrate how they were irrevocably constructed in relation to one another within competing narratives. Finally, one may question my decision to include t he partial Other in this analysis, and ask what is the analytical value added of this category. As I elucidate later in this section , I employed a grounded discourse analysis, constructing categories inductively through examination of the text. Thus, these three categories constitute what may be An analysis of the texts employed in this work reveal that what remains constant amongst these cases is that account is given of the Self, the ra dical Other, and the partial Other. Furthermore, these three identity categories were indispensable in the process of legitimation. This is not to suggest they were the only identities proffered by policy makers in the process of legitimation. While other identities may be offered, these three are essential in legitimating foreign policy choice across all three cases, and offer the most explanatory power with the simplest model. Conversely, including only the radical Other and Self in this project would not have been able to explain the legitimation dynamics evident in the examined text. For example, legitimation of the 2003 Iraq War cannot be explained without reference to the invocation of a morally corrupt Oriental ist despot in the form of Saddam Hussein. 2 Yet, this argument rested upon a particular construction of the Iraqi people as helpless victims of Saddam . To ignore that facet of legitimation would leave this analysis deeply impoverished. While identifying Selves, radical Others and partial Others pl ays an important role, this does not provide the glue that binds these categories together. For these 2 For a discussion of what constitutes an Orienta list despotism, refer to Said 1979, the seminal work in this field.
59 identities to have meaning, they must be constructed in relation to a crisis. Crises, much like identities, are not do essential features of a political l andscape, but rather are constructed through language. Scholarship on securitization grapples with this phenomenon, arguing that security issues are not self evidently so, and that the process of securitization involves a speech act whereby a referent of s ecurity, as well as a threat to that security, is named ( Buzan 1997; Lipschutz 1995; Waever 1997). To connect identity construction to constructions of crises and policy options, a brief discussion of narrative is required. Examining identity through the l ens of narrative provides us a time, space, and relationality Narrative and Identity Narrative is the device by which humans make sense of the world. Barthes Narrative provides a context within which events and identities exist and relate one to the other. within a framework that imbues them with structures of meaning and a nor mative framework (1987, 3). relationship to one another, and therefore, we rely upon narrative to connect them, and make them relatable, understandable, and able to be acted upon. argues of emplotted stories happened and is
60 happening to them by attempting to assemble in some way or to integrate these 14). Thus, in order to understand identity, we should not necessarily focus on the relationship betwe en Self and Other as a categorical distinction, but rather, examine how different identities (oppositional, similar, or partly oppositional) are constructed in relation to one another, and in relation to the event in question, through narratives. In order to understand the relationship between narrative and self identity, we must explore the work of Anthony Giddens (1991) in Modernity and Self Identity. Although the approach he offers is clearly not poststructural ist, it exhibits many affinities with postst ructural ist work in identity in IR, and further provides us with the conceptual machinery in order to fully understand the process of how identities are formed, sustained, and linked to policy choice. Giddens (1991) suggests that there is nothing intrinsic about self identity. Rather, self identity is formed through a process of continual reflexive recreation of a biographical narrative that relates past, present and future. This on the part of the subject. Giddens (1991) suggests that there is no logical ordering to the events, categories, forms of knowledge with which we are presented regularly with in our daily lives. Indeed, in our daily lives, we are often dependent upon comp lex processes of which many of us know little to nothing. Moreover, there is no guarantee as to the fixity, predictability, or the consistency of the world or these processes. Yet, this contradicts a fundamental need on the part of the subject for complete ness and understanding.
61 to day action and discourse, chaos lurks It is not just inability to grasp, but a sense of conceptual foundations upon which everything is built. take for granted issues which, as centuries of philosophical inquiry have found, wither away under the skeptical gaze . . . They are questions of time, space, continuity and Giddens 1991, 36 37). Yet, despite this conceptual and existential anomie , the Self must cope through the provision of some semblance of continuity. For Giddens, this is done by projection of a self identity as biographical narrative. future. The individual appropriates his past by sifting through it in light of what is 1, 75). The Self is constituted through the current Self, and what is to be expected f or the future Self. Giddens states: It is made clear that self identity, as a coherent phenomenon, presumes a narrative . . . autobiography particularly in the broad sense of an interpretive self history produced by the individual concerned, whether writ ten down or not is actually at the core of self identity in modern social life. Like any other formalized narrative, it is something that has to be worked at (1991, 76). ow identity, constituted through biographical narrative is both fragile and robust. Fragile, because the biography the individual reflexively holds in mind is a sense of self identity is often securely enough held to weather major tensions or transitions in the social environment (Giddens 1991, 55).
62 Moreover, self identity may change endogenously, nxiety about the adequacy of prompt a shift ( Giddens 1991, 65). Analyses relationship between the state and narrative is not new, and has been comprehensively treated in the IR literature (Campbell 1992; Epstein 2008; Neumann 1999; Ringmar 1996; Steele 2008 ). The state has no meaning apart from narrative, as es [scale] down relevant roles a state occupies for a (Steele 2008, 72). States are not univocally constituted, and at any given time a number of biographical narratives may relate the role of the state to political events in any number of ways. Indeed, the biographical narrative, as argued by Giddens, is merely identity is cast. Different biographical narrative s construct the state, and its relevant roles, in different manners. States and their identities only hold explanatory wei narration by individuals. Moreover, far from asserting a singular identity of the state, or a dominant one accepted by most, I suggest that there may be numerous narratives that construct the state in d ifferent ways at any given time. Finally, the particular biographical narrative of the state need not have meaning outside of the narrative context of the crisis. As
63 whereby a number of identities . . . in specific contexts are strung together into one 19). I argue that the relation ship between narrative and identity is key to understa interests are translated into legitimate pol icy choice. The unit of analysis I focus on here is not the state, nor the individual, but rather the narrative itself. Thus, of each case, I ask, in relation to each narrative: first, how is the event in question constituted through the narrative? In each case I must demonstrate that, at the time, the event was constructed as a crisis. Second, what are identified as the causes of that event, including how and why it came to pass , and how this relates to subsequent construction of identity ? I examine how th e narrative employed to legitimate military intervention found the cause to be in the individual nature of the radical Other as opposed to external circumstances, or chance. Third, what identities are proffered in this narrative, how do they relate to one another, and how do they relate to the crisis in question? This is important, as a theme that reoccurs in the dominant narrative in all three cases is the relationship between the British protector , the victimized partial Other, and the oppressive radical Other. Finally, I will examine how articulation of these identities are linked to possible policy choices. Specifically, I examine whether or not possible policy decisions are commensurate with Self and Other identities constructed through these narrative s, thus rendering those choices legitimate or illegitimate. The main portion of this analysis examines how competing narratives, containing within them constructions of Self, radical Other, and partial Other, are used to legitimate policy choices on the pa rt of the government. In order to be legitimate, identity must correspond to policy choice.
64 centered on creating a stable link between identity and policy. One might think of this model as a system of foreign policy must be corrected, either by shifting the identity or the foreign policy (Hansen 2006, 26). Research Design Method The methodology employed in this project involves both eleme nts of discourse analysis, as well as a standard comparative method in order to understand the dynamics of identity shift over the years examined. Within cases, I employ discourse analysis, a method that has emerged in IR over the past twenty years, an d on ly very recently attained an accepted status within the discipline. Discourse analysis can assume multiple forms. While it may include more positivist variants of research, such as content analysis, I will focus on how it has been employed by constructivis t scholars. George identifies common element in this style of discourse analysis as the attempt to describe, in specific contexts, the implications of this connection for the way we think While a number of illuminating studies have come out of the recent turn to language over the past few decades, the validity of this work begs a number of questions from both critics and prac titioners (Keohane 1988; Mearsheimer 1994). This is especially true in the field of security studies (Walt 1991). Many scholars that engage in this type of research reject defined methodological, indeed any focus on methodology at all, as incompatible with the epistemology and ontology they adopt (Ashley and Walker 1990; Campbell 1996). As a result, discourse methods are often unfairly pigeon -
65 holed as unscientific , lacking rigor, or inescapably subjective, and thus relegated to a In an effort to advance the methodological rigor of discourse analysis and dispel notions that this methodological orientation is unscientific by which methodol ogical rigor can be preserved in discourse analysis. They contend that the accusations of Walt (1991) and Keohane (1988) regarding the lack of rigor of are not intrinsic to the theories themselves (Milliken 1999; Hansen 2006). The goal of these scholars is writings of poststructural ist theorists . . . but which differs significantly from the image Hansen 2006, 4). The approac h I take borrows heavily from Milliken (1999) who in turn extends the seminal work of Tzvetan Todorov (1984) . Todorov argues that the subject is constituted by reference to a number of characteristics and descriptions that are fundamentally linked and rela ted. The Self is cast in opposition to an Other that is constituted in through a similarly structured, yet inferior set of interrelated characteristics. Therefore, to understand how the subject is constituted one must look at the web of signifiers that con struct it. We examine how Self and Other are alternatively constructed by examining: the language practices of predication the verbs, adverbs and adjectives that attach to a noun. Predications of a noun constructs the thing(s) named as a particular sort of thing, with particular features and capacities. Among the objects so constituted may be subjects, defined through being assigned capacities for and modes of acting and interacting ( Milliken 1999, 232). Alternative predications result in alternative iden tity constructions of the Self and suggest wildly different approaches regarding relationship to the Other. As Todorov
66 demonstrates , competing identity constructions of the Indians upon first contact with the Spanish by the likes of Las Casas and Cortes re spectively, suggested different reactions to their presence. Todorov claims: differed radically as to the ontological and temporal identity of this Other, and, accordingly as to which poli cy should and could be employed: discourse of Christian egalitarianism installed a Spanish responsibility for converting the Indians into Christendom (Todorov 1992 quoted in Hansen 2006, 43). Thus, the examination of the most common predications are used to create the elements of identity that constitute our Selves and Others. The choice of categories proceeds along through close examination of the text, and initial flexibilit y of the categorical constructions. study and abstraction which goes hand in hand, in the sense that theoretical categories are drawn from and answer to the empirical data upon which a study is 1999, 234). categorizations via empirical study and abstraction, comparing on the basis of new data whether these categories fit and, if necessary, reformulating the categ ories so that they Data reliability is Other identities an analysis can be said to be complete (validated) when upon adding new texts and comparing their object spaces, the researcher finds consistently that the theoretical categories she has generated work Milliken 1999, 234). Moreover, I att empt to show how the differences in how each of the Self identities was constructed mattered, as the partial Other was often times very similarly constituted save for small differences.
67 While I use predicate analysis to analyze the formation of individual identities, Bal's (1997) influential work on narratology lends insight into how these identities were constructed in relation to the each other, and the crisis itself. Bal's framework, while applied beyond the study of For Bal, the constitutive elements of narrative are the events, the construction of time, and the actors that are portrayed in the narrative. Events must be considered in terms of (Bal 1997, 48). This arrangement may affect how a narrative is interpreted. Second, the must be considered. Events and actors that are allotted a lot of time are given more weight than ones that given relatively little time. Finally, narratives depend on rs are provided with distinct traits. In this Thus, for each case I will focus on the uni que traits of the individual constructions of the Selves, Others and partial Others (i.e. the web of predicates that distinguish them) as well as the relationship of the Selves to Other (how those predications differed or linked to one another, and how tha t mattered for the narrative in question) and finally, how these identities were linked in the narratives to the description of events. In a sense, predicates (i.e. democratic, rational, etc.) modify the identity, which is understood through the narratives deployed.
68 The Analytical Process How do these different elements relate to one another? First, the list of policy options identified within the discourse had to meet a number of criteria. They must have been possible, given British capabilities at the tim e. Second, they had to be identified as viable policy choices by at least some policy elites as described in the discourse. Third, there had to be a link between identity and policy choice . Moreover, one may argue that (such as military conflict in the Falklands War). cases were quite attractive at the time, while simultaneously, military options posed great risks. This guards aga and merely a formality. Legitimate policy choices were identified as those that 1) helped to realize a preferable British identity 2) affirmed a particular identity that was in line with the curr ent instantiation of British identity for example, 3) or affirmed an identity that was commensurate with the current instantiation of the identity of Other or partial Other. Illegitimate policy choices were ones that 1) would result in a shift in British i dentity from a preferable one, 2) affirmed a particular identity that was out of line with the identity set forth in the narrative or 3) affirmed an identity that was out of line with the current instantiation of the identity. The final question to be addr essed is how these narratives interacted with one another. What was the process by which they were contested by their opponents, and defended by their supporters? In propounding the dominant narrative, the government and its allies use the identity categor ies within the narrative, in conjunction with a description of the crisis itself, to construct certain policies as preferable. These policies are preferable because they accord with the bounds of action suggested in the identity
69 for the multiple actors inv olved. conjunction of identities, in combination with a construction of the crisis as a criminal act, could be used to legitimate military intervention . Therefore, the government offered a dominant narrative that squared with the policy choice is preferred. Naturally, t hese narratives were challenged by opposition from outside the party in power, and sometimes from with in. sug gested other policy options should be considered . Sometimes these narratives borrowed from the same identity categories as the dominant narrative, but arranged identities and interpreted them in wholly differe nt ways. Other times, they offered contesting identities for the Self, radical Other and partial Other. As debates are themselves temporal processes, these alternative narratives were forwarded in the course of debates, and necessitated an answer on the pa rt of the government and its allies. Yet, this does not mean that contestations of the dominant narrative on the part of the opposition and its allies were always answered. More often multiple narratives, containing within them multiple constructions of id entity, were proffered by political rivals. Yet, both supporters of the dominant narrative and opponents of it exhibited similar tactics in legitimating their respective choices of policy. First, supporters and opponents of the dominant narrative appropria ted similar categories of identity, while changing the context of the crisis itself in order to push the claim for the legitimacy of one policy. ing upon how the crisis is constructed. Yet, if military action is to be considered legitimate, the crisis must
70 be constructed as one in which international law is breached. Often, the legality of the er, the action taken by Britain in response) was not clear cut. Thus, challenging the construction of the crisis was one of the ways in which the process of legitimation was contested. Second, supporters and opponents of the dominant narrative attempted to construct the constellations of identities, and the commensurate bounds of action, differently. For example, the dominant narrative may have constructed Britain as morally upright, and the protector of international order, while the radical Other (the gov ernment of a rival power) was constructed as morally corrupt, and corrosive of the international order. Consequently, the dominant narrative may construct the partial Other (the population of the rival power) as a victim of the radical Other, necessitating rescue by the British. Opponents of this dominant narrative may suggest that the radical Other is not in moral terms , but a s a political actor, responding to domestic and international political incentives. Consequently, military action on the part of the British would render the partial Other victims not of the morally corrupt radical Other, but rather the British themselves, who would be embarking upon a violent intervention without just cause. In order to more easily accomplish their goals, and render t heir respective constructions of both the crises and identities meaningful, supporters and opponents of the dominant narratives in Chapters 3, 4 and 5 would adopt historical analogies. Interestingly , while supporters and opponents of the dominant narrative s in Chapters 3, 4, and 5 would often draw upon the same historical analogies in support of their arguments, they would
71 interpret the lessons drawn from them differently, and thus use them to legitimate competing policy choices. 3 In short, in the research design of this study, identities are examined according to predicate analysis, while Selves, Others, and partial Others are analyzed according to the similarity or difference of these predications. These constellations of identities and how they relate to one another are constituted vis Ã vis the event either in a relationship of legitimacy or illegitimacy. Data A robust research design relies upon examination of the widest possible array of texts while making allowances for time and relevance. Depending on whether one takes a relatively broad or narrow view of identity or legitimation, one could justify various different choices of texts. Hansen provides a useful analysis of which texts should be used given the ends of the study. study limits the ambit of research to only these documents. The analytical focus is placed on discourses by of international Institutions, or official statements by Though she limits her textual scope to this, I also include elements of what Hansen calls This In reference to the British cases, and the particularities of the political system, debates are public affairs used to both clarify details about decision s, but also to air divergent opinions despite the impossibility of 3 For more on the use of historical analogies in IR see Khong 1992.
72 their having a direct effect upon policies. Thus, I concentrate mainly on Parliamentary debates that take place during the crisis, analyzing debates from a short time before and throughout the crisis . I support these texts with White Papers , official government speeches, and other public statements designed for public consumption. 4 I focus mainly on House of Commons debates for a number of reasons. First, as explained in the section on legi timation, the House of Commons offers a forum in which policy elites are either required to, or impelled by political imperatives, to legitimate their policy choice to other policy elites. Second, the House of Commons debates provide data that is consisten t across all three cases. Throughout the three cases, House of Commons debates provide account of MPs providing legitimations to their policies, but beyond this, countering the legitimations of opposing members by offering alternative constructions of both identity and crisis. Third, because the House of Commons debates are designed for public consumption, this limits the possibility that policy makers are addressing their legitimations to any one sector of policy elites in particular. Finally, I define le gitimation as public patterns of justification. There is no more public a form in British politics than the House of Commons. Although I buttress my argument by reference to other aforementioned primary and secondary sources, for these reasons, I rely main ly on British House of Commons debates in providing the data for this study. Additionally, as one of the aims of this study is to examine change in how the British Self was constituted throughout the past fifty years, it is necessary to examine multiple c ases, and justify the applicability of those cases to analyzing the phenomenon 4 Many of these documents for the Falklands War and the Iraq War were not yet available during the data gathering phase. Thus, I employ more of these types of documents in Chapter 3 than in Chapters 4 and 5. I discuss this further in Chapter 6.
73 at hand. Hansen notes that the possibility of comparison inheres in the adoption of multiple cases that exhibit a contiguous theme (2006, 71). locat ed at different times but related by issue, one might for instance compare the British responses to the wars in Bosnia in 1992 5 and Kosovo in 1998 analytical advantage of multiple events studies is that a comparison across time allows for an i For the purposes of this study, I employ three case studies, each separated by about 30 years. I ema nating from a former part of the empire (defined as either formal or informal). Indeed, some of these threats are constructed as more dire than others, yet, they are all similarly situated insofar as they were constructed as a threat to the British Self. C ase Selection The three cases I examine are the Suez Crisis (1956), the Falkland Islands War (1982) and the Iraq War (2003). I chose these cases because while they exhibit a number of similarities, they also exhibit important differences that make for illu minating comparison. First, they all constitute instances of British security crises. Crises are not speech acts that place responses to these events beyond the pur view of normal political debate (Waever 1995). These three cases are remarkably similar in their constitution as crises, not necessarily due to the perceived dire political and economic consequences of leaving these encroachments unaddressed, but because t heir constructions as affronts to British political identity. Second, while these were constructed as crises, they did not represent a serious existential threat to the British state. Perhaps one could make a case for the possible closing of the Suez Canal exacting dire economic
74 consequences, but as I demonstrate in Chapter 3 , there were alternatives to using the Suez Canal for transport of essential materials such as food and oil. As for the Falklands War and the 2003 Iraq War, neither constituted a truly grave threat to the existence of the British state. Third, they all involved a decision to employ force without the direct sanction of the UNSC or other international legitimating body. Governments attempting to legitimate military interventions across the se three crises at least recognized the legitimacy of a UN SC mandate. Security Council mandates, apart from affording the blessing of the most powerful states in the international system, have the force of international law. The Security Council mandate fo r the application of force was not fully present in all three cases, and in the cases of the Suez Crisis and the Iraq War, key allies in the Security Council opposed the use of military force on the part of the British. 5 This implied lack of legitimacy pla ced the onus on the government to justify its policies, as evidenced by the lively debate in the House of Commons prior to these interventions. Fourth , these three cases represent important junctures for the British state. In all three cases, the conclusio n of the conflict represented a turning point in the domestic politics of Britain. In the case of the Suez Crisis, Eden was pushed from power as a direct result of the failure of the military intervention. Blair was replaced by Gordon Brown due to his hand ling of Iraq, and his insistence on maintaining troops in Iraq despite an approval rating in the 30% range (Koch and Sullivan 2010, 626). Conversely, a flagging Thatcher administration was boosted by success in the Falklands Campaign, 5 for the invocation of Ar ticle 51 if the British government so chose, but still called for an immediate ceasefire between the two warring parties.
75 allowing her to under take a shift in policy that would otherwise have been unthinkable (Gibran 1998). Finally, I chose these because of the clear references to previous crises in debates regarding contemporary crises. The Falklands War and Suez Crisis are both invoked in debat es concerning the Iraq War as competing analogies in order to understand the crisis itself. Moreover, the Suez Crisis was invoked during the Falklands War by the opposition in arguing that Britain should be careful not to overstep its capabilities. Finally , I chose these three cases because the differences among them offer a unique opportunity to examine how legitimation differed with reference to three distinct phases of British history. The Suez Crisis represents a point in which the Empire, while bloodie d and bruised, was not beaten. In the run up to 1956, there was still a belief amongst certain elements in the British political elite in the viability of empire and the independence of Britain on the world stage (Kyle 1991, 43). They believed that Britai n would not survive as a great power absent reliance on the imperial resources at its disposal. This view still held sway amongst a relatively large portion of the Conservative party. Indeed, at this time, Britain still ruled over a considerable amount of territory, and the British pound was still the currency in use for a majority of the empire and Commonwealth , including the economic powerhouses of Canada and Australia (Louis 2006, 473). By the approach of the Falklands War , the British Empire had been li quidated, apart from a few minor outposts, including mostly small territories for whom self government and economic independence was not feasible. Whereas the British retained significant political and economic influence even in 1956, by 1982 this had all but
76 disappeared. British military presence was pulled back to east of the Suez Canal by 1967, and the political influence the British once exercised in the Middle East was replaced by the presence of the Americans or the Soviets. Whereas in the 1950s, the British Pound could lay claim to its status a significant global currency, by 1976 , though still significant, the government was forced to approach the IMF for a loan in order to bolster its value . in the 1950s, the position of these Conservatives had diminished considerably in the subsequent years. Indeed, members of the old guard such as Julian Amery (Conservative, Preston North) still remained, but they were anachronisms, products of an earlier t ime. This, however, did not mean that the memory of Empire had faded. Indeed, the grandiosity of the British Empire was still in living memory, as most MPs during this time came of age during World War II and the 1950s. Thus, while the power of the British state had indeed hit a nadir, Empire still remained in recent memory. Thus, this event represents the twilight of the Empire. Finally, by 2003, the British state had effectively repurposed itself. Not only was the Empire long dead, but the imperial trappi ngs had all but faded from memory. Whereas earlier British governments considered the Commonwealth and Empire geopolitical and economic standing in the world, by the 1990s, the British turned towards other more promisin g avenues for preserving global and regional influence. These included continuing and sometimes modifying prior relationships with the United States and Europe, but also cultivating new roles in international ins titutions and international law (Tate 2012). While, by 2003, the British had recovered economically from the doldrums of the late 1970s and early 1980s, it by
77 no means considered itself an autonomous economic power on the world stage. Its military power, while significant, was a shadow of what it ha d been in the 1950s, prior to the Suez Crisis. While a victory in the Falklands War preserved the image of a vital and potent British state, by the early 2000s, Britain had firmly relegated itself to the status of secondary power. Insofar as it embarked on independent military operations, they were in relation to small or weak states, and usually involved humanitarian missions, such as the 2000 intervention in the African state of Sierra Leone. Despite this geopolitical and economic shift, the British still embarked upon military interventions in all three of these cases. To be clear, only the Falklands War was an independent military mission. Yet, even though the Suez and Iraq interventions were in conjunction with other powers, the government in power stil l undertook significant risks in committing to these operations. Moreover, as I will show in subsequent analysis , the risks were understood by those embarking on these operations. As previously shown, these military undertakings were not fait s accompli , an d involved a significant effort on the part of the government to legitimate them to other political elites within the House of Commons. This project will examine how military intervention during three inct phases of post imperial Britain, was legitimated by reference to narratives of British Self identity and Other identity. What follows is a br ief description of Chapters 2 through 6 . Overview of the Following Chapters Chapters 3 through 5 are each devo ted to an empirical case , while Chapter 6 offers an overview of the project and outlines the significant findings. At the beginning of each empirical case I offer a brief introduc tion and overview of each chapter , and a discussion of the main findings. Sec ond, as this analysis adopts a longitudinal
78 approach, I offer a brief examination of the position of Britain in the historical period in the lead up to the crisis, as well as British constructions of the identities of the actors in question. While I argue that identities are constituted through narrative, these narratives are not created out of whole cloth, and do not operate independent of the historical context in which they are formed. They often responded to crises particular to that time period, or rel ied upon earlier instantiations of identity of both Self and Other. This is designed to give a brief account of British Self identity prior to the crisis, as often , many identities proffered in these accounts are responses to these earlier accounts of iden tity. 1982, and 2003, linking them together in order to form a coherent project. Third, I offer a brief introduction to the crisis as well as the policy options pr offered . Beyond showing that both the crisis and policy options satisfy the criteria set forth (i.e. they events were constructed as crises, and policy options set I identify were perceived as possible at the time) I attempt to show that policy options wer e needed legitimation. Contemporary interpretations from competing perspectives would suggest that policy choice must align with either security interests, economic interests, or the desires of interest groups. I demonstrate that, while security interests, or economic interests did play some role, they did not fully determine policy choice. Given that these were not obvious (i.e. fully commensurate with security or economic interests as set forth in competing theories) foreign policy choices, this argues fo r the necessity of legitimation with reference to identities. Fourth, I identify described within. The dominant narrative was not necessarily the one believed by most
79 people, or the one that off ered the strongest argument, but rather the one that accorded with the chosen policy. Fifth, I demonstrate how these identities were employed along with a construction of the crisis within the narrative to either legitimate or delegitimate a particular pol icy choice . proffered to legitimate alternative policy choices. In these cases, while identities in these narratives were often similar, how the identities were constructed , cast in relation to one another, or cast in relation to other elements of the narrative, legitimated alternative policies. This suggests that theories of identity that adopt a narrative approach can provide richer insights into the process of legitimation, prompting us to co nsider how these new approaches may be adopted and expanded in order to understand foreign policy. I address these concerns in the conclusion.
80 CHAPTER 3 SUEZ CRISIS, 1956 Overview In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the British underwent a rapid shift in t heir status as a great power. The inability of Britain to maintain economic and political hegemony over its empire, combined with an over stretched military apparatus, left the empire facing a number of new challenges. Many of these emanated from the Middl e East. During the 1950s, the British were rapidly drawing down their forces in the Middle East in response to the new pressures attendant to the postwar era, including increasingly vocal calls for decolonization. In response to the breakdown of negotiatio ns for an Anglo American development loan, the revolutionary government of Gamal Abdel Nasser national ized the British controlled Sue z Canal, prompting a political crisis. Despite staunch opposition from the US and other allies, the British and French resp onded to the crisis with military action, ordering an invasion of the Canal Zone in October, 1956. How was this policy legitimated? In this case study , I explore how the Anthony Eden government relied on a dominant narrative employing a constellation of op positional and partially oppositional identities to legitimate foreign intervention. Through the dominant narrative, the government and its allies constructed British identity as rational and reasonable, defenders of democratic principles, international la w and order. This identity was cast in opposition to the Egyptian government under Nasser, constructed as irrational, erratic, corrosive of international law and order, and fundamentally opposed to democratic principles. The nationalization of the canal wa s constructed not as a political act, but a s an immoral criminal act, for which Nasser must be held accountable by a morally
81 upright, lawful, and order oriented Britain. Adopting these constructions, the dominant narrative delegitimated non action, continu ed negotiations and reference to the UN Security Council as viable options. First, constructing Nasser as irrational, overly emotional, and erratic, in relation to British rationality and steadfastness, the government and its allies suggested that non acti a power duty bound to uphold international law and order. Further, to leave the canal in an upholder of international law a nd order, inviting further encroachments. The dominant narrative constructed diplomatic options, including continued negotiations and reference to the UN Security Council as similarly illegitimate. The government and its allies suggested that internationa l institutions (and their pronouncements) were illegitimate when they diverged from the principles underlying their construction. Under these conditions, international institutions and negotiations acted as means for untrustworthy dictators such as Nasser to further their agendas. It was therefore incumbent upon the British as protectors of international law and order to act in violation of the UN in order to forego the principles (e.g. maintenance of international law and order) underlying it. Yet, these c onstructions alone underdetermine legitimation of the military option. In order to fully legitimate the military option, the dominant narrative relied on a number conflictual , dictatorial nature, whi ch existed in a zero sum relationship with the British. Moreover, legitimation of the military option depended heavily upon a particular construction of Egyptian and Arab
82 identity which complemented legitima Background to the Crisis On July 26 th 1956, in a speech to the Egyptian people, Nasser announced the occupation and nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egyptian troops. W hile the immediate cause of the crisis was the withdrawal of an Anglo American loan financing the construction of the Aswan High Dam, the roots of the conflict extend further back. Construction of the Suez Canal was concluded in November 1869 by a French c onsortium. Though the UK had a vested interest in the region, it did not acquire a stake in ownership until 1875, when 44% of the shares, initially owned by Egypt, were purchased by the British government (Bowie 1974, 3). In 1882, in response to an Egyptia n revolt, the UK stationed troops in the Suez region. Despite eighty six declarations of their intentions to withdraw, the British retained a military presence in the Suez until their negotiated removal in 1956 (Moore 1958, 13). The international legal sta tus of the Suez Canal was governed by a succession of treaties, the first concluded prior to the construction of the Canal in 1856 (Bowie 1974, 3). Article I of the Constantinople Convention (1888) affirmed the principle of free passage of all vessels, in times of peace and war (Foreign Office 1888). Similarly, Article IV binds the signatories of the treaty to avoid action that disrupts traffic through the canal. The legal position of the canal was revisited in 1936, when the British signed a treaty with th e Egyptian government to maintain a military presence until Egypt was in a position to defend the canal by itself. Due to repeated declarations on the part of the British and rising Egyptian nationalism, discontent with the arrangement grew in the period l eading up to World War II.
83 Throughout the war, Egyptian nationalist aspirations were suppressed, and though officially neutral, elements within Egypt periodically expressed sympathy towards the Axis powers (Moore 1958, 15) . After World War II, there were i ncreasingly vocal calls for a renegotiation of the 1936 settlement. This renegotiation began in 1950 and continued throughout 1951. The Egyptians were concerned to regain a measure of prestige lost during the humiliating defeat at the hands of Israel in 19 48, while the British desired to maintain troop presence in the Suez region (Fullick and Powell 1979, 2) . Negotiations for a continued British presence failed, and the newly minted revolutionary government of General government unilateral ly exited the treaty, requesting a withdrawal of British troops from the Canal Zone. An agreement was reached in October 1954 and troop withdrawal was completed by mid July of 1956. As part of the withdrawal agreement reached in 1954, the Egyptian governme nt committed to uphold the stipulations of the Constantinople Convention, including those regarding free passage for all ship ping regardless of nationality. Despite this agreement, Israeli shipping was regularly discriminated against following the 1948 Ara b Israeli War, subject to search and seizure, in clear violation of Egyptian treaty obligations (Bowie 1974, 5; Azar 1972; El Baredai 1982; Khadduri 1968) . Furthermore, the treaty provided for maintenance of the canal by a body of civilian technicians for the next seven years. The Canal, officially operated by the Suez Canal Company since its inception, required skilled technicians for its operation, and the British position was that, absent these workers, Egypt would not be able to field the skilled labor required to operate the Canal. The immediate catalyst for the Suez Crisis was the failure of the British, the Americans, and the Egyptians to come to agreement on the provisions of a loan to build
84 the Aswan High Dam. Nasser, having acceded to power on a wa ve of popular support, sought to make good on promises of improving the living standards of the impoverished Egyptian population. The Aswan High Dam was to be the hallmark of this promise, (Kyle 1991, 82) . While the World Bank provided half (US $200 million) of the funds for this undertaking, the other half would have to come from donor governments, specifically the United States and Britain. At this point, both the British and Americans fel t that negotiating a loan for this project would secure the loyalty of Nasser, placing him solidly in the Western camp. This was essential, partly because of British designs for the Middle East, especially in regards to the recently concluded Baghdad Pact (1955) , an attempt at an alliance of frontline states aimed at limiting Soviet influence in the region. If Egypt were to fall under Soviet control, this would provide the Soviets with an entry point in order to expand their influence in the region. The loa n ultimately fell through when US president China by the Egyptians, as well as a perceived inability of the Egyptians to finance their portion, unilaterally withdrew t he offer on July 19 th , 1956 (Kissinger 1994, 528) . Eight days later, Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, announcing it in a radio address . This crisis prompted a swift response on the part of the British. While decisions as to how to respond to the crisis were being discussed, a narrative of the crisis, and the corresponding identities, were constructed by the government of Anthony Eden. Identities are historical products, and therefore, it is the task of the researcher to trace the development of these ide ntities throughout time. Therefore, my discussion of the three identities (the British Self, the Egyptian radical Other, and the Arab partial Other)
85 follows these identities back to their initial roots. What follows is a discussion of the elements of ident ity that were employed in this narrative construction. Policy Options Why was the military opti on debated in the first place ? One may argue that, from a geopolitical standpoint, the Suez had clear overwhelming military value for the UK and therefore violen t inter vention was an obvious choice. This is incor rect for a number of reasons. First, though it had been stated policy on the part of the British to prevent the Canal from falling into hands of any one power, during the Commons debates, justifications fo r military action centered on traits specific to Nasser as reasons for not allowing the Suez Canal to remain in Egyptian hands . This opposition was contingent upon a certain construction of Nasser that will be explored in mor e depth later in the analysis . Second, if security interests were paramount, why did Britain choose a route that would ultimately risk immense damage to the relationship with its cl osest ally, the United States? There is strong evidence to suggest that Anthony Eden was well aware of Ame rican opposition to military intervention prior to undertaking it. 1 Thus, given that military intervention was not a self evidently legitimate policy choice from the start, what ot her policy choices were there? The other policy choices included non action, further diplomacy, and reference to the UNSC . Non action did not represent the implausible option one might assume upon first glance. The British were clearly overstretched militarily and economically. Moreover, their closest ally, the United States, was not supportive of military action, and furthermore , was generally suspicious 1 s stationed in Suez, and made this clear to Eden at the time (Bowie 1974, 62; Eisenhower 1965, 23).
86 of the perceived colonial aims of the British. Given that Nasser made overtures towards the British in the form of compensation and maintaining unfettered traffic, a quiet recogni tion of the new status quo may was not altogether ruled out . The second option was referral to the UNSC . The question was not should the matter itself be referred to the Security Council, but rather if the conclusions of the Security Council should act as the final say in the matter. Indeed, Eden revealed in a speech to the House of Commons on September 12 th that, by that time, he had taken unofficial action regarding referral to the Security Council, though the matter was not officially referred to the Cou ncil until early October . Referral to the UNSC did not bear fruit for the Eden administration. Due to the Soviet veto (and even a possible US veto) a resolution could not be passed (Parliamentary Debates 1956a , 11; hereafter Hansard) . Due in part to a resp ect for international law, in addition to the institutional power Britain maintained in the UNSC, many within the House of Commons demonstrated a level of respect for the UN. Many MPs in the Labour Party would not consider military action absent official s anction by the UN . Thus, The Eden administration was placed in a position where it had to legitimate military intervention absent not only support from its most powerful ally, the United States, but also absent sanction by this important international body . Given both the clear respect for the chamber amongst porti ons of the British policy elite abiding by the decisions of this chamber , and foregoing military action, presented a possible policy option. The third possible option was continued diplomacy in or der to reach a mutually agreeable outcome. For their part, the British putatively pursued this option from the onset of the crisis in late July through mid October. First, the UK organized a
87 conference of Canal users to take place on August 16 th to discuss the future of the canal. This was unsuccessful as the twenty two countries involved could not come to an agreement. 2 This was followed by an attempt to broker an unofficial settlement using Australian Prime Minister Menzies as mediator . Yet, in both insta nces, the gulf between the British position, which insisted on internationalization of the canal and the Egyptian position, which wanted, at the most, international consultation but Egyptian control over the Canal, was unbridgeable. Finally, the US mediate d a last ditch attempt called the but this faltered as well. 3 Despite these failures, a successful diplomatic solution was a hope for many policy elites, especially amongst the British Left, and there is some evidence to sugg est that the Eden administration willingly forewent a diplomatic settlement instead deciding upon the military option (Kyle 1991) . The Eden administration eventually decided upon a military option. Rather than a traditional deployment of British troops, mi litary action was the product of secret collusion involving the French and the Israelis. The French, hoping to stem the rising tide of nationalist sentiment amongst Arabs in its colonies wanted to deliver Nasser, foremost amongst supporters of France's nat ionalist Algerian opponents, a clear defeat. The Israelis were tasked with prompting a military exchange between their army and Egypt's, necessitating Anglo French intervention in order to separate the warring 2 In the end, of the twenty two powers attending, all but Ceylon, India, Indonesia, and the Soviet Union accepted a proposal to return the waterway to inter national control. The Soviet Union and India suggested an alternative plan that would leave the canal under Egyptian auspices, instead leaving a weakened form of international consultation (Kyle 1991, 180 88; Bowie 1974, 42). 3 This possible agreement sug gested the creation of a club of Suez Canal users, formed among the members of the August 16 th conference. This club would be represented by an association that could hire personnel, collect dues, and pay Egypt its compensation for the use of the canal as well as negotiate on behalf of the eighteen powers as well as form the basis for a more equitable solution down the road (Bowie 1974; Eisenhower 1965, 672 5).
88 parties. Once in physical possession of the Ca nal would give the British a clear advantage in any future settlement, if one was inde ed needed in the first place. Identity Narratives In response to the building crisis, beginning in late July and continuing through the unsuccessful (in the eyes of the B ritish) conclusion of the crisis, the Eden administration and its allies forwarded a dominant narrative designed to preserve the right to military intervention in Egypt. Whether or not this was planned from the emergence of the crisis or developed in respo nse to unfolding circumstances is irrelevant to the argument. The intervention that Eden's government eventually gitimate it (Hansen 2006, 26). The constellation of identities set forth in this dominant narrative constructed a range of acceptable actions on the part of the British, and conversely constructing Nasser and the Egyptian people each in a particular light that made military action the only legitimate possibility for the British government. To be clear, invocation of an oppositional identity need not be indicated directly in the discourse. Construction of the Other implies an oppositional identity on the par t of the Self, and many times, that oppositional identity is not explicitly stated (Doty 1996; Neumann 1999). First, the government and its allies constructed Nasser as over ly emotional, unpredictable, and irrational , in opposition to the rational and pred ictable British identity. Upon assumption of power, Nasser was an unknown commodity, and initially welcomed amongst certain members of the British government. Immediately after the Free Officers Revolt in 1952, official British discourse constructed Nasser as a potentially cooperative partner. The British Foreign Office viewed Nasser as
89 and members o f the Foreign Office claimed rain power to maintain the lead Despite this, views of Nasser soon began to sour due in no small part to a guerrilla war continuously pursued against British troops stationed at the Suez Canal until 1954 (Braun 2003) . state of unbalance amountin g in the worst case to hyste ria (Colonial Office 1952). During the c risis itself, the government and its allies constructed Nasser as an unpredictable, irrational, and over ly emotional politician . The dominant narrative temper too impetuous, (Hansard 1956, 1686) . His action s during the negotiations were held up as evidence of this impetuous character, as Eden argued that British negotiating positions were re jected out of hand, r merits or listening to reason (Hansard 1956a, 9). While, on the one hand, Nasser was constructed as over ly emotional, any attempts at reconciliation during the crisis on his part were interpreted as untru stworthy and manipulative. The Eden administration and its allies argued that Nasser's initial nationalization of the canal entailed a breach of trust, and that prior to Nasser's move, the British had afforded every possible concession to Nasser, and in re payment had been icked in the teeth all the time (Hansard 1956, 1631). 4 4 R.T. Paget, Labour, Northampton.
90 The contrasting nature of Nasser as impetuous, erratic, and ultimately untrustworthy vis Ã vis the British is evidenced by a comparison of the means of nationalization of property s uch as the Canal Zone. Herbert Morrisson (Labour, Lewisham South) argues that the British proceeded with nationalization in the 1940s in a deliberative manner, seeking widespread support of British constituents and acting in a procedurally legitimate manne r (i.e. through parliamentary procedure). He continues One night Colonel Nasser decides to go out and enjoy himself, and make a speech on the hustings. He makes a speech. Towards the end of the speech he whips out a decree which he has just signed . . . th at from that point the S uez Canal is to be nationalized (Hansard 1956, 1657 ). In contrast to the irrational and impetuous Nasser, the dominant narrative constructed British identity as rational and deliberate. The narrative constructed by the government an d its allies stressed England's stolid and dependable character. The (Hansard 1956a, 275). 5 This sterling reputation was built upon consistency of the British, and indeed predictab ility and civic mindedness of policy. Cooper (Conservative, Ilford south) underscores the goodwill amongst nations that has accrued to the British throughout this time, underscoring that the British should always follow policies that are consistent with th is reputation, compa ring the British to a stalwart l ion (Hansard 1956 a, 275). Compare this with Herbert Morrison's (Labour, Lewisham South) comparison of Nasser will chain the mad dog in Cairo (Hansard 1956, 1716)? The domin ant narrative constructed the British as patient and considerate administrators. Throughout negotiations, John Harvey (Conservative, Walthamstow 5 A.E. Cooper, Conservative, Ilford South.
91 ulian Amery (Conservative, Preston North) similarly argued, at least proved their undoubted good will and desire to give Nasser every possible benefit of the doubt. They h ave gone to the last limit of concession (Hansard 1956, 1686; Hansard 1956, 1701). The dominant narrative constructed British action prior to the invasion as responsible and patient. Whereas Nasser's policies during the crisis revealed his irresponsibilit y and impetuous nature, the dominant narrative constructed the British as exhibiting restraint. Eden was the foremost advocate of British imperial responsibility during his tenure as both Foreign Secretary in the second Churchill administration and Prime M inister. He is quoted in a Cabinet memorandum claiming, was responsive to the n eeds of the people in those governed territories (Cabinet Office 1952 ) . Similarly, the dominant narrative constructs Egyptian and Arabness in a complementary Through the dominant narrative, the government and its allies constructe d the Egyptian people, indeed all Arabs, as erratic, emotionally undeveloped , and as a result, untrustworthy. This contrasted with earl ier constructions of Arabness. During World War I, the British constructed Arabs in a positive, if patronizing light, as to their cooperation against the Central Powers . Many within the British political elite harkened back the First World War, and the romanticized accounts of the successful Arab uprising, led by T.E. Lawrence, a gainst the Ottoman Empire. As many in the British
92 government during the 1950s had come of age during the First World War, these romanticized constructions had deep emotional resonance. One example of this was how Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri El Said was chara cterized during the Suez Crisis, as an that of men who had seen service under the Ottoman Empire companion in arms of Lawrenc Despite this, there was a strong undercurrent o f distrust of Egyptians within the British government. Whereas the Arabs of World War I were characterized as suggested a competing interpretation of the Egyptian character. Si r Orme Sargent, He co ntinues: If opinion in higher circles towards Egypt is bad, it is just the same, if not worse, among the general public whose views have been largely influenced by hundreds of thousands of soldiers who passed through Egypt at some stage or other during the war . . . The recollection of the average soldier is of a corrupt ruling class with a King who was credibly believed to be plotting with the Axis powers. His recollection of the Egyptian people is that they profiteered, swindled him, and if they could, ro bbed him . . . He also sharply differentiates the Arab from the Egyptian whom he does not regard as Arab at all. All this may be incorrect, unjust or sloppily romantic, but the fact is that myths are much more powerful than realities, and the myth of the d espicable Egyptian and the stout hearted Arab is one which is propagated throughout the country by these hundreds of thousands of returning soldiers, and is a fundamental element in British public opinion on the Middle East (Foreign Office 1949) . The Egypt ians, as opposed to the Arabs proper, were a people who could not be trusted. Despite this differentiation, the dominant narrative constructs Egyptians and Arabs in a similar light . In opposition to the British, rational, deliberate calculators, Lord Crome
93 disp This necessitated guidance on the part of the British in order to raise the character of the Egyptian (indeed all Arab peoples) to a level necessary for full self government. A report to Ernest Bevin, Foreign Secretary are l ike children in many respects. They need a strong but essentially fair and helpful Indeed, during the debates, the dominant narrative constructed all Arabs in a similar fashion, as child like, unreliable, and easily swayed. The government and its allies also construct the British in rel ation to Nasser along moral dimensions. Much of the debate in the run up to military action questioned During the crisis, the dominant narrative constructs the British as a mo ral power, bound by a duty to enlighten and develop the benighted populations of the globe. Eden espoused these ideals from the beginning of his career under the guise of whereby the British engaged in a policy of providing respo nsive and efficient administration for the colonies they still held. This was reflective of a strain of British thought extending back to the early 20 th to govern, with or without gratitude, with or without the gen uine memory of all the loss of (Said 1979, 33). The dominant narrative constructed the British as altruistic benefactors of colonial peoples. Despite this former itish] have established ourselves [as] an anti imperialist nation in many parts of the world. We have done more than any single
94 1956 , 1707). 6 According to this narrative, the British are beyond re wars (Hansard 1956, 1692 3). 7 According to the dominant narrative, Britain is a country that acts altruisticall y, and ac cording to principle. The government and its allies constructed the British as doing everything in their power to act ethically and make friendly relations, not only with Egypt, but with all parts of the world (Hansard 1956 , 1661). 8 Selwyn Lloyd implied th at it The very fact that the British had acted so altruistically vis Ã vis Nasser was 1956 , 17 01). 9 The British (Hansard 1956, 1660). 10 Nasser was constructed in opposition t o British morality and altruism . Whereas the British had altruistically provided for the people of their colonial sphere, action during the crisis was characterized as proof that he cared little for his own people, and instead was focused on aggra ndizing his personal power. This was aimed towards ends that were radically opposed to British interests (and by extension, all 6 Desmond Donnel ly, Labour, Pembrokeshire. 7 William Proctor, Labour, Eccles. 8 Selwyn Lloyd, Secretary of State. 9 Julian Amery, Conservative, Preston North. 10 Herbert Morrison, Conservative, Lewisham South.
95 democratic states). (Hansard 1956 , 1657). 11 Whereas the British uplifted entire people, Nasser, according to Hugh Gaitskell (Labour, Leeds South) llingly low standard of According to this narrative, not only is Nasser uncaring of economic needs, he willfully ignores their political needs and desires as well . Naguib , the (Hansard 1956a , 53). 12 up to the Suez Canal was further indication of his cha racter, and the failure to secure the Anglo American loan for the example of how a man threw away a 1956a , 9). 13 Morally, the Egyptian people are cons tructed in opposition to Nasser. Walter Elliot gendered in this act makes it tougher for develo ping countries to acquire loans (Hansard 1956, 1668). The Egyptian people are the victims of Nasser rather than his greatest ally. Clement Davies (Liberal, Montgomeryshire) argues that, because Nasser nationa lized the canal to do damage to the west rather than improve the lot of his people , the Egyptian people are the main victims in this crisis , and 11 Herbert Morrison, Conservative, Lewisham South. 12 Major Patri ck Wall, Conservative, Haltemprice East Yorkshire. 13 Anthony Eden, Conservative, Prime Minister.
96 Nasser is to blame (Hansard 1956, 1622) . Thus, the British, as morally upright actors, are constructed , in oppo sition to Nasser, as holding the better interests of the Egyptian people at heart. Politically, the British were constructed as democratic, constitutional, the protector of international order arrayed against the forces of dictatorship and international an archy. uniquely aligned with the wishes and aims of the entire world. When Anthony Eden first addresses the Parliament, on the 2 nd of August, he invokes anger on the part of not only the Brit 1956 , 1602). 14 defend our position with all the means in our power . . . to let Nasser know that we intend to c (Hansard 1956 , 1685). 15 cratic way of life of [Britain] (Hansard 1956, 1715). 16 This is constructed in opposition t o understood along two dimensions. First, his political identity is aligned with those of other dictators. This aligns with constructions of Nasser as impetuous and overly emotional , yet similarly calculating and u ntrustworthy. Second, the dominant narrative constructs the untrustworthy Nasser as having aims on an Arab empire in the region that, if realized, would be antithetical to British principles . 14 Anthony Eden, Conservative, Prime Minister. 15 Frank Tomney, Labour, Hammersmith North. 16 John Jones, Conservative, Rotherham.
97 First, Nasser is constructed along similar lines as Fascist dict ators of the interwar period, such as Hitler and Mussolini. Boyle 2005 , 159). Despite this assertion, the debate records are rife with comparisons to both Hitler and Mussolini during World War II. In a later letter to Eisenhower, Eden compares Boyle 2005, 65 66). Wa lter Elliott (Conservative, Glas gow, 1956 , 1668). Herbert Morrison (Labour, Lewisham South) claims that th likeness between the customs of the former dictators of Italy and Germany and those of 1956 , 1654). Finally, Gaitskell (Labour, Leeds South) argues that speeches of Nasser (Hansard 1956 , 1609). Second, the dominant narrative constructed Nasser as secretly aspiring to dominant the Middle East through the construction of an Arab Empire. Hugh Gaitskell (Labour, Leeds South) makes this c laim as early as August 2 nd , five days after the 1956 , 1612). This explains th 1956a , 77). 17 The dominant narrative invokes historic constructions of Orientalist despots in order to bolster this 17 James Hutchinson, Conservati ve, Glasgow Scotstoun.
98 into the egotism of one man, Gamal Abdel Nasser, who sought to play the role of Oriental despo the work was that it indic tions to the contrary by Nasser (Kyle 1991, 55). This construction worked in conjunction with the political construction of Arabs as a singular monolithic entity, susceptible to being led astray by a demagogue. This religious or communal feeling extends from Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon a s far as Pakistan and Indonesia (Foreign Office 1948). thinkers de sire for the Arab peoples a greater degree of unity than they now enjoy. In reaching out towards this unity they hope for our support. No such appeal from o ur friends should go unanswered (Louis 1984, 123). Through these constructions, the complexity and which, in the presence of a charismatic despot, would align against the West as a result of their essential nature. The Arabs as well as Arab polities are represented as backwards, hotb eds of discontent, and altogether unprepared for self rule (Kyle 1991, 41) . This fear was articulated early in the 1950s by Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin : Moslems are a fanatical people when roused . . . it may well be that, in spite of the present appare nt state of disorganization, the Moslems will under provocation produce a leader or a general, or someone who will bring them together, in which case we may find ourselves faced with a tremendous anti European movement embracing the whole Arab and Moslem w orld (Foreign Office 1948) .
99 According to the dominant narrative, Nasser fit this description of a dictatorial Oriental despot, and th e move to nationalize the Suez C Nasser can maintain the popularity he is so anxious to build up as the leader of a great 1956a , 106). 18 1956a , 37). 19 This of courses action and demagoguery. The dominant narrative constructed Nasser and the Arab World as fortuitously aligned in their identities: Nasser as an Oriental despot, and the Arab world as a group eech and action. Thus, the constructions of Arabs as having monolithic intentions and interests, as well as being inflammable, work in conjunction with constructions of Nasser as a demagogue and dictator with designs on constructing an empire in the Middle East. Finally, the dominant narrative constructed the British in opposition to Nasser in terms of their designs upon international law. While Britain was constructed as the fount and upholder of international law, Nasser was constructed as a criminal, as evidenced by his repeated breach of his international treaty obligations and his criminal seizure of the Canal. 1956 , 1616) . 20 Not only were the British exemplary followers of international law, they held an al most sacred duty to uphold it. We of all countries owe [the international community] a duty, because of our position, because we are the centre of a great 18 Frederick Burden, Conservative, Gillingham. 19 Victor Raikes, Conservative, Liverpool Garston. 20 Hugh Gaitskell, Labour, Leeds South.
100 Commonwealth, and because of the fact that at all times we have been regarded as the 1956a , 35). 21 It was argued that this duty breaches of 1956 , 1720). 22 Nasser was constructed in opposition to the British. If Britain was the foremost international law, revealing his true crim inal nature. The nationalization of the canal was (Hansard 1956a , 5 ) . 23 The gove what Nasser has done Conservative, Middlesbrough West) (Hansard 558, 115). The nationalization was arbitrary nature (Clement Davies, Liberal, Montgomery) (Hansard 558, 32). because] it is an arbitrary act (Hansard 1956, 1606). The outr in which it was carried out. It was done suddenly, without negotiatio n, without discussion, by force (Hansard 1956, 1611). 24 Promises by Nasser to pay just compensation were summarily dismissed as improbable (Hansard 1 956, 1611) . The oppositional constructions of Nasser as an international criminal, in conjunction with 21 Clement Davies, Liberal, Montgomery. 22 Barnett Janner, Liberal, Leicester Northwest. 23 Anthony E den, Conservative, Prime Minister. 24 Hugh Gaitskell, Labour, Leeds South.
101 Britain as a fount and protector of international law, would bear heavily on legitimation for military action. In short, within the dominant narrative, B ritain, the Egyptian government under Nasser, and the Arab/Egyptian peoples are constructed along four dimensions. Psychologically, while Britain is constructed as rational and deliberate, Nasser is constructed as overemotional and erratic, a character tra it shared with the Arab populations. Morally, Britain is constructed as altruistic, exhibiting a record of helping the people of Egypt (and the wider Arab world) over the past fifty years. Conversely, Nasser es, and in fact, betraying them through his actions. Interestingly, the Arab peoples are constructed as victims of Nasser, while similarly, exhibiting characteristics that make them susceptible to the entreaties of Nasser qua Oriental despot and demagogue. While the government and its allies construct Britain as democratic and protective of international order, Nasser is constructed as a dictator with aims toward an Arab Empire in the region, a task made possible by the gullibility of the monolithic Egyptia n and Arab peoples. This would represent a threat to the British political way of life, and indeed, the world at large. Whereas Britain is the fount of international law, the dominant narrative finds Nasser repeatedly in breach of his responsibilities. Acc ording to the dominant narrative, the British have a duty to uphold not only this way of life, but international law in toto . Next, we will examine how these structures of identities were employed in order to delegitimate non violent policy options, while legitimating military action.
102 Analysis The Non action Option While the non action option had some proponents within the British House of Commons, the dominant narrative forwarded by the Eden administration and its allies constructed it as an illegitimate o ption. This argument proceeded along a number of identity, and identities of Egyptian and Arab peoples. The identities elucidated above provided acceptable boundaries of action for the British, as well as perceived boundaries of action for both Nasser and the Egyptian and Arab peoples. First, the government and its allies argued that Britain, as a moral power that allied itself with international law, was duty bound to challenge such a transgression. Since this was a breach of international law, this would result in the unravelling of the international order. In arguing this point, Eden, in a speech to the House of Commons on October 31 st , linked British interest in valu es to those of the free world, claiming that, there was constant equation of a 32). 25 A lack of action on the part of the instigation of one s 26 The dominant narrative constructed the British as rational, upholders of international law. Similarly, the dominant narrative constructed the British as capable, 25 Hugh Gaitskell, Labour, Leeds South. 26 Herbert Morrison, Conservative, Lewisham South.
103 caring administrators. Implied in any discussion for a policy option is a perceived future world with which the state must deal. In the case of Britain, the dominant narrative asserted that certain policy options would result in the imposition of a future, either amenable or hostile to Britis h intentions and British power in the Middle East . If identity constructs boundaries of acceptable action, then the dominant narrative constructed British as a power with a duty to at least act on this matter . Thus, inaction would pose a threat, not only to the British identity as an upholder of international law and order, but also the very British way of life. Yet, to examine British identity alone would underdetermine the process of legitimation. To be sure, Britain identified as a o naturally demurred from militarized conflicts. Thus, the dominant narrative had to make a case that Nasser represented a threat significant enough to leg itimate action in some regard. Therefore, dominant constructions of Britain as duty bound to uphold i nternational law and order when threatened necessitated a supplementary construction of Nasser as a threat to that order. The government and its allies identified the Suez Canal as incomparably important to the life of the UK as a trading state. Whereas th e British were responsible purveyors of the canal, Nasser could not be trusted to use and operate the canal in a manner compatible with British interests. Foreign Minister Selwyn Lloyd of the 1663). Julian Amery (Conservative, Preston North) stated that if the Canal were under the control of a country as stable as Switzerland, at a time of international pe as it is, I think most of us regard [the prospect
104 of exclusive Egyptian control of the Canal] as one which cannot be 1956, 1663). had been rash and unpredictable, he personally was the problem. As I will argue later, this coincided with the dual constructions of Nasser as a threat to the stability of internationa l order and international law. Similarly, and also to be discussed late r, Nasser's motives for the nationalization of the canal were questionable, and coincided with a construction of Arab and Egy ptian peoples as easily swayed. Yet, these are arguments relating to Nasser's motives. Suffice it to say, ev en absent those constru ctions, the dominant narrative asserted that inaction was intolerable given the new status quo. The dominant narrative also argued that inaction would send t he wrong message to a dictator. Recall that dictators were constructed in a similar fashion to Muss olini and Hitler. Not only did they not have the interests of their people at heart, they were naturally and unequivoca lly power and resource hungry. Nasser was constructed in accordance with this identity as untrustworthy, erratic, and unwilling to take t o heart the interests of his people. The dominant narrative argued that inaction vis Ã vis a dictator was a risky endeavor . It was important to reduce the stature of such dictators early on, for not doing so would risk a repeat of the mistakes of the in ter war period (Eden 1960, 481). According to the dominant narrative, inaction precipitated 1956, 1623). 27 ritain and France had acted, 28 Recall 27 Viscount Hitchingbrooke, Conservative, Dorset South. 28 Sir Victor Raikes, Conservative, Liv erpool Garston.
105 the British are constructed in opposition to Nasser as reasonable, considerate, and having a duty to exhibit a particular deliberateness and c onsideration regarding their policies. The dominant narrative constructed inaction as illegitimate because a reasonable power would learn from its past mistakes, and inaction in this instance would be indicative of a power that was not reflective in this w ay. Thus, whenever the government and its allies referenced Nazi sm or Fascism , this was The dominant narrative constructed non action as naÃ¯ve, abjuring the lessons that should have b een learned from World War II. This was f urther established by the often acrimonious debate over whose position does and whose position does not truly embody the so called lessons of 1938 (Hansard 1956a, 279 284). What this reveals is a deep concern with the character of Nasser and h ow this would affect his choices. In the end, the government and its allies argued that his character was untrustworthy to a point to suggest that, much like Hitler, inaction would only whet Nasser's appetite for further concession . This also reveals that the government and those purveying the dominant narrative thought it contrary, a failure to learn from the past, to suggest that inaction was a means to stop the forward motion of the Nasser regime in the region. Thus, inaction was constructed as contrary to a British state which was tasks with upho lding the international order. Yet, one may argue that Britain, which the dominant narrative constructed as an exemplar and protector of international law , was in fact flouting the very internat ional law it sough t to protect. Absent UN sanction for military intervention, was not military action illegal unless in the clear case of self defense? Given their identity within the dominant
106 narrative, and the lack of support within the UN, how could the government and it s allies render diplomatic options illegitimate? The Diplomatic Options During the crisis, the British pursued a number of non military options in order to bring a s wift conclusion to the crisis. The first of these efforts was attempts at mediation brokere d by the Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies (Bowie 1974, 42; Kyle 1991, 180 88). The mediation between the Australian Prime Minister, the British, and other regular users of the canal continued from mid August to early September, but ultimately faile d to bear fruit. The United States attempted a second round of mediation in early September proposing the creation of the Suez Canal User's Association . This similarly failed due to the fact that the British were unwavering in their insistence upon very st rict conditions regarding the canal (Bowie 1974, 43). Beyond this, referral to the UN Security Council was, from the onset of the crisis, lauded as an acceptable and preferable option amongst many Labourites and Conservatives . In fact, that the matter woul d ultimately be referred to the Security Council was not a point of contention. Rather, the question was whether the S ecurity Council's pronouncements were to be the final say in the matter, and to be followed by Britain regardless of outcome. Herein there was a significant difference of opinion. On the one hand, the government and its allies argued in favor of referral to the Security Council. Eden remarked far better that [action should be tak en] under the United Nations [rather than] some independ Yet, if the UN failed, the government and its allies included the caveat that the British should retain any and all means of unilaterally resolving the situation, inclu d ing the use of military force. Furthermore, any resolution to
107 the matter was, according to the dominant narrative, within the bounds of international law given the Egyptian breach of the 1888 Constantinople Convention, as well as earlier UN resolutions (Ha nsard 1956, 1611). 29 As I demonstrate later, the British constructed their response as a form of self defense, well within the bounds of international law and the UN charter. On the other hand, the Labourites, led by Hugh Gaitskell (Labour, South Leeds) arg ued that the UN Security Council should have the final say on the matter, and that any military action absent clear and unequivocal sanction by this body would constitute a breach of international law. Gaitskell argued s . . . signatories to the United Nations Charter, and that for many years in British policy we have steadfastly avoided any international action that would be in breach of a position where we might be denounced in the Security Council 1956, 1617). As examined later in the analysis , for opponents of the dominant narrative, British identity as exemplars of international law meant that British action m ust be restricted in a meaningful way by organization s to which Britain was a member, even if this did not always accord with immediate British interests. According to this alternative , British interests and international law should be conceived as one and the same. While Eden officially referred the matter to the Security Council in early October, the threat of a Soviet veto effectively prevented a resolution aimed against the Egyptians (Hansard 1958a, 11). How did the dominant narrative construct British 29 Anthony Eden, Prime Minister.
108 identity a nd oppositional identities in order delegitimate the UN Security Council, thereby clearing the way for legitimation of the military option ? Towards the beginning of the crisis there was agreement on the part of both the proponents and opponents o f the dominant narrative that , though the United Nations is it was, nonetheless, an instrument of international law and should be respected as such (Hansard 1956a, 31 2). shallying and dilly dallying and all the rest . . . there is no reason why we should not take an international issu 96). Yet, while opponents of the dominant narrative asserted that to challenge the bounds set forth by the Security ts allies argued otherwise (Hansard 1956a, 31 2). 30 As relayed in the last section, the government and its allies relied upon the construction of the British as both exemplars and p rotectors of international law. Yet, they linked the construction of British adherence to international law with a particular construction of the British as moral actors. The dominant narrative asserted that there was a distinction between international legal machinery , such as the UN, and the spirit of international law, underwri tten by a particular moral stance. Since referral to the Security Council did not yield fruit, the government and its allies argued that the Security Council was, at best, based on a naÃ¯ve view of how international relations operates, and at worst , an ille gitimate institution. William Proctor 30 Hugh Gaitskell, Labour, Leeds South.
109 nsard 1956, 1690). I.J. Pitman (Conservative, instead, MPs should have an instinctive grasp of right and wrong, and the policy should be followed regardless of the consequences. Tufton Beamish (Conservat ive, Lewes) concurs, claiming that, though the UN 1956a, 66). According to this narrative, the UN was argued to be illegitimate be cause it was either a tool for obstructionis m, as Julian Amery (Conservative, Preston North) issues . Supporters of the dominant narrative asserted that the United Nations is built upon a certain vision of international morality, and if the institutions do not achieve that desired outcome, it is the duty of the British as a moral power to uphold the m oral despite the institutions. This inability on the part of the United Nations to offer a resolution took on a level of increased severity due to construction of Nasser as untrustworthy. The construction of Nasser in alignment with other dictators suggested that adherence to a version of international law that di verged from it s foundational principles was dangerous. prior to World War II , Victor Raikes (Conservative, Liverpool Garston) insisted
110 that time onwards the clouds of war world war grew d 1956a, 36 7). The dominant narrative argued it was the duty of the British to uphold the spirit of the UN , despite immediate Security Council opposition to British policy , in order falling into the moribund sta (Hansard 1956a, 41). 31 similar to the inability to act vis Ã vis Germany prior to World War II (Hansard 1956a, 264). 32 Furthermore, the dominant narrative asserted that attempts at negotiations had failed, not because of British unwillingness to compromise, but rather that Nasser's untrustworthy nature made accommodation impossible. Richard Crossman (Labour, Coventry East) led the charge of many Labourites, having argued that attempts at negotiations failed due to the rigidness of British demands, and British unwillingness to provide acceptable terms to Nass er (Hansard 1956a, 90 8). Responding to this, Frederick Burden (Conservative, Gillingham) relied upon construction of Nasser as untrustworthy, questioning if Colonel Nasser will abide by his The government and its not enough to end the crisis. 33 urther aggressive 31 Arthur Henderson, Labour, Rowley Regis and Tipton. 32 Gilbert Longden, Conservative, Hertfordshire South West. 33 Ronald Bell, Conservative, Buckinghamshire South.
111 99). 34 In short, while constructions of British as a reasonable, measured power in opposition to Nasser as overly emotional and unpredictable militated against the non action option, these same constructions militated against further negotiation and referral to the UN as legitimate options for ending the crisis. Non action in the face of arbitrary flouting of international order would result in collapse of the international system to which British identity was indelibly moored. The dominant narrative suggested the in these circumstances was , in effect, a betrayal of British international responsibility. While the domin ant narrative constructed the British as exemplars and protectors of international law, they identified international legal mechanisms that diverged from their underlying principles as da ngerous. Under these conditions, they suggested that the British coul d legitimate action contrary to the pronouncements of the Security Council by reference to international principles. The dominant narrative constructed Britain as acting in accordance with international morality, indeed rescuing the UN when it diverged fro m these principles. This acted in conjunction with Nasser's construction as an untrustworthy dictator to render both negotiations and the UN illegitimate options. Those supporting the dominant narrative argued that, under present conditions, these acted to benefit and forestall a suitable solution to the crisis, thus del ivering Nasser the upper hand. 34 Fre derick Burden, Conservative, Gillingham.
112 The Military Option Though preparations for military action began in July, by September of 1956, the government claimed that feasible options for ending the cr isis were running out. By mid The British government, in collusion with French forces, would intervene in a staged mili tary conflict between Egypt and Israel . In co njunction with the western powers, Israel agreed to begin a border skirmish with Egyptian forces, providing British and French forces due reason to invade the Suez Canal Zone in order to restore order. The British and French believed that, once in control of the area, it would be easier to wrest a There is little official public documentation of what compelled the British to collude with the French and the Israelis. Collusion was n ot a public act, and neither House of Commons debate nor cabinet meetings records referred to the actual collusion. be brought more rapidly to a head as a result of military ac (Cabinet Office 1956, 7) . Despite this, there are hints within the documents as to why this occurred . ounds for undertaking it at the present time (Cabinet Office 1956a, 6). On October 25 th was imminent , and that the British, in giving an ultimatum to both sides to withdraw and using the failure of compliance w be purporting to undertake an international function without the specific authority of the Despite the private nature of this decision, the fact that the mil itary option was maintained and considered necessitated legitimation
113 to a wider audience of policy elites. How was the British undertaking military action absent sanction by the United Nations to be deemed legitimate ? Like delegitimation of the non action option and diplomatic options, legitimation of the military option in the dominant narrative hinged upon a particular construction of First, the government and its allies argued that relations between Nasser and the British were a zero s um game. This construction of Nasser as a dictator legitimated a forceful response, and those purveying the dominant narrative argued that, because of this, a military option should never be taken off the table. This implies an oppositional identity of the British as the ones that should enforce against breach of international order. As demonstrated earlier, the dominant narrative constructed British identity as the protector of international law and order, and conversely, Nasser as in violation of this ord er. Second, the government and its allies adopted a particular complemented the prior construction of Egyptian peoples, and in fact , Arab people in general . The dominant narrative argued that, absent a forceful interventi on, Nasser would be in a position to carry out his aims to create an Arab Empire in his region. This was due to construction of Arabs as over ly emotional, and easily swayed. The dominant narrative argued that Nasser knew he must garner enough prestige amon gst Egyptian and Arab people in order to move forward with his plans. The Arab peoples are constructed as invariably siding with whoever seems to be stronger . Therefore, it was incumbent upon the British to demonstrate, both to their friends and enemies, t First, the government and its allies argued that dictators only understand power. According to this narrative, the British and the Egyptians existed in a zero sum
114 relationship. Any increase in the prestige or power of Nasser and the Egyptians would, in effect, be a loss of prestige and power for the British. This construction of Nasser often extended across the aisle to both Labourites and Conservatives. Eden, in agreement with Hugh Gaitskell (L Opposition warned us the other day of what would happen if [Nasser] had his way. He said: the effects of that in that part of the world will be that our friends desert us because they think we are lo st, and go over to Egypt (Hansard 1956a, 15). someone who was unable to be negotiated with, untrustworthy, and power aggrandizer legitimated a military option. The government and its allies suggested that Nasser, as the embodiment of lawlessness, if left unchecked, would result in a loss of friends embolden force which, if it is becomes s teadily less, friends drop away and the will to l ive becomes enfeebled (Hansard 1956a, 14 15). 35 alization of the Suez Canal as a criminal act. construction of the British as democratic, the protector of international law and order, the government and its allies asserted that the British were in a unique pos ition to respond 35 Anthony Eden, Prime Minister.
11 5 to this putative agg ression with military force . To ignore this responsibility was to invite disaster in the future. drums will roll tomorrow, but I have said repeatedly to my c onstituents that, in the last resort, rather than allow the constitutional, democratic way of life of our country . . . to would be a mistake, and Thus, the criminal act, a dire threat to international order, international law, and the democratic, constitution al way of life of the Br itish. Concurrent with oppositional constructions of the British as democratic and constitutional, and Nasser as dictatorial, Eden and his administration argued by historical analogy that dictators only understood force. who say that we should not be justified and are not justified in reacting vigorously unless argument used in the 1930s to justify every concession that was made to the dictator s. It has not been my experience that dictators are deflected from their purpose because Listing the prior transgressions of Nasser, Victor Raikes (Conservative, Liverpool Garston) asserts that dictator do n ot We see here in operation the dualistic constructions of Nasser as an untrustworthy dictator, who only understands power, and the British as the protector of international order, with the unique duty to curb dictatorial aggression whenever it arises. The dominant narrative asserted that, to not act in correspondence with this identity would be to invite disaster,
116 to invite encroachment upon the British way of life. Yet, these constructi ons underdetermine legitimation in this case. It is only with reference to the complementary constructions of Nasser as having designs on an Arab Empire and the Egyptian and Arab peoples as overly emotional and easily swayed, that military force is justifi ed in this instance. First, it is well documented that Eden believed Nasser was set on the overthrow of British allies within the region, and subsequent creation of an Arab Empire, even prior to the seizure of the Canal (Kyle 1991, 90 102). A number of MPs concurred with this view. (Hansard 1956, repeatedly boasted of his intention to create an Arab Empire from the Atlantic to the Tufton Beamish (Conservative, Lewes) re marks has undisguised ambitions to dominate the Arab countries for his own aggrandiz Building upon constructions of Nasser as untrustworthy, erratic, and contrary to international law, to allow this would endanger no t only the British, but the interests of the world. Given these constructions of Nasser, in addition to his aims to acquire an Arab Empire, the only reasonable means of countering this threat was military action. An October cabinet report indicates: The Pr ime Minister said that [these were serious risks]; but against it must be set the greater risk that, unless early action could be taken to damage Colonel Nasser's prestige, his influence would be extended throughout the
117 Middle East to a degree which would make it much more difficult to overthrow him (Cabinet Office 1956b). Thus, despite the questionable le gality of military intervention included, amongst other things, lack of support amongst the Americans and other allies, the milita ry option was deemed legitima te. 23). Unofficially, it was settled that the British would act in collusion with the French and the Israelis. Israeli military action was taken October 30th and advanced towards Port Said. The British and French provided both sides with an ultimatum advising them to retreat to 10 miles from the canal within 12 hours, after which British and French paratroopers would take military action, landing to physically secure the canal. This undermined in the Middle (Colonial Office 1956c, 3). Yet, one may still question why there existed a danger? What would allow Nasser to realize his aims of creating an Arab Empire? In order to answer this, we must reference how these arguments coinci ded with constructions of Egyptian and Arab identity in the dominant narrative. The dominant narrative constructed Egypt ian and Arab peoples as partial Others , not fundamentally opposed to British identity (for example, possessing the potential to eventual ly be full y developed political actors ) but still differentiated . Indeed, there is some variability amongst how Egyptian peoples are portrayed vis Ã vis Arab peoples, yet, for the purposes of legitimating the military option the government and its allies c onstructed them as monolithic . The dominant narrative constructs the Egyptian and
118 Arab peoples as the victim of Nasser, but conversely, as unreliable, easily swayed and hot tempered. Indeed, in legitimating the military option, some MPs argued that the Egy ptian people had suffered at his hands, due to his establishment of a police state, how it affect ed Briti sh nationals remaining in Egypt (Hansard 1956a, 37; Hansard 1 956a, 144). 36 Yet, this partially oppositional Egyptian and Arab identity was an important piece of the argument legitimating military action. The government and its allies argued that popular support for Nasser was an important necessity for Nasser to real ize his political aims. have success to continue in power with the support of his country. He must have success in his own country and he must have success in leading the res t of the Arab This success was based, in part, upon constructions of Clement Davies (Liberal, Montgomeryshire) argued, seizing the canal] was to do as much damage, particularly to ourselves and indeed to the view of the Arab countries. If he is allowed to get away with it, his position will be all because he wanted to raise his prestige in the rest o f the Middle East. He wanted to 36 Victor Raikes, Conservative, Liverpool Garston; Robert Boothby, Conservative, Aberdeenshire.
119 1956, 1613). 37 According to this reading, the military option was necessary to arrest challenge , which would in turn lead to more popular sup port amongst the Arab peoples. This argument relies upon the notion that Arab peoples are similarly untrustworthy, and harbor intense resentment against the west. Constructions of Egyptian and Arab identity commensurate with legitimation of t he military option implicitly rob Egyptian and Arab peoples of political agency. Arab peoples are to be is most successful at any given time, regardless of moral standing. Moreover, any solution had to be completed in a timely fash ion, as the dominant narrative constructs Egyptian and Arab peoples are quick tempered and vacillating. Thus, according to the dominant narrative, indeed exacerbated by Egyptian and Arab identities, which would al on the part of Nasser to rally the support of the masses. Recall that earlier expositions of Arab identity underlined their overly emotional and unreliable nature. Legitimations of the military option focused on this identity, constru cting British identity in opposition. If realize his aims of building an Arab Empire was to stop him by force, the currency in which dictators such as he most readily unde rstood . Exploiting this support Nasser would enact his aims: to push the British out of the Middle East and erect in its place an empire stretching across the Middle East and North Africa. Thus, the government and its allies argued that , to allow Nasser to realize this Rather than an unwarranted military 37 Hugh Gaitskell, Labour, Leeds South.
120 intervention, the invasion of the Suez Canal Zone was constructed as a defensive policy . Frank Tomney (Labour, Hammersmith North), explicitly arguing in favor of mi litary intervention, claimed means in our power . . . to let Nasser know that we intend to continue as a free people ds East) argued According to the dominant narrative, the British reluctantly embarked upon military action, not because it wa s in their best interest, or it was geopolitically warranted, but rather because Nasser represented an insidious threat. The nature of this threat was not the military or economic power he possessed, but rather the ideas he represented. The dominant narrat ive constructed military intervention as a defensive act, which prompts the question of how this could be considered defensive given Nasser nationalized a part of his sovereign territory? The government and its allies were not defending territory, but rath was the possibility that by being perceived as beating the British, the weight of public opinion in the Arab lands would shift to his side. The public support garnered here would be used by Nasser to create an Arab Empire which w ould in turn be anathema, not only to British interests, but international law, international order, and would in fact constitute an af f ront to morality. To conclude, the dominant narrative rendered the non action option illegitimate with reference to Brit ish identity as the reasonable protector of international law and order in opposition to Nasser as erratic, unreasonable, and a transgressor of international law and order. To leave the Suez Canal in the hands of such an erra tic and
121 criminal leader was unt hinkable. Furthermore, to flout the responsibility to take some action would be contrary to this British identity, and would in effect be a reenactment of pre World War II appeasement policy. According to the dominant n arrative, continued negotiations and the UN Security Council were similarly illegitimate options. The dominant narrative constructed Nasser as untrustworthy, with whom successful negotiations would never be possible. The government and its allies suggested that, though the British were indeed the protectors of international law, that in this instance, the dysfunction of the UN rendere d international law ineffectual . Thus, commensurate with their identity as a moral power, the British should undertake to protect the principles that underlie suc h institutions. Finally, negotiation was rendered illegitimate because it was const ructed as a fruitless endeavor. untrustworthy, and the British, in negotiation, would onl y act to weaken their position. With these co mpeting options rendered illegitimate, the push to war was further Egyptian and Arab identity, which acted in support of these aims. The government and its allies argu ed that to forego military action would, in effect, deliver the Middle East to Nasser. Not only were British interests in danger, but more importantly, the constitutional and democratic nature of the British state itself would be undermined if Nasser was a llowed to succeed. Alternative Narratives The dominant narrative met with spirited opposition from members of both parties. These MPs offered alternative narratives , countering the constructions of identity offered in the dominant narrative. A full exposit ion of these is not possible within the framework of my project, thus I will only briefly address them . First, the dominant
122 challenged by an alternative construction of Nasser as a politica l leader that was responding to different pressures, both domestic and international. Supporting this construction of Nasser as a was the argument that national ization broke no particular international law. Cyril Banks (Conservative, Pudsey) argued the U.S. and the U.K., having put Nasser in a tough on the spot because we tell him that we will give him something then withdraw the offer ten days later, then I th ink we must expect some trouble (Hansard 1956, 1631). In response to this, R. T. Paget ( Labour , Northampton) asked him if he thought that Nasser was level headed and a Labour politician responded by claiming that the British have icked in the teeth all the time (Hansard 1956, 1631). William Warbey (Labour, Ashfield) agreed with this assessment, claiming that, rather than being He further noted not yet responded to it (Hansard 1956, 1647) . Moreover, any sort of punitive response, such as economic sanctions, represented a form of be an illegal accord ing to international law (Hansard 1956, 1647) . In response to this, John Hall (Conservative, Wycombe) argued with great delight in Moscow (Hansard 1956, 1649) . These narratives imply two things: Nasser is constructed a s reasonable, having been placed in a tough spot by removal of
123 the loan offer, it is implied that he is reasonable, merely dealing with difficult circumstances, and could have been negotiated with; second, if Nasser was within his rights in nationalizing t he canal, then military intervention is, of course, illegitimate. Second, in relation to the UN , alternative narratives of the crisis argued that Britain was in fact the actor transgressing international law through military intervention, and to stay true provisions of the UN Charter, forwarded most forcefully by the leader of the opposition, Hugh Gaitskell (Labour, Leeds South) . In the August 2 nd debate in the House of Commons he argued that, if force was to be used, it must only be done so with explicit cannot be excluded, we must be sure that circumstances justify it and that is, if used, consiste nt with our belief in, and pledges to, the Charter of the United Nations (Hansard 1956, 1615) . Though initially taking a hard stance against Nasser, Gaitskell moderated later on. By September, he argued that military intervention absent sanction from the taking the law into our own hands which . . . involves abandoning the whole basis [of anarchy (Hansard 1956a, 22). and not yet a world the world authority which we . . . would like to see it become . . . the real issue . . . is whether we wish, as a country, to create that world authority [th ro ugh He finally argued, i n response to assertions of British responsibility in the face of widespread opposition, business to decide on our own that we should take independent action . . . Th ere is
124 nothing in the United Nations Charter which justifies any action ap pointing itself world policeman (Hansard 1956, 1347). Morrison (Conservative, Lewisham South) one country to do what Egypt has done as it would be for other countries to retaliate by the immediate use of forc e (Hansard 1956, 1654). This alternative narrative characterized any military intervention absent explicit Security Council sanction as illeg itimate, and thus, contrary to the argument that the British are acting in accordance with international morality, that they are, in fact, undermining the entire structure of international law they have helped to create. Third, alternative constructions of Arab and Egyptian people argued against competing monolithic constructions. Patrick Wall (Conservative, Haltemprice East yptians are not Arab people. Many of the Arab nations dislike and are jealous of the Egyptians (Hansard 1956a, 48 9). Though this view was not forwarded by a large number of MPs, it does echo earlier constructions earlier constructions of Egyptians and Ar abs as opposed, and in doing so, suggests questionable . Finally, some argued that rather than a legitimate action, military intervention is a neocolonial act. While some argue d that Nasser was embarking upon a colonial policy, many in the opposition argued otherwise. The worry for some was that a military policy Desmond Donnelly (Labour, Pembrokeshire) established ourselves in a particular position as a
125 former imperialist nation which has now become an anti imperialist nation in many parts He continues that military action w much cost and with so much hope (Hansard 1956, 1707). Warbey (Labour, Ashfield) , sympathetic to Donnelly, argued against military intervention, claiming: any single nation or group [cannot] arrogat e to itself the right to exercise supra national powers over any other country. That is no longer possible. That is imperialism by whatever country or group of countries it is practiced . . . whether it is done by Russia, Britain or the United States (Hans ard 1956, 1649) . Finally, while Nasser was constructed as imperialist, his actions are partially justified insofar as the Egyptians under Colonel Nasser merely want to be like us . . . They want to be able, as they have seen that we have been able in the p ast to push nations around. They have been pushed around by us in the past, and now they want to do a bit of the pushing around (Hansard 1956, 1673) 38 This alternative narrative drew a serving, and pronouncements) and does not attempt to impose its will unilaterally upon former colonies, arguing that this perpetuates the cycle o f violence and powe r politics. Though this distinction did not have much purchase during the Suez Crisis, differentiation between Britain and other powers as colonial powers, versus former colonial powers, would garner increased importance in subsequent debates. It is clear to see that this 38 Henry Usborne, Labour, Birmingham Yardley.
126 characterization of Britain as a potential char acterizing it as imperialistic. While these competing narratives attempted to dele gitimate military intervention by reference to competing sets of identities, much of the support for these competing arguments came from the opposition. policies had to indeed react to arguments made by the opposition, as they held the majority in office and thus made the decisions , gaining support of the opposition for military intervention was not institutionally essential. Yet, while the alternative narratives did not change the policy, they forced the government and its allies to offer further legitimations for his pol icies . These legitimations at once constrict later policy choices and, perhaps more importantly, are often fodder for later constructions of identity by producing and reproducing certain ideas that can be deployed at a later date. Indeed, identity is not a monolithic thing. There were competing, overlapping, and oftentimes conflicting narratives forwar ded in relation to the crisis. Often, these alternative narratives were prescient in how they constructed Britain as well as the radical and partial Others. C onstructing Britain as a colonial power in 1956, alternative narratives would act as a foil to constructions of Britain during 1982 as a post colonial power that was, in effect, positioned against a neocolonial power in the guise of Argentina. Thus, while alternative narratives did not affect the outcome of the policy choice, they must be addressed not because they needed to be addressed in the course of the contemporary debate, but also because they often times offered new constructions of identity that co uld be utilized in legitimations in subsequent crises.
127 Epilogue Despites subsequent political and scholarly consensus regarding the Suez Crisis as a failure of British foreign policy, the negative fallout from the crisis was not readily apparent. Though th e Suez Crisis made more apparent the intensifying nationalist movements in areas such as sub Saharan Africa, Britain had been forced to deal with such movements as far back as the 1920s in both the Middle East and South Asia. Moreover, though the Suez Cris American alliance since its inception after World War II, the so 1950s quite strong, if not on less equal terms than before (Bially Mattern 2005; Darwin 1988, 223) . Additionally, one may garner the mistaken impression that the Suez Crisis dealt a blow to the popularity of Empire amongst the British electorate, though in truth the British populace had always b een ambivalent about Empire . Indeed, the political blow dealt to the Conservatives as the result of Suez did not remain in the public conscience for long, and the actions of October and November 1956 that precipitated the fall of Anthony Eden were quickly forgotten (Darwin 1988, 231) . In order to construct a fuller picture of British identity post Suez, one must briefly examine these long term trends, and the shift in self identity that was allied with this decline. First, the Suez Crisis marked the emergen ce of a clear ideational break in British foreign political thought, a cipher for: transformation from a global power with an overseas empire and considerable capacity for independ ent action, into a regional power whose remaining overseas possessions were more of an embarrassment than a source of strength, trade or influence (Darwin 1988, 222) .
128 The Suez Crisis represented the last time that the British would embark on a major unilat eral military campaign absent U.S. support. Failure of British policy in this existed o Moreover, throughout this period Britain had depended on the U.S. defense industry to supply its military might. Even its prized nuclear deterrent was contingent upon U.S. supplies of missile technology (Darwin 1988, 225) . While this was apparent prior to Suez, the result of the crisis disabused even the most ardent supporters of British Empire of the notion that the UK was on equal footing with the U.S. Furthermore, it became apparent to the British that the U.S. would capitalize on this inequality when it found it to be in its interest. 39 Second , the British position, more broadly, was challenged internationally by the failure in Suez. No longer able to count on the supp ort of its erstwhile colonies (A fter all, India had been one of the leading opponents of British action in Suez . ), and many with in the British conservative political establishment having challenged the legitimacy of the United Nations throughout the crisis, left Britain isolated. This ran counter to a history of British foreign policy that balanced engagement on the continent and c oncern with its overseas Empire with a marked antipathy towards isolationist policy (Darwin 1988, 231) . Third, the decline in economic importance of the British Empire became more apparent after Suez. Indeed, even prior to Suez, the British required interv ention on the part of the U.S. in order to bolster their currency, and faced intense competition from the revival of Western Europe in the early 1950s on into the 1960s. The Suez Crisis, having revealed an inability on the part of the British to maintain t heir influence, also diminished 39 Th is is evidenced, again, by the swift entrance of the U.S. into the Middle East, a sphere of influence in which the British were, if not dominant (given the influence of the French), at least primus inter pares .
129 the possibility of and economic revival employing the resources of their far flung empire (Cain and Hopkins 2001) . The shifts in identity commensurate with these trends were instrumental in the run up to the Falklands War, a nd the construction of Self identity during that conflict, and thus better left to be discussed in the Chapter 4 . Thus, a few points must be addressed before proceeding along to Chapter s 4 and 5 regarding British identity and legitimation of policy choice in the Suez Crisis. First, compared to subsequent legitimations, the nature of British morality and the duty inherent in the British position will shift. As demonstrated earlier in the Chapter 3 , Nasser is constructed as uncaring and unresponsive to the de mands and wishes of the Egyptian people. the most part, legitimation of the military option hinges upon a particular construction of his contrasts with constructions of radical Otherness in Chapters 4 and 5 . In those instances, the dominant narrative seizing the canal) but the criminal nature of the r egime itself and how it treats its people. This is not to say that constructions of Argentine identity in Chapter 4 or Iraqi identity in Chapter 5 do not exhibit characteristics negatively differentiating it from British identity. In Chapter 4 , for instanc e, the government and its allies construct the Argentine people as wild, ungovernable, and ungrateful. In the subsequent analysi s, however, the dominant narrative concentrates more explicitly on the crimes that the two regimes commit vis Ã vis their popula ces in addition to the criminal nature of the political act that precipitates the crisis. This is partly due to a reconfiguration of British identity that occurs somewhere between the Suez Crisis and the Falklands War. In 1982, Britain,
130 rather than identif ying as a responsible colonial power, instea d constructs the Argentines as the colonizer, and the British as liberator. Second, by 1982 Britain is no longer a significant colonial power, having relinquished the majority of its colonies. Attendant to this i s a newly emergent identity of Britain in decline, or Britain as a second rate powe r. As I will explore in Chapter 4 , the shadow of the failure in Suez loomed large and, if not causing this identity, marked a significant watershed in British politics.
131 CH APTER 4 THE FALKLANDS WAR, 1982 Overview Whereas a relatively self confident Britain faced what the dominant narrative constructed as a devious opponent in the Suez Crisis, by the onset of the Falklands War, much had changed in Britain . First, the post Wor ld War II relative decline continued in earnest. Militarily, British prestige had dissipated , having by 1982, disposed of all of all colonial possessions, save for a few island outposts. Seco nd, and as explored later in this case study , this loss had a not iceable effect on the previously dominant identity narrative of Empire. Many within the British political elite espoused fears of becoming a second rate power and feared a future in which a once great Britain was relegated to becoming unexceptional . This was no doubt compounded by political and economic difficulties that beleaguered the British throughout the 1970s. Thus, directly preceding the crisis, the British faced critical juncture in their political existence, stuck unenviably between memories of a grand, yet rapidly fading, past and a supposedly dim future. The dominant narrative in favor of military conflict in the Falklands both reflected and opposed these emerging identity narratives. The immediate catalyst for t he Falklands War was an Argentine invasion of the British occupied islands in April of 1982. Though the British occupied these islands continuously for more than 150 years prior to the crisis, territorial proximity, as well as prior Spanish occupation, pro vided foundation s for Argentine claims to the islands. Whereas for the British, these islands represented little more than a colonial outpost (an economically unviable one at that), for the Argentines the occupied Malvinas represented ongoing national humi liation as an ex colonized power. Following a series
132 of failed negotiations, the Argentine military government decided to act unilaterally to take the islands by force. Many similarities exist and th e Falklands War. First, the dominant narrative constructed the British in oppositional terms, as rational, democratic, the purveyor and supporter of international order law, as opposed to a radical Other, who was erratic, undemocratic, immoral, criminal, a nd corrosive of international order. Non action and diplomatic options were similarly constructed as illegitimate due to the untrustworthy and power hungry nature of dictatorial regimes. Moreover, the military option was privileged due to these very same r easons: since military dictatorships only could be persuaded by power, the only viable means of action was a military solution. Yet, there are a number of important differences between the two cases that reflect the changes in how the dominant narrative co nstructed British identity during this time . First, whereas the government and its allies constructed British identity in prior to the Falklands War, mentions of colonialism were reserved for the purported Argentine aggressors. Second, whereas constructions of Arab identity figured prominently in legitimation of the military option during the Suez Crisis, mentions of any essential of the Argentine people (at least in Commons debates ) were relatively sparse . Instead, the Argentine people were, for the most part, constructed as victims of the rapacious Argentine regime , though t his was not mentioned to legitimate war. Finally, and most important, are the dual constructions of the Britis h themselves within the dominant narrative. First, the government and its allies constructed the
133 Falklanders as romanticized purveyors of British values , and relatedly, the current state of Britain itself as weak and declining . The military option was legi timated on the grounds that , through demonstrating its military power and vitality, Britain could reclaim its rightful place amongst the great powers. In doing so, Britain recast its identity not as an imperial power, but a post imperial power, exceptional not because of its colonial sway, but in spite of it, espousing principles of democracy, freedom, and civil rights and liberties. Indeed, these principles were always extant, but in subsequent years, they would become the central focus of a post colonial British foreign policy. In short, the government and its allies forwarded a dominant narrative that delegitimated non action by constructing it as a betrayal of both the Falklanders as well as its identity as a protector of international law and order , as well as democratic principles represented by the Falklanders criminal, corrosive of international law and order, inaction would contradict this important facet of British identity. Diplomacy was discounted due to the dual constructions of the Argentine government as an immoral, dictatorial regime that could not be trusted. Attempts at negotiation on the part of the Argentines were constructed as stalling for time. Thus, to continue negotiations would, in effect, upholder of international morality and international order. Finally, the dominant narrative constructed the military option as necessary both to defend the Falklanders, and by extension, principles of international orde r, democracy, and political rights. The British government and its allies also argued that any challenge to international order would result in a quick unravelling of the international system. Furthermore, the government
134 and its allies argued international would help to reinforce a flagging identity of exceptionalism within Britain. Background to the Crisis Although the roots of the Falklands War lay in a dispute that dates back to the 19 th century, the or igins of the contemporary conflict are found in the trend towards decolonization beginning in the 1940s. The United Kingdom pledged to work with the UN to decolonize the Fa lkland Islands in some form in 1964 (Freedman and Gamba Stonehouse 1990, 7; Moro 198 9, 3).The UN sought to capitalize on this commitment in 1965, when the General Assembly voted 45 to 0 (with 14 abstentions) to Resolution roblem, bearing in mind . . . the interests of the population of Stonehouse 1990, 8). Negotiations began in 1966 and proceeded in three distinct stages during the sixteen years between Resolution 2065 a nd the onset of the dispute in 1982. During the first round, from 1966 The swift rejection of this proposal by Argentina resulted in a British volte face and in 1967, for the first time, the British stated formally that they would consider a transfer of sovereignt y (Dillon 1989, 2). This first round was cut short due to the emerging power of the so stonewalled efforts to negotiate on the issue of sovereignty (Freedman and Gamba Stonehouse 1990, 8).
135 Following the failure of the first round of negotiations in 1968, the British pursued a policy of fostering conciliation between the Falkland Islanders and the Argentines, and the issue of sovereignty (sensitive for the Falkland Islanders) was shelved for the near future. During this time, the British Foreign Office was well aware of the limitations posed by the geographic location of the islands, and similarly, that the economic and political future of the Falklands lay in South America, and not the B ritish Isles. Thus, Stonehouse 1990, 8). This was reinforced by the stance within British elite po litical circles in the 1960s, that in order for the British to sustain a lasting claim to the island, it n 1989, 14). The Shackleton Report , painted a grim economic portrait of the islands, suggesting the remedy was to forge closer ties between the Argentine mainland and the Falklanders themselves. 1 was the 1971 communications agreement between the British and the Argentines, which effectively rendered the Falkland Islands dependent on the mainland of Argentina for its communications. 1 The Shackleton Report stated that the Falkl of its mono riven with ecommended remedy was to forge closer ties between the Argentine population and the Falklanders themselves, through economic cooperation and forced dependence , which would eventually allow for warmer sentiments between the two sides to arise, at which point, the British could divest themselves of what many thought to be a troublesome set of islands. See Dillon 1989, 5.
136 This second round of efforts collapsed in 1974 due to three concurrent circumstances: first, the increasingly nationalistic tone of Argentine politics in the early 1970s resulted in the emergence of the view that these attempts at functional integration absent a serious diplomatic effort to resolve the sov ereignty dispute were a Shackleton Report , military drawback in the mid 1970s , allied, increasingly belligerent actions by the Argentines, and the failure of a 1974 proposal for condominium between the British and the Argentines resulted in yet another policy shift (Dillon 1989, 4; Freedman and Gamba Stonehouse 1990, 8 9). 2 The British floated a leaseback arrangement, whereby Argentina would retain titular sovereignty but allow British administration to continue in the near future. This failed due to opp osition from the attempted to stymie any action on the part of the British it deemed contrary to the interest of the Falklanders. By 1980s, serious negotiations were at an end, and the British government was left simply stalling for time, not wanting to relinquish the islands altogether, but without a tenable plan to resolve the dispute (Freedman and Gamba Stonehouse 1990, 8). In 1976, a coup brought a military regime to power i n Argentina, which, during an economic downturn in the early 1980s, began to view the repossession of the Falkland 2 HMS Shackleton , a research ship, was int ercepted in 1976 by an Argentine destroyer and order to halt as it was entering Argentine waters. It refused to do this, despite several warning shots. When the dispute was brought to the Interamerican Juridical Committee it ruled in favor of Argentina.
137 Islands as a means to divert attention away from the flailing economy and underscore its nationalist credentials. Due in part to vacillation on the part of the British in the late three years of work on the possibility of leaseback had been abruptly abandoned . . . On the other hand, the British showed no interest in buildup of their economic and military Stonehouse 1990, 10). Lord Chalfont, no sense of crisis. This was regarded as a long term problem, I might say. Both sides reports in the 1960s and 1970s concluded that official and with the resumption of talks in t he 1970s and the signing of the Communications HMS Shackleton was the first sign of escalation of the conflict, which precipitated the British to send a minor military contingent (the HMS Endurance , armed with two helicopters and air to sea missiles) to the South Atlantic (Dillon 1989, 11). Throughout the late 1970s, the Argentine government engaged in minor operat ions designed to apply pressure to the British to settle the crisis. In 1976, the Argentine military established a small presence on the British dependency of South Thule. When the British discovered this a year later and requested an explanation, the Arge ntine government claimed t hat it was a scientific mission. Argentine naval presence in the region increased, and in September/October of 1977, the Argentine Navy arrested seven Soviet and two Bulgarian fishing vessels in waters off the Falkland Islands (Di llon
138 1989, 13 15). Although these forays disposed the British toward believing the Argentines may use force to settle the dispute, a full invasion of the Falkland Islands was never countenanced. The British concluded instead that a military invasion might involve one of the uninhabited South George or South Thule islands (Freedman and Gamba Stonehouse 1990, 18). Even if a full military invasion was envisaged, the British, both privately and publicly, were inured to their helplessness. One government analysi s in 1981 concluded nds Review 1983, 108). By 1982, the situation looked grim. While there was little movement on the diplomatic front due to absence of w ill on the part of the British g overnment as well as the power of the Falklands supporters within the House of Commons , th ere was an increasingly beleaguered feeling on the part of the Falkland Islanders themselves. The military position of the British became even more precarious due to the withdrawal of the HMS Endurance at the end of her 1981 1982 deployment (Freedman and G amba Stonehouse 1990, 19). The immediate crisis was precipitated in March with the British discovery of an Argentine landing party on the British protectorate of South Georgia (Freedman and Gamba Stonehouse 1990, 48). The British demanded evacuation, an im possibility for on the
139 removal of the Argentine presence on South Georgia island was posturing, the result of the influence of the hardline Falklands Lobby, and that, through increasing pressure on the British, it would be able to exact concessions, as the British, it see med, lacked the will to defend the islands from a military invasion. April 2 nd , 1982, Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands, and the small contingent of British troops stationed there surrendered within a couple of days. The British reinvaded the F alkland Islands on May 26 th of the same year, and by June 14 th , the Argentines surrendered. British Decline and the Ramifications for Identity Legitimations of British foreign policy during the Suez Crisis cannot be understood absent a brief reference to t he state of British identity following the Suez Crisis. Following the Suez Crisis, the specter of becoming a second rate power increasingly haunted the British political elite. This was due in no small part to the process of rapid decolonization that proce eded from 1956 into the middle of the 1970s, along with the diminution in British political power, economic power, and prestige that this presaged. Although felt more acutely in the Conservative Party (both because the political Left in Britain escaped cul pability for the Suez Crisis in addition to laying claim to a history of anti colonialism stretching back to the early 20 th century) , this sentiment the British might take some comfort in sharing the brunt of anti colonialism with the United States as well as the European colonial powers, there could be no doubt that on the part of the British as to what would become of them after Empire . Sir Charles Johnston, Governo
140 British] have lo confidence is a very odd thing it is something which has happened inside ourselves, Office 19 56). Many in the government constructed this decline not only in political terms, but in moral terms as well. exceptio nalism , not only its ability to project power, but the confidence to project that power autonomously was significantly diminished by a lack of moral certitude. Indeed, as sentiments concerning the morality of colonialism changed, Britain was deemed deeply implicated in this outmoded institution. This was not simply a reaction to British colonial power, but a revolution in thought, a rejectio n of the unequal relationships ( cultural ly, economically, and socially) that emerged from c olonialism. Sir Robert Scot t described this anti colonial sentiment in 1959 : fancied Western assumptions of superiority, whether in social status or culture, reaction oreign Office 1959) . This loss of moral standing was implicated in the denouement of British colonial power, as Sir Hilton Poynton of the Colonial Office reflected, in 1960, that this shift in e international climate . Office 1960). In short, between 1956 and 1982, changing norms regarding the role of colonizing powers vis Ã vis their colonies, in addition to the actual process of decolonization, resulted in a perception of British decline. This is important because the
141 identities constructed in the dominant narrative will cast themselves partially in opposition to this perception. What follows is a brief outl ine of the policy options and how, within the dominant narrative, identities were deployed to legitimate military intervention while delegitimating non violent resolutions. Policy Options On March 31 st , a report from London was delivered to the Governor of the Falkland Islands, Rex Hunt, concerning the presence of an Argentine submarine off the coast. It was expected that this was little more than a provocation on the part of the Argentines (Eddy 1982, 81). Instead, Argentine forces invaded the islands earl y the next morning, and by April 2 nd the British governor was evicted from the islands, and the Argentines declared the Falklands/Malvinas its sovereign territory. Aware of the fense Committee met on April 1 st to discuss possible options. Initially, a diplomatic solution was proffered, but with the continuing deterioration of the British position, it was decided late in the evening of April 2 nd that a taskforce would set sail for the islands (Freedman and Gamba Stonehouse 1990, 124). This did not necessarily mean that war was imminent, as many in the British Governmen t felt the presence of the task force would be enough to force a suitable settlement. As a result, preparations for a military option were made concurrent with a decision to pursue a diplomatic end to the crisis through mediation. The first natural forum for this matter was the UNSC, within which the British actively lobbied for a resolution condemning the Argentine inv asion, which was passed on April 2 nd . UNSC Resolution 502/1982 called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, and immediate withdrawal of Argentine forces from the Falkland/Malvinas (Eddy 1982, 110 11). The British used this resolution as well as the r ight of self defense preserved in
142 Article 51 of the UN Charter as the legal justification for the use of force. The matter was discussed in an emergency session in the House of Commons on April 2 nd , and April 3 rd , during which Margaret Thatcher informed th e House of Commons of the decision of the Cabinet. Why was legitimation of the military option necessary? How was it not the obvious course of action? In terms of military importance, the Falkland Islands had little appeal other than as a remote naval outp ost or refueling station. Yet, given that the British had never possessed much in the way of military influence in the region (nor did they aspire to) forceful action in defense of this outpost seems a difficult decision to legitimate. Some argue that ther e were clear military interests, and therefore, the British decision to go to war over these islands was obvious. Beck (1985) argues that these islands did indeed have a limited strategic importance to the British navy. Moreover, lklands geographic propinquity to Antarctica [served] to bolster British claims to part of that vast continent. They are seen as providing an Yet, the importance of these islands to the Brit ish should not be overstated. First, the British were in retreat in this region, as evidenced by the withdrawal of the HMS Endurance from the area. By the 1970s, the British recognized the inevitability of relinquishment of sovereignty over the Falklands , as evidenced by attempts to closely moor the Falkland Islanders to the Argentine mainland through the Communications Agreement of 1971. Second, the British had few, if any, national strategic interests in the area. Insofar as they did, they involved econom ic and legal rights that would be won, not through military force, but through diplomatic and legal posturing. Thus, the
143 indication that rights to Antarctic explora tion played a part, the overwhelming majority of statements made in the House of Commons regarding the conflict made little mention of either this, or the geopolitic al strategic importance of the Falkland I slands. 3 Moreover, there seems to be little if any indication that the British thought it was in their interest to maintain these islands for economic reasons. After all, as argued in the 1976 Shackleton Report , the islands were in severe economic decline, and in fact, more of a liabilit y to the British t han an asset. In many circles, the retention of these 55; hereafter Hansard). 4 There were littl e, if any resources, on the i sland, save for grazing land. Finally, domestic explanations may point to the decisive role played by the so called Falklands Lobby in stonewalling action in the run up to the Falklands War . This may in fact precipitated the Br itish policy of diplomatic stalling that pushed the Argentine military regime to invade. Indeed, it is also true that the Falklands Lobby was insistent negotiations. Th went to war were simply the narrow interests of a few well positioned politicians. There are two shortcomings to this argument. While a relatively small Falklands Lobby was 3 Robin Edmonds, head of the Latin American desk in the Foreign Office, discusses the Antarctic claim in Charlton 1989, 10 12; there only seems to be one mention of the strategic importance of the islands from what may be considered a realist perspective b y MP W.R. Rees Davies, Conservative, Thanet West ( House of Commons: The Falklands Campaign 1982, 261; hereafter Hansard). 4 Frank Hooley, Labour, Sheffield Heely.
144 certainly pow erful enough to stonewall minor agreements which received little public attention, it is questionable whether or not the power of the Falklands Lobby was such that it would have been able to drag an entire country to war in defense of 1,800 individuals abs ent some kind of ideational attachment to them. If one chooses to argue that this ideational attachment was instrumental, then one must question exactly what that ideational attachment was. As I have attempted to show, the ideational attachment was ineluct ably moored to a conception of Falkland Islanders identity qua British citizens. Moreover, towards the end of the conflict, it seems that the causal arrow shifts, and rather than the Falkland Lobby using political pressure in order to sway the government, in fact what is happening is the Governm Identity to justify the war, as Gibran argues, it may not be true that the British went to war m The possible policy options that were considered fall into three categories: first, non action, or essentially allowing the shift from the status quo ante; second, diplomatic solutions, a number of which were floated , a nd third , the military option, meaning an all out invasion of the island. Identities Prior to and during the Falklands Crisis, the dominant narrative constructed the British and the Falklanders in radical opposition to the Argentine government. Similar to the Suez Crisis, constructions of identity focused on a number of characteristics. Yet, in contrast to the Suez Crisis, the government and its allies proffered a number of additional identities in order to legitimate military intervention during the run up to the reinvasion of the islands. In addition to the partial Other in the form of the Argentine
145 people (which played a relatively minor role in this crisis), the dominant narrative constructed the Falkland Islanders themselves as a former, purer form of B ritish identity. To be clear, in this case, the term partial Other mischaracterizes the relationship between the British and the Falklanders. The government and its allies constructed the Falklanders as paragons of seminal British values argued to be in de cline subsequent to British political failures subsequent to the 1956 Suez Crisis . In order to rectify this, the government and its allies purveyed the military option as both a means to rescue the Falkland Islanders , as constructions of purer, romanticize d British subjects, rescue becoming a second rate power. What follows is a brief description of the parameters along which British, Argentine, and Falkland identities were constructed. In accordance w ith the grounded theory method, the categories I adopt may not be symmetrical or indeed as parsimonious as one may like. Yet, throughout the course of analysis, and in accordance with grounded method, I err on the side of empirical accuracy at the cost of parsimony. To begin, the dominant narrative constructed the British, as well as British action during the crisis, as reasonable and measured. This was reflected in how the dominant narrative constructed British diplomatic action preceding the crisis. The g overnment and its allies argued we are exerting] ourselves in every way that we can think of to Hansard). The government and its allies continued, claiming will 395). Secretary of State, Francis Pym , implied the British actions have made this clearly obvious to the Argentines (Hansard 1982b, 1053). The dominant narrative characterized
146 continuing British negotiations regarding the status of the Falklands as proceeding in good faith, with the possibility of reconciliation between the Falkland Islands and the Argentines , providing this accorded with the wishes of the Falkland Islanders themselves. The dominant narrative constructed Britain as continuing to desire peace Argentina, on the other hand , was constructed in radical opposition to this. were peaceful solution. While the Briti 1982c, 395). 5 Contrary to the British, the Argentines that the Argentine governmen emotional and unreasonable, was to blame for the conflict (Hansard 1982, 257). This so called Latino nature was the reason their armed forces would not patiently wait for negotiations, and instead chose to invade (Charlton 1 989, 36). Those supporting the dominant narrative argued that radical (and thus unpredictable) politics was inherent to the Argentine political system, the function of a legacy of Peronism in that region (Hansard 1982, 174, 243). Most immediately, directly 6 Thus, according to Prime Minister 5 Both quotes by Francis Pym, Secretary of State. 6 Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister.
147 Margaret Thatcher, the inability to r each a suitable agreement falls at the feet of the Argentines rather than the British (Hansard 1982b, 611). Similarly, the government and its allies constructed the British as trustworthy in opposition to the Argentine government as untrustworthy. The domi nant narrative constructs Britain as having a moral responsibility towards the Falklanders. David Ennals (Labour, Norwich North) the trust that the islanders placed in us was and should not be so now (Hansard 1982a, 1026). Eric Ogden (Labour, Liverpool West Derby) continues that not protecting them from invasion in the first place constituted a betrayal, and If we do any less [than guarantee their protection now] we shall h ave betrayed them a second time Thatcher underlined this sentiment, asserting not responsible for the betrayal [of the Falklanders] and cannot be faced with that 7 The dominant narrative constructed the British government as responsible and trustworthy, in international affairs writ large, but to its constituents in the Falklands in particular. This is contrasted with the duplicitous Argentines, about whom Thatcher and her allies commented in her ini tial speech to the House of Commons . In regards to a prior, smaller scale invasion of an uninhabited island in the Falklands, Government . . . claimed to have no prior knowledge of the landing and assured us that there were no Argentine mili 8 Anthony Kershaw (C onservative, Stroud) commented that any peaceful resolution of the crisis 7 Mar garet Thatcher, Prime Minister. 8 Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister.
148 the Nazi ruffians who have recently come to power in the Argentine . . . the present day 1982a, 989). John Eden (Conservative, Bourn emouth East) concurred, stating: In all the discussions that have taken place so far, and in the Argentines' actions over the past weeks, it seems clear that it is not possible to trust the word of the junta. In those circumstances, I should be very cautious about accepting any verbal commitment to withdraw its forces i n certain circumstances (Hansard 1982b, 1028). This untrustworthiness was revealed by the Argentine its own citizens. Bernard Braine (Conservative, Essex Southeast) commented that he tions with the Argentine ambassador about women and mothers of young children who have been picked up by the secret police disappeared ones . . . they have never been brought to trial . . . They were seized constructed the British as reasonable negotiators, acting in good faith, constructed vis Ã vis the untrustworthy Argentines who, due to the nature of their government (both internally and externally), could not be trusted to administer the Falklands nor comply with any future agreement. Relatedly , the dominant narr ative constructed British aims in the region as altruistic and universalist. The government and its allies constructed the British not as a strategic player, but rather, acting in accordance with a form of international order and universal morality. The do minant narrative constructed the Argentines as radical Others, adopting an immoral position corrosive to international order and international law.
149 important allies, as well as influential international organizations , would concur (Hansard 1982a, 1165) . 9 The potential responses to the Argentine invasion were constructed not in political terms, but rather in terms of moral duty, both to the Falklander s and to the cause of international morality, order and democracy. Michael (Hansard 1 982, 8). According to the dominant narrative, the Argentine occupation of the islands, was not a political move or a failure of negotiations, but (Hansard 1982a, 1028). 10 Francis Pym (Conservative, Secretary of State) construc ted rather than a legitimate political grievance (Hansard 1982a, 959). David Ennals (Labour, Norwich North) further accused the Argentines of holding the Falkland Island ers ransom to their demands , stating in any way that suits their own im (Hansard 1982a, 1027). Thus, while the British are constructed as moral , the Argentines are constructe d as immoral, and untrustworthy, thus making it a political imperative to remove the islands from their control. Politically, the dominant narrative constructed Britain in opposition to the Argentine government, but also, in relation to the Falkland Island ers themselves. 9 A.E.P. Duffy, Labour, Sheffield Attercliffe. 10 David Ennals, Labour, Norwich North.
150 Whereas the Argentine government embodied negative characteristics (it was undemocratic, lacking civil liberties, mistreating its people) the Falklanders were constructed not only as British, but as a romanticized form of British, embodying the purest form of democracy, self reliance, and liberal principles. While the British were constructed as the defenders and upholders of international order, the Argentines were constructed in opposition to this. Purveyors of the dominant narrative relie d on analogies to past dictators and imbued the Argentine government with the character istics these linkages implied . The invasion of the Falklands represented territorial aggrandizement of the worst kind, and deeply threatened the prevailing international order. The government and its allies constructed British identity during the crisis through its deep attachment to foundational liberal principles, such as the international rule of law, freedoms inherent to the British political system (and by extension, the British way of life) and finally, a perceived du ty to uphold these. The British identity is constructed in opposition to a radical Other, lacking the fundamental domestic political structures commensurate with . The government an d its allies constructed Britain as a who prize due process, political freedom, and other liberal qualities . 11 tion on the part of Argentina is denied, as they lack an denial of basic political rights to their 12 11 S.C. Silkin, Labour, Dulwich. 12 Michael English, Conservative, Nottingham West
151 Yet, importantly, the dominant narrative does not conc entrate fully on construction of the British, but rather Falkland Islanders. The dominant narrative constructs the Falklanders as paragons of uniquely British principles. Not only were they deemed to be part of the British Self, they embodied the essential virtues that made Britain great. Margaret Thatcher, on the occasion of her first speech to the House of Commons after the Argentine invasion explained: The people of the Falkland Islands, like the people of the United Kingdom, are an island race. Their wa y of life is British; their allegiance is to the crown. They are few in number but they have the right to live in peace, to choose their own way of life (Thatcher 1997, 157). Edward Rollins (Labour, Merthyr Tydfil) echoes this sentiment, arguing the Prime and I hope that we shall succeed in freeing them she will find that they are passionate b constructed the Falkland Islands as 13 Moreover, historically, the dominant narrative assured that the British have always taken the interests of the Falklanders into consideration, and have been istering, and having a British presence on the islands for the people The ard 1982, 40). Alan Clark (Conservative, Plymouth Sutton) 13 Frederick Burden, Conservative, Gillingham. See also Hansard 1982, 168.
152 right to their homesteads and their land . . . These people inhabit an area of tremendous riches and potential f it fell to the British to 1041). 14 Fin ally, the dominant narrative constructed defense of the principles embodied by the Falklanders as in the interest of universal law and order. Sam Silkin (Labour, Dulwich) argues, representative similarly claims, freedom loving countries right across the world, is to see to it that Argentina's illegal and intolera ble defiance of the international community and of the rule of law is not allowed morality, Britain constructed itself as an exceptional power, much like the United States. Francis Pym argued exemplary defender of international liberal principles, that will bear considerably on legitimation for the military option in this conflict. The dominant narrative constructed the the British, as Stanley Newens (Labour, Harlow) averred of the people in the 14 John Silkin, Labour, Deptford.
153 Falklands to self determination was a basic international principle of importance not only While the Falklanders are constructed in a similar fashion to the British , they repres ent far more than just territory and people to the British. Given those that argued Britain was in decline, the Falklanders represented a break with this supposedly ineluctable downward spiral. They represented a return to the principles that allowed the B stark contrast to the belief amongst many within the government of the time that so c Argentine regime was construed as more than a political act. It was an act of honor, an act of salvation from the hopeless trajectory that would otherwise continue. More over, according to the dominant narrative, this incident allowed the British to reinforce their rightful place as the exemplars of international law and order robbed from them due in part to the Suez Crisis, the embarrassment of the loss of its colonies, a nd finally its relative decline vis Ã vis other European powers. In order to fully justify this position, the dominant narrative constructed the Argentines in a position of radical Otherness , a lack of response to which would simply confirm these fears . Wh ereas politically, the British and the Falklanders are constructed as exemplars of democratic and liberal principles, aligned with the interests of the world, Argentine aims are described in terms of realpolitik , implying an outmoded 19 th century geopoliti cal system. First, the government and its allies constructed Argentina as the paradigmatic anti democratic military junta or dictatorship. Whereas in the British
154 system, there could be debate as to the legitimate course of action due to their democratic sy stem, in the Argentine system, there was (Hansard 1982, 56 57). Second, whereas the dominant narrative constructed British interests as univ ersal, the Argentines are constructed in terms of selfish geopolitical interest absent consideration of domestic government. One MP described Argentina as sphere of 15 The dominant narrative constructs the Argentines as a d their civil liberties , the Argentine government is characterized as lacking these basic civil lib erties, and engaging in human rights abuses (Hansard 1982a, 659). 16 John Silkin (Labour, Deptford) claimed probably the worst o f the bunch of its leaders a man who wears upon his chest the medals that he won (Hansard 1982a, 661). He underscored the untrustworthiness of dictators, arguing that it is questionable whether or not the Falklanders will be treated with the rights and liberties to which they are accustomed. Finally, as in the Suez Crisis, the dominant narrative relied upon comparisons with past dictators in order to place the actions of the Argentines within a meaningful frame of reference. The government and its allies suggested that all dictatorships are predisposed towards territorial aggrandizement. One MP argued that In December last 15 Stanley Newens, Labour, Harlow. Newens claims that the British must stand up for the (universal) principle of self determination. 16 Bernard Braine, Conservative, Ess ex Southeast.
155 year, when this present bargain basement Mussolini, Galtieri, seized power in the Arge ntine, he never ma de any pretens 663). 17 John Gilbert (Conservative, Dudley East) charges he made it clear from the day that he arrived in office that his principal preoccupation was to regain sove 1005). In short, comparisons with former dictators allowed the British to impute a set of characteristics onto the Argentine government. Finally, the government and its allies constructed the invasion itself as a v iolation of international law. islands themselves, but rather the means by which they were taken. The dominant argued anything other than we are faced with an aggressive fait accompli 1982a, 991). 18 Thatcher charged that the means by which the islands were invaded had not a shred of justification and not a scrap of legality (Hansard 1982a, 633). Soon after the invasion, the UN Security Council condemned the acti on of the Argen tines (as discussed later in the analysis ) and argued that hostilities should cease on the part of both parties. Francis Pym (Conservative, Secretary of State) argued that this resolution 17 John Silkin, Labour, Deptfort. 18 Tony Benn, Labour, Bristol Southeast.
156 refusing to comply According to the dominant narrative, Britain was international c (Hansard 1982a, 1014). 19 internat ional standing force, it fell to the British as exemplars of international law and 19 82c, 1012). Though the government and its allies argued it is regrettable when the British must act unilaterally, it is in fact necessary to do so, lest international order be left to wither on the vine. Thus, while the British were constructed as exemplar s and enforcers of international law, the Argentines, by virtue of their invasion, were international criminals who should be treated as such. In short, the dominant narrative constructed the identities of the British, the Argentine government, and the Fal klanders relationally along four axes. First, the government and its allies constructed the British as reasonable political actors, who had negotiated in good faith, while the Argentines were erratic, overly emotional , and prone to unpredictability. Second , the British were constructed as a moral power, protecting a immoral seeking to undermine. Third, the British were constructed as liberal, and democratic, though the Falkland Isla nders themselves embodied the highest and purest form of 19 S.C. Silkin, Labour, Dulwich.
157 these ideals. The Argentine state was, naturally, opposed to these values, violating human rights, as well the rights of its own people, and thus unable to be trusted. Finally, the British were cons tructed as upholders of international law and order, and the invasion of the Falklands as a criminal act. This complex of identities would be instrumental in delegitimating non conflictual options and privileging the military option. We now turn our attent ion to how these identities legitimating or delegitimated the following options. Analysis The Non a ction Option As in the Suez case , seemed a plausible policy option. After all, as previously remarked, many within the British elite viewed Britain as a decl ining power, and even many British Conservatives argued that Britain must resign itself to a much diminished role in world affairs than it had been accustomed . 20 Additionally, the British made several overtures, and though they had expressed ambivalence, in dicated on multiple occasions that they would be willing to cede sovereignty of the Falkland Islands to Argentina contrary to the wishes of the Falklanders themselves. 21 Moreover, the slated withdrawal of the HMS Endurance coincided with a more comprehensiv e military drawdown concluded in June of 1981 (Freedman and Gamba Stonehouse 1990, 10). Many within the British establishment felt the retention of these islands to be troublesome, an embarrassing attachment to its imperial past (Charlton 1989, 7; Hansard 1982, 61). Their defense was quite costly, and given the endemic economic and demographic decline of the islands, it seemed reasonable to shed Britain of this 20 21
158 responsibility. Finally, the lopsided victory that would eventually be achieved was anything but a foregone conclusion. In fact, most experts deemed Argentine forces to be quite modern, equipped with advanced weapons, including French Super Etendard aircraft, and surface ships armed with Exocet anti ship missiles (Freedman and Gamba Stonehouse 1990, 1 32 33). Further, it was no easy task to first assemble a naval force, and effectively deploy it at a distance of more than 8,000 miles to confront a modern, well equipped opponent with support structures only four hundred miles away (Hansard 1982, 14). 22 Gi ven the powerful arguments in favor of simply letting the islands go, how did the dominant narrative render the non action option illegitimate? First, the government and its allies argued that , despite the diminished military and economic value of the isla nds, something more important was at stake --the Falklanders themselves. Recall that the dominant narrative argued that the Falklanders were of British culture and descent. Therefore, they embodied British principles of liberty and democracy. The dominant narrative argued that, given the ways in which dictatorial regimes regularly flout the human rights of their own subjects, they could not be trusted to treat the Falklanders any differently. John Silkin (Labour, Deptfort) argued, [General Galtieri] s ays to us that he will respect the rights and property and, above all, the lives and freedom of our people, we have a right to wonder whether that is true in the government and its alli es used the fact that the character of the regime bore heavily upon the minds of those in the Commons to great effect. As one MP put it, in response The lives of the Falkland Islanders 22 Raymond Whitney, Conservative, Wy combe.
159 are already at st ake because they are under the rule of a military dictatorship. It is as 7). 23 As discussed earlier, the Falklanders represented a perfected version of British identity , which not only embodied the principles the British we re said to be fighting for, but in fact represented a romanticized version of what British Identity was supposed to be. Inaction in the face of this reality represented a shirking of British responsibility , and tity . Michael Foot (Labour, Ebbw Vale) argued that, merely by allowing the invasion, the Falklanders had been betrayed (Hansard 1982a, 641). Eric Ogden (Labour, Liverpool West Derby) made clear that the conflict was not about geopolitical interests, and th erefore, inaction was inappropriate. Arguing Interestingly, those espousing the dominant narra tive employed the Falklanders identity as a means to unite all the nationalities within the British Empire, as Bernard Braine (Conservative, South East Essex) argued 1,800 people of British blood and bone, could be left in the hands of such criminals is and the blood of Scotsmen and Welshmen continued that , to abandon them would act as an affront to ect action from the Government; action would represent a betrayal, not only of the Falklanders, but of British identity itself. Michael A ncram (Conservative, Edinburgh 23 Michael English, Labour, Nottingham West.
160 south) asked were necessary to try to protect them? I came to the conclusion that I would not. Those ard 1982a, 1026). Thus, the argument against non action was not legitimated not with reference geopolitical realities, nor economic consideration, but rather, by reference to a construction of British and Falklands identity. The dominant narrative argued t hat the identity of the free Falklanders, combined with the identity of the repressive Argentines (as evidenced by how they treat their own people) would contradict the British identity as a moral power . Non actio n represented betrayal (an immoral act) , not only of the Falklanders, but the British themselves. The Falklanders were constructed not as political subjects, but as family, fellow countrymen, and therefore, political considerations were eschewed in favor o f an appeal to identity . The government and its allies , through the dominant narrative , took full advantage of this rhetorical appeal, and delegitimated inaction as a betrayal of Britain itself. Second, inaction was delegitimated due to its incommensurabi identity as the upholder of international order and international values. As in the Suez were constructed as altruistic, reflecting the interests of the entire world. As Francis Pym, the British Secretary of State the utmost importance to all freedom 1982, 106). Inaction would represent an affr ont, not only to the principles of international argued
161 [we should expect] the material (Hansard 1982a, 1014). The dominant narrative assured that, if swift action would meet with the support of the free world, inaction would be to skirt its responsibilities in upholding international law and international order. In contrast to the Suez Crisis, the British constructed themselves not as responsible colonizers, but rather, argued the Argentines were colonizers. This juxtaposition is elucidated by Winston Churchill Jr. (Conservative, Stretford) w ho argued that the British themselves, as the post Colonial power, were seeking to rescue the Falklanders from the barbarism which the Argentines were intent on imposing as a form of neo colonialism on the islands. According to Churchill, The Argentines so . In a reversal from 1956, the British now constructed themselves as a post colonial Ã v is nationalistic powers that would rob subject peoples of their rights and liberties, they now argued that it was these very dictatorial, nationalistic regimes that represented the new colonial powers. The dominant narrative, though adopting the rhetoric of responsibility towards the Falklanders , as well as maintaining international order , linked the two. The government and its supporters argued the interests of the Falklanders (though culturally linked to the British) were inseparable from the free people s of the world. Francis Pym charged nothing would be, as one MP claimed, a sellout : not just of British values and ideas, but
162 of the Falkland Islanders themselves. Inaction would be tantamount to a repetition of the so 61). 24 The dominant narrative charged th at, to do this would in effect open violate a norm which would allow other would misfortune. As in 1956, the dominant narrative constructed a crude dichotomy --either democracy or despotism would win the day . Michael English (Labour, Nottingham West) put it most succinctly: As honest representatives of that world . . . Can we not stand up and defend democracy? May we not say that we are defending democracy and law? We are defending civilization against barba rians as our ancestors did centuries ago elsewhere (Hansard 1982, 56 7). In short, the inaction option was rendered illegitimate due to anchoring of a number of identities within the dominant narrative. Indeed, the government and its allies constructed Bri tish identity as embodying a moral duty to uphold international law and order. What made this concern more pervasive was the construction of identity as the embodiment of a pure form of romanticized British political ideals. Yet, this alon e was not enough to render inaction illegitimate. The particular character of the Argentine government militated against the British allowing the Falklanders to remain under the control of a regime that denied human rights, a fact evidenced by the Argentin the impression, both to the Argentines, British allie s, and ot h er would be aggressors that Britain was too weak to respond to geopolitical challenges. Thus, inaction contradicted the identity of the British as a strong moral power, and upholder of international order. Yet, if action was indeed nece ssary, did these constructions legitimate a diplomatic 24 Eric Ogden, Social Democrat, Liverpool West Derby.
163 solution on of continued negotiation or any diplomatic options. The Diplomatic Options I refer to the next set of possibilities broadly as the diplomatic options. Throughout the crisis , there were a number of attempts at a diplomatic solution, mostly through third party mediation. I will focus on the three most notable ones. 25 There are, unfortunately, are a number of issues that complicate this analysis as it relates to legitimation of these options. First, diplomatic efforts were ongoing subsequent to British milit ary actions, the first of which commenced April 25 th . These efforts are best understood as placing pressure on the Argentines prior to the reinvasion of the main Falkland Islands, which does not take place until the British fully remove d any purely diploma tic option from consideration and invade the mainland of the Falklands . Second, as mediation was taking place, proposals were continuously updated, and though it is difficult to id entify a single essence in each of them , they not only shared a number of el ements, but more importantly, the reason for their rejection on the part of the British stayed relatively consistent throughout. Thus, I will not focus so much on the details of any one proposal as, what is more important, are the argu ments as related how identity narratives delegitimated policy options of this type. First, US Secretary of State Alexander Haig attempted mediation from mid to late April, 1982. The basic points included a demilitarization of the islands, followed by some form of interim third party administration, an agreement to submit the outcome of the 25 I do not include reference to international courts as a policy option in my analysis for two reasons. First, this o ption was not widely considered du e to the relative exigency of the situation and second, to address this option would necessitate addressing the multiple legal arguments given by both the Argentines and the British, a task well beyond the scope of this project.
164 26 This option failed as the two sides could not reach ag reement over the terms. The British insisted upon an Argentine withdrawal the question of sovereignty, an open ended period for negotiations, as well as language t hat would not prejudice the outcome of negotiations towards the Argentine side. The Argentines, for their part, desired quick negotiations, a recognition on the part of the British that the Falklands was to eventually become Argentine sovereign territory, and mediation were the longest lasting, and served as the model for subsequent attempts. The second attempt, spearheaded by Peruvian president Fernando Belaunde, took place in early May, was more or less a refined version of the Haig mediations. Though the proposals themselves had not changed, the strategic field had, as sinking of the Argentine warship Belgrano by British forces was interpreted as a disproportionately hostile attack (Freedman 1988, 54). As a result of this compromised diplomatic position, ad ministration made up of a small group o The Argentines, on the other hand, did not accept this proposal, and the proposal was summarily taken off the table by the British. Finally, UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar put fo rth a 26 In order for the outcome standing, such that they would have a stake in the sovereignty or aut onomy of the islands, either by veto power over sovereignty negotiations, and thus, inclusion of the lesser terms was warranted.
165 for a final settlement to be carried out under the auspices of the Secretary However, the two powers were unable to reach a deal, as Britain was unwilli ng to concede to the Argentine demands that negotiations adhere to a time limit (Freedman 1988, 56). In the end, an agreement suitable to both parties was not reached. Though each of the proposals was a variation on a theme, there were two fundamental impe diments as far as the Thatcher Government was concerned. First, there was the inability of any required as a prelude to an y agreement. the long time limit for negotiations (Hansard 1982, 115). 27 To be clear, t he British would not accept a ny timeframe placed on negotiations, nor, would it consider seriously an agreement prior to a full Argentine withdrawal. The question is not why this is so, but instead how constructions of British identity legitimated a decision to opt out of these agreements. There were many circumstances that militated against a military option and legitimate d a diplomatic one. First, it was clear that casualties were a concern for both the British public as well as those inside the government; and as previously mentioned, whether or not the British could even achieve such a massive undertaking as an amphibious landing 8,000 miles away from their homeland was still an open question . 28 This reticence was compounded 27 Francis Pym, Se cretary of State. 28 In public opinion polling done in the U.K. in the beginning of the conflict, a majority of British citizens
166 by the sinking of the HMS Sheffi eld on May 4 th , costing the lives of a significant amount of British servicemen. Second, after the sinking of the Belgrano, allies. 29 Moreover, ques tions abounded within the British government as to the true motive behind the sinking of the Belgrano, some MPs suggesting that it was designed specifically to expunge any hope of a negotiated settlement and drive Britain to war (Hansard 1982, 197). 30 Indee was inextricably bound to a view of itself as the exemplar of a state that complies with international law. Similarly, the British constructed their efforts vis Ã vis the Falklands as not defense of strategic interests, but rathe r in defense of principles constitutive to a certain idea of international politics that defined subsequent to the sinking of the Belgrano , as well as the sinking of the Sheffield , that the time may have been propitious for a diplomatic solution. What militated against legitimating such a solution? First, the dominant narrative asserted deals with non democratic countries were morally corrupt. Those supporting the domina nt narrative asserted that, in dealing with dictatorial regimes, no concessions could be made. This is contingent upon the construction of Argentina as a non democratic country. Bernard Braine (Conservative, the end. There was a lways a clear majority of those polled against recapturing the islands if it meant sacrificing Falkland Islanders lives. See Freedman 1988, 98 9; Hansard 1982, 17; Hansard 1982, 32; Hansard 1982, 54. 29 The Irish government condemned the British for their a Freedman 1988, 55. 30 John Gilbert, Labour, Dudley East. See also Hansard 1982, 192.
167 Essex Southeast) argued against a diplomatic sol here not with a democratic country that has some claim to the Falkland Islands with which the matter could be thrashed out in a civilised way but with a Fascist, corrupt atic solutions were the pro vince democratic countries could not be dealt with in a fashion similar to democratic countries. Why was this so? First, Argentine identity, in conjun ction with a British identity duty bound to uphold interna tional law , morality and order disallowed any negotiated settlement. The British an evil regime. We all want pea ce and hope that we are going to obtain it but a diplomatic settlement which bound a free people to a squalid military dictatorship would East) contrasted negotiations w ith the despised Ar gentines with that of the newly Government who are about to enter the Common Market and NATO, not with a bunch of states could be decided diplomatically , there could be no successful negotiations with fascist or morally co rrupt states such as Argentina. Similarly, the government and its allies argued that the Argentine r egime, as all dictatorial regimes, was untrustworthy and prone to negotiating in bad faith. Thus, even if there were to be a diplomatic initiative on terms palatable to the British, many inside the House of Commons questioned whether it should be considere d. Michael Foot
168 (Labour, Plymouth Devonport) questioned whether or not commitments from the ing force is utterly worthless . . . as any of the guarantees that are given by this same Argentine negotiations was suspect from the start, as one MP asked Foreign Secretary there can be any interim arrangement with the Argentine (Hansard 1982, 117)? 31 negotiation (i.e. its military presence on the islands) was c onstructed not as an astute bargaining tactic, but as continuing evidence of its bad faith. John Eden (Conservative, the occupying forces have not been withdrawn in acc ordance with the Security Council [had] dishonoured his international agreem ent to uphold the authority of the Pope as agreement that is signed by the Argentine junta i untrustworthiness resulted in the argument th at diplom acy or negotiations were 31 Nicholas Winterton, Conserv ative, Macclesfield.
169 illegitimate . The British could not conclude an agreement on moral or pragmatic grounds given the untrustworthiness of the regime. Thus, the diplomatic options conflicted with the dual constructions of Britain as an uphold er of international order and morality, and Argentina as a corrupt, immoral, and untrustworthy regime. Third, the dominant narrative employed the Munich Analogy in order to argue that any form of negotiation allowed the aggressor to stall for time. Diploma tic solutions, if has shown, if one gives way to this sort of desperate, illegal action, things will not get 32 As in the Suez Crisis, many within the British government argued that Argentina was an inherently quick tempered, vacillating, and aggressive state. The dominant narrative argued that it was to international (Hansard 1982, 48 9). 33 The government and its allies redeployed these arguments, only this time they were afforded greater import due to the fact tha t, as one MP put it, to appease in this case would be to effectively abandon fellow British subjects (Hansard 1982, 61). 34 Denis Healy (Labour, Leeds East), in arguing for the initial dispatch of the taskforce at it is impossible to negotiate with a military dictatorship [unless] against a background of strength. A dictator will not compared the situation to that of 1938, involving a far off country of which little is known (Hansard 1982, 30 1). 32 Douglas jay, Labou r, B attersea North. 33 John Gilbert, Labour, Dudley East. 34 Eric Ogden, Social Democrat, Liverpool West Derby.
170 Moreover, those who suggested a negotiated settlement, especially towards the run up to the invasion in early May were accused of short sightedness. 35 Preceding the invasion of the South Georgia islands in late April, o ne MP went so far as to claim that 124). 36 These arguments were employed in reaction to c alls for a more conciliatory posture on the part of the British. 37 Such calls were discounted as naÃ¯ve mistakes, playing into the hands of an aggressive, cunning regime, or worse, as betrayal of the British cause. Such disagreement exemplified in an exchang e between Michael Foot and Margaret Thatcher. In a rebuttal to Michael Foot, who suggested that the fleets should be stopped as a show of good faith to allow the Peruvian plan time to succeed, (Hansard 1982, 236). Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Woolwich West) asserted, Negotiations [that] take place while the Argentines are in occupation will . . . be accepting aggression, which will be regretted not only by the Labour P arty but by many 35 Victor Goodhew (Conservative, St. Albans) asked o pposition and those [who argue against a military option when it is absolutely necessary] of the 30 million lives that were lost . . . because the democracies refused to . . . resist the aggressive intentions of 36 St ephen Hastings, Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire. 37 These included calls to halt the fleet during the month of April in order to leave space for negotiations to succeed, and (especially after the failure of the Peruvian Plan and the Perez de Cuellar mediatio n) pleas on the part of the opposition to renew British proposals taken off the table in early May back on the table, and finally, calls for a cease fire prior to the completion of the British invasion in order to allow negotiations to continue.
171 I n short, any compromise that would have made an agree ment possible was . The British, moral exemplars of international law and o rder, could not be expected to successfully negotiate with an undemocratic, criminal and untrustworthy regime and garner successful results. Any efforts at negotiations were compared to Nazi ploys to delay military action until a time which it would be pro pitious to them, and thus, diplomacy was tantamount to stalling on the part of the Argentines. In the end, an agreement was not reached, and by May 20 th , the Thatcher government had even removed diplomatic options to which the British had previously agreed from the table. Delegitimation of this opti on accorded identity. Absent these two options (non action and diplomacy), the military option was the only one remaining. Yet, the government and its allies still had to overcome a number of hurdles in order to justify military intervention in this case. The Military Option I must begin this section with the caveat that it is difficult to distinguish between delegitimation of diplomatic option s and legitimation of military options. Since the government decided early on that inaction was not a valid option, the questi on remained whether or not to co ntinue diplomatic negotiations or to engage in military action. Arguments employed against the military option implied a preference for a diplomatic option, and visa versa. Thus, it is difficult to disentangle the two. While the British Task Force set sail from the home islands April 5th, military action did not commence until April 25 th , when South Georgia , an uninhabited British dependency to the west of the Falkland Islands was recaptured (Falklands War Timeline 2012). Given the relatively bloodless nature of this event, it did not preclude a diplomatic
172 conclusion to the affair. In fact, the real danger, as perceived by many in the British Government, was the action necessary to take the Falkland Islands themselves . The British landed troops on the Falklands May 21 st , and advanced quickly. The main battle of the war took place at Goose Green on May 27 th an d 28 th , and by June 14 th , the Argentine forces surrendered. Given the perception that there was a strong possibility of defeat, how was this decision legitimated? First, those in favor of military action argued that , what was truly being defended was not B ritish sovereignty or national interests, but something more important: principles of western civilization, such as the internationa l rule of law and human rights. According to the government and its allies, Britain had acted in a reasonable fashion, pursu ing all options short of war in order to assure a peaceful settlement. These principles were not incidental to the decision, but were central, as they in fact importa b ecause in an endeavor to uphold the freedom of peoples, to defend the liberty of (Hansard 1982, 120). This was, in and of itself, a sufficient reason for going to war, but it international in defense of principles was commensurate with the British identity as an upholder of international
173 and morality . The dominant narrative made clear the criminal nature of the Argentine invasion of the Falklands. This not only gave Britain the right, but in deed, the duty to pursue military action. Moreover, those purveying the dominant narrative argued that to eschew military action would result in the decay of the very international order Britain was duty bound to uphold. Given this, Pym argued that, in fa exercise [a right to self defense] and thus give a proper response to aggression . . . it is par excellence which we do for international l aw and order, and if other countries with the same interest in (Hansard 1982, 177). Thus, the military option is constructed both as a test for British commitment to its value s, and standing up for these values is itself constructed as a part of British r the David Stoddart (Labour, Swindon ) argued: If we were to [withdraw our forces] we should be giving encouragement to every potty little dictator throughout the world. If we allow the Argentines to get away with their ill gotten gains many people will be in danger, as will democracy itself. Democracy and democracies will be regarded as weak kneed arrangements (Hansard 1982c, 994). well as an upholder of international order vis Ã criminal . As a corollary, for British action to be legitimated in accordance with its identity as a defender of international law and order, the government and its allies had to demonstrate that they were, first, well within their rights to self defense vis Ã vis the UN
174 Charter, and second, that blame for the entire war lay with Argentina as opposed to Britain. Beyond this, the British legitimated their case for military conflict in moral terms, constructing this decision as maintaining compliance with an ethical principle prior to and apart from its enshrinement in any organization or institution. Indeed, Thatcher repeatedly asserted throughout the Commons proceedings tha t the British reserve d the right, according to Article 51 of the UN Charter , to self defense of their sovereign territory. Yet, fellow Conservative MP Enoch Powell went further, arguing the right to self the United Nations was dreamt 38 Moreover , the government repeated a number of times that the fault for British military act ion, and any casualties, British or Argentine, lay with the Argentine government. In arguing this, the British downplayed years of stalled negotiations, legal claims that favored the Argentine case, the questionable circumstances under which the Belgrano w as sunk, and insisted that the invasion itself is the only relevant fact. When asked whether the fatalities from the sinking of the Belgrano Thatcher replied aggression One must remember that British identity was constructed as law abiding, and given the strong norms against aggression in the international system, it was key that the British main tain that it was an act on the part of the Argentines, as opposed to British stalling 38 Enoch Po well, Ulster Unionist, South Down.
175 suggestion that Britain and Argentina are on the same footing the victim and the Argentines started this trouble. They invaded the islands, which they had no right to do so . That was the cause of the whole trouble and that is where the blame lies . . . Any 191). recaptu ring the islands was, it was argued, a moral choice, not only in the eyes of Britain, but in the eyes of the world. According to the government and its allies, it was 39 Thus, the dominant narrative legitimated the military option according to a British identity that was constituted as moral, just, and in accordance by international law. In order for the military decision to be comme nsurable with such an identity, the g overnment and its allies argued that Britain and the Falkland Islanders were the victims, that retaking the islands by force was not the logical conclusion to the inability on the part of Britain and Argentina to reach an agreement, but rather, a criminal act the victim of which was Britain and the Falkland Islanders. Indeed, the criminal nature of the regime is repeated a number of times within the debate records (Hansard 1982a, 659; Hansard 1982b, 1014). Next, the domi nant narrative argued that dictators only understand power, and therefore, the military option was the most efficacious in dealing with the Argentine 39 Ian Lloyd, Conservative, Portsmouth Langstone.
176 invasion. Maurice MacMillan (Conservative, Farnham) argued , appeasement does not work, but that in negotiating with despots reasonableness can (Hansard 1982a, 1010). Sir Patrick Wall (Conservative, Haltemprice) lamented that, because dictators only take power must face up to the fact . . . r. Despite the aforementioned reasons, there is yet a missing element. As mentioned earlier in Chapter 4 , many British elites suffered from a malaise, many believing that Britain was resigned to the status of a second rate power due to its declining position in the world. Military action helped to arrest thi s decline, exorcising the spirit of Suez, and, in effect, constructing an identity partly in opposition to this one of decline, yet embodying the same liberal principles upon which it had always relied. McNair the end o f Chapter 3 and the beginning of Chapter 4 , p artly as a result of the Suez Crisis, but also due to the inevitable relative decline in economic and political power vis Ã vis other Western European countries, a broad swath of the British political elite firmly believed the British were soon to be releg ated to the st A British identity was constructed in opposition to this perception during the Falklands Crisis, in which military action was deemed necessary to revive a sense of British purpose and dynamism, a realignment of British values with British action and power. A
177 military response represented redress to humiliation, suffered not only at the hands of the Argentines, but a variety of former British imperial possessions. This series of worsening with the Suez Crisis in 1956, and culminated in 1967 with the decision to m ilitarily retreat East of Suez. The very f act that the British put a taskforce to sea was identified as a point of pride, evidence of British exceptionalism, as John Nott, Secretary of Defense, and in that I include the two super powers point o f pride is used rhetorically to unite both sides of the aisle, as Richard Luce are delighted that Britain is firmly standing up once again for the principles in which she resoluteness and determination wi th which strategic point of view, but is necessary to preserve British standing, to correct for this humiliation. Churchill imagined the Falklands may be used to reaffirm a prior British identity, confident in its principles and role as an exceptional power in the world (Hansard 1982, 55 6). Thus, the war itself was constructed as a crucial test of British resolve, for the British Self, the failure of which to overcome would result in a type of ignominious resignation of being simply one ignominious country amongst many.
178 Military action in the Falkland Islands was constructed not only as a means to Ã vis other states, but also it s domestic political culture. Julian Amery (Conservative, Preston North), foremost amongst the old guard of British imperialists, argued that the military option to recapture the islands was necessary as the crisis itself helped to revitalize British polit ical life. He argued that Without national self immediate issue of the Falkland Islanders and our own stake in the South Atlantic. The defense of what are considered constituti ve values (Hansard 1982, 286). He argued that vitality combined with principle is an important quality for a political culture to possess, and thus, the invasion of the islands (despite the fact that, at the time of was evidence of a rebirth, a reemergence of British power and values, and thus, an affirmation of British Self identity lost in recent years, and thought gone for good. In Chapter 2, I argue that Self identity may be constructed in opposition, not only to In an effort to legitimate British military, those in favor of this option linked it to a prio r instantiation of the British Self , employing the rhetoric of familia r British victories, while Subsequent to the British reinvasion of the islands, in response to concerns about casualties, two Conservative MPs defended military ac tion by reference to courage and
179 vitality as virtues particular to Britain. David Atkinson (Conservative, Bournemouth East) with the liberation of the islands . . . let u s also consider why and how we came to countries choose to associate . . . with us still because of other qualities for which we are peculiarly known as a nation qualitie s which we are displaying and principles footing, delaying and relying instead on economi 293). Enoch Powell (Conservative, South Down), making a similar point, recalls the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo, quoting 320). Thus, in legitimating the mi litary option, geopolitical interests were not constructed to be the main reason for war , but rather, the affirmation of an ideational lineage particular to Britain. It is no coincidence that this type of rhetoric is found mostly amongst the Conservatives, the former party of Empire, and, during the period of ional decline during the 1950s to 1970s mirrored a mor e serious entropy: th at of the British body politic and the British nation itself. What military action helped to do was to prove, not only that the British
180 Nation was capable of undertaking an endeavor such as this, it affirmed the solidarity and capabili ty of the British nation as a single entity. 40 Finally, in order to fully legitimate British military action in the Falklands, those who supported it went through pains to distinguish or derive lessons from the Suez Crisis and construct this crisis in oppos ition to it. This was done by suggesting by crisis the Argentine Government have violated the United Nations charter and the British position has won overwhelming endorsement 41 While Suez was seen as a divisive issue, foreshadowing the difficulties Brit ain would face in forthcoming years, t he Falklands united nation and g overnment. James Callaghan, Leader of the Labour Party, have what happened in 1956, when servic emen went into Suez against a background of Britain could not depend on its allies, and instead, had to discover its own moral foundations. The Falklands, then, was ab the 42 The specter of Suez, the failure of independent action, the floundering and hasty, piecemeal, and 40 It is no coincidence that after success in Falklands War, Thatcher used her renewed mandate to push through reforms she sought as vital to British economic regeneration, arguing that the so ( 2010 ) makes a similar point regarding the neoconservative attachment to vitalism, the notion that a healthy body po litic is one that is constantly acting, moving against something. 41 Denis Healy, Labour, Leeds East. 42 Edward Du Cann, Conservative, Taunton.
181 ultimately ineffectual nature of British post colonial policy, and all the baggage associated with it, was to be exorcised through action in the Falklands. In short, I am not arguing that Britain did not have what we would define as re multiple factors involved, both international political as well as domestic, ideational and material. Rather, I am arguing that in the push to legitimate the military option, Britain was constituted through the contemporary discourse surrounding the cri sis in two ways. Legitimation of the military option hinged upon the alignment of three facets of British identity: Britain as a moral power, as an upholder of international order international law. This combined with the construction of Argentines as dict ators, untrustworthy, and only respectful of power. Negotiations may have been possible with more trustworthy, or less morally odious regimes, but to negotiate with a military dictatorship (who regularly flouted the human rights of its citizens) was anathe ma to an emerging British identity that eschewed its colonial past in favor of a future that emphasized international law and democratic governance. Finally, those purveying the dominant narrative viewed the military option as a means to rejuvenate or coun ter a possible competing identity for Britain as just another state. Alternative Narratives These were not the only narratives forwarded within the British political elite. Opposition to the military option came from a number of sources, and put forth con tending versions of both the British Self and the Argentine Other. They were aimed at countering the appeals for military action thro ugh the construction of either competing vision s of British identity or demonstrating how the dominant construction of Brit ish identity put forward in order to legitimate the military option was contradictory, or
182 patently false. First, those who constructed an alternative identity argued that recent history had shown the British to be a limited power, and that it should act as such. Raymond Whitney (Conservative, Wycombe) argued that it would be difficult to but out a especially in relation to an enemy that has had weeks to build up their forces (Hansard c act to serve higher principles, or means for Britain to reaffirm its strength or sense of goism that is 43 considerable odds 44 Even if the islands were to be retaken, it was impossibili ty given British capabilities at the time (Hansard 1982, 315). 45 43 Ray Powell, Labour, Ogmore. 44 Jack Ashley, Labour, Stoke on Trent; Robin Cook, Labour, Edinburgh Center. 45 Marti n Flannery, Labour, Sheffield Hillsborough.
183 These alternative narratives often constructed the Falklanders as victims, but of the British rather than suggested that the Falklanders, along with th e British, were victims of Argentine aggression, and thus, , many argued that diplomacy would be in the true we want: it is the welfare of 46 Furthermore, as Frank Allaun (Labour, Salford East) asserted, British military action would in fact, not constitute the blood a nd tears that would entail for their families . . . and their wives, children and ] in the deaths of Falkland Islanders (Hansard 1982, 214). 47 Moreover, part of the justification for go ing to war was the British identity that included Falklanders as part of the British Self . Stan Thorne (Labour , Preston South) implied sacrificed on thei Those purveying an alternative g much more dependent on their relations with Argentina than on their very distant relations with the 1). 48 Thus, while the 46 Tony Benn, Labour, Bristol South East. 47 Bob Cryer, Labour, Keighley. 48 Andrew Faulds, Labour, Warley East.
184 dominant narrative legitimated a war defending the rights of the Falkland Islanders and British subjects from Fascist tyranny, alternative narratives constructed the crisis in political terms rather than moral terms. Given the possibil ity of British loss, the toll that would be exacted in human lives on each side, as well as the fact that the economic and political future of the Falklands was with Argentina rather than Britain, diplomacy was argued to be a necessity as opposed to milita ry action. Yet another alternative narrative challenged the dichotomous opposition between offered a British identity constructed as peaceful, altruistic, and acting in defe nse of democracy and liberal rights, opposition MPs broached multiple challenges to this the Argentine naval ship Belgrano on of war some to question who was the aggressor and who was the victim (Hansard 1982, 192). 49 John Gilbert (Labour, Dudley East) advantage Belgrano The British military response, rather than acting as a defensive act, was instead interpreted as a means by which between rejuvenating British strength and the military option (Hansard 1982, 52). 50 Finally, others questioned the characterization of opposition between the liberal British 49 Tony Benn, Labour, Bristol South East. 50 John Silkin, Labour, Deptford.
185 state 51 This is not to say that these MPs felt that Britain was not a democracy, or naturally an aggressor, but rather that true British self. Those who opposed military intervention offered an alternative narrative deploying similar constructions of British identity as law abiding, internationalist, and above al l, absent the vestiges of its pre colonial Self , yet arguing for an alternative, non conflictual policy. After all, it was possessions . . .acquired, usually by force, throughout the eighteenth and nine teenth 52 Frank Hooley (Labour, Sheffield Heeley), while not denying that the Falklands should be relinquished, disagreed with military worldwide coalition to apply . . . sanctions to the Argentine to compel or induce it to 5). Indeed, as one MP 53 One MP charged ed for 20 years 54 Robin Cook 51 David Steel, Liberal, Roxb urgh, Selkirk and Peebles; Ray Powell, Labour, Ogmore. 52 Andrew Faulds, Labour, Warley East. 53 Nigel Spearing, Labour, Newham South. 54 Tony Benn, Labour, Bristol South East.
186 (Labour, Edinburgh Center) suggested that the British should, at all In sh but post colonial and non conflictual . According to these narratives , and the identities proffered within them remain g 55 In all, the above alternative narratives challenged the legitimation of war through reference to a number of alternative Selves and Other narratives , or by arguing tha t political, economic, and military limitations would result in failure and reinforce the type of shame felt after Suez, the shame not of weakness but of overbearing hubris. Epilogue As argued by contemporary scholarship, victory in the Falklands War prompted a reversal in British evaluations of its own capabilities, both domestically and politically (Freedman 1988; Gibran 1997; Monoghan 1998). This newfound spirit was evident in the mor e active part that the British took in world politics (partly due to the influence of a charismatic leader and her political relationship with American President Ronald Regan) but also provided the government with the political capital needed to engage in sweeping domestic changes (Monoghan 1998). As discussed in Chapter 5, at the end of the 1980s, while the relationship between the United States and Britain was stronger 55 Judith Hart, Labour, Lanark.
187 than ever, and Britain still had significant influence (more cultural than political) o ver its Commonwealth, during the 1990s Britain began to look east towards a prosperous European Union. The newfound ambition, as well as an identity that, as a result of victory in the Falklands War, reiterated its attachment to defense of liberal principl es and international law would figure prominently in its participation in the 2003 Iraq War. From a theoretical standpoint, this case provides a glimpse into how identities are constructed during crises, and how those identities are employed to legitimate policy choices. This case demonstrates that relying simply upon crude Self Other constructions may radically underdetermine explanations for legitimation. Legitimations for going to war involved a former or possible Britain identity qua a state in decline as well as a romanticized Britain identity embodied by the Falkland Islanders. This suggests that one should consider, not only oppositional Self Other identities, but also how constructions of partial Others and former Selves may be incorporated into expl anations for legitimation.
188 CHAPTER 5 THE IRAQ WAR , 2003 Overview The British, having achieved a relatively quick and painless victory in the Falklands War , entered the late 1980s with a newfound sense of self confidence. The postwar British government, em ploying its newfound political capital, was able to suppress labor disputes that plagued the economy throughout this period. While , due to the personal relationship of Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Regan, the so s solid as ever, Britain began to diversify its political affiliations. As early as the 1970s, Europe replaced the Commonwealth premier trading partner s . After a failed attempt at creating t he European Free Trade Area in the early 1960s , Brita in, recognizing its economic future lay in Europe rather than its Commonwealth , applied for membership in the European Economic Community. Despite significant French opposition in the 1960s , Britain eventually joined in 1973, a long with Denmark and Ireland . Simultaneously, relationship United States, especially due to its military dependence on this important ally . The British vacillated as to the partner with whom they most identified from the 1970s onwar d. In the 1980s, due to ideological sympathies between their leaders the Anglo Europe throughout the 1980s. Yet, with the election of Tony Blair in 1997, Britain began to take a more pro European stance . Finally, relationships with the Commonwealth remained relatively strong, although tensions emerged as a result of more restrictive
189 immigr ation policies . In short, between the Falklands War and the events of 9/11, British political sympathies lay partly with its Atlantic Alliance, and its European partners. Subseq uent to the 9/11 attacks, the US viewed Britain as its most staunch ally. Part ly because of the historical political and military ties amongst the two states, but also due to Starting in mid 2002 and ending March 15 th , 2003, Tony Blair and the British Labour government made its c ase for war against Iraq. Relative to both the Suez Crisis and the Falklands War, there were a number of similarities in the manner in which the war was legitimated through the dominant narrative . First, as in the previous two cases, the casus bellum (in t his case allegations of a weapons of mass destruction program) was constructed not as a political act of a sovereign state, but rather a criminal or amoral act, in contravention of international law and order. Similarly, Saddam Hussein (and his government by e possessed of hidden designs and corrosive of international law and order. Relationally, the government and its allies , as protectors of international law and international order . In a similar manner, Britain legitimates its military incursion into Iraq along familiar lines, comparing Saddam Hussein to past dictators, and constructing them as untrustworthy, and therefore, unable to be n egotiated with or contained. The government and its allies constructed democratic Britain as trustworthy and moral, and thus not disposed towards dealing with unsavory regimes. Yet, a number of differences exist between the Suez and Falklands Cases and the Iraq Case. First, the dominant narrative constructs the Iraqi people as partial Other ,
190 victims in relation to the British rescuers . To be clear, this relational construction was not absent in prior cases. Yet, in this case it assumes increased salience. I f indeed the British were constructed as protectors of international order and morality, the way in which Saddam treated his own citizens figured prominently in legitimating military conflict. Allowing this flagrant abuse of human rights to go unanswered c hallenged the international law and order. Second , as of 2001, a new threat had emerged towards international or der and morality --Thus, the government and its allies constructed British identity as the protector of international law and order in opposition to this new threat. As I will discuss in the epilogue to Chapter 5 and throughout Chapter 6 , how Britain employs identity narratives (including categorie military response to crises, may inform us as to important changes not only in British identity, but how constructions of threats to international order change over time. Background to the Crisis The roots of the 2003 Iraq War were to be found in the 1991 Gulf War . The Kuwait in February of 1991. Despite calls by some to pursue the Iraqi Army into Iraq and eventually overturn Saddam e American led coalition of whi ch the United Kingdom was part decided against this. While Saddam power , a policy of containment was undertaken. A number of restrictions were placed upon Saddam rt to prevent renewed Iraqi aggression against neighboring countries, internal separatists or competing ethnic groups. First, a no fly zone was instituted in the northern part of Iraq in April of 1991 in order to protect Kurdish minorities, and in the summ er of 1992 a similar zone was
191 created in the south in order to Second, UN SC Resolution 707 mandated that the Iraqi military must submit to a regime of weapons inspections and disclosure, as there was substan tial evidence to suggest that the Iraqi military was developing or had developed weaponized chemical and biological agents, and was in the proces s of developing nuclear weapons (United Nations Security Council 1991 hereafter UNSC). The resolution mandated voluntary full and final disclosure of all weapons of mass destruction programs on the part of Iraq, and unconditional and unrestricted access to suspected weapons sites by IAEA inspectors. This was supplemented by UNSC Resolution 1051 in 1996, which calle d upon Iraq to report all shipments of dual use WMD items (UNSC 1996). Third, UNSC Resolution 687 called for reparations to Kuwait, as well as a regime of sanctions against Iraq, excluding necessities such as medicine and food, tied to compliance to other UN reso lutions and weapons inspections (UNSC 1991). Throughout the mid 1990s, Iraq regularly flouted weapons inspections in addition to circumventing sanctions, resulting in punitive repr isals in 1994 and 1996. Most notably, in 1998 under Operation Desert Fox, a set of airstrikes and cruise missile targeted suspected weapons sites, command and control facilities, and government headquarters. These strikes, according to one US official, almost resulted in th e overthrow of Saddam Th roughout the 1990s, the perception amongst the British as well as the US was that , despite sanctions, the Iraqi regime was still engaged in a process of rearmament, especially with regards to its WMD programs. This was not only due to the threat posed to h is regime by the US
192 had been vital in repelling the Iranian soldiers . . . in the Iran of the Kurds had delivered not just a military but a psychological blow to their hopes of challenging Saddam, so these weapons had played a pivotal role i n suppressing internal dissent . weapons capability, and believed that Israel had that capability already. For h im, the acquisition of such nuclear capability would serve his basic purpose: to be the do minant Furthermore, it was disclosed that the Iraqi government was funding proscribed activities through illegal manipulat ion of the UN oil for food program, which allowed a limited sale of oil in order to acquire food and medicine for the Iraqi people. The immediate catalyst for the Iraq War was the 9/11 attack, and the subsequent call on the part of the Bush Administration to root out terrorists, punish those who harbored them, and address threats to the United States emanating from so called rogue states (Mockatitis 2012, 7) . Iraq was enumerated amongst the list of rogue sta tes , in the 2002 National Security Strategy , which elucidated the doctrine of pre emption in instances in which US national secur ity was judged to be in danger (White House 2002). After this, events moved quickly. In August 2002, US Vice President Dick Ch eney asserted that Saddam was domin the region and subject[ing] the Uni ted States . . . to blackmail (Fawn 2006, 2). On October 7 th , t he Bush administration claimed that the Saddam regime had trained Al -
193 Qaida operatives, and four days later, Congress voted to authorize war in Iraq, if the Bush administration deemed necessary (Fawn 200 6, 2; Israeli 2004, 24 5) . This post 9/11 American foreign policy coincided with a New Labour foreign policy that emphasized fundamental human rights and liberties, as evidenced by British support in Kosovo in 1999, as well as intervention in Sierra Leone in 2000 ( Blair 2010, 378 79; Clarke 2007, 604 ) . British support after 9/11 came quickly, as Blair gave his unequivocal support to the US n as he argued that a comprehensive anti political roots of terrorism (Freedman 2007, 627). This support included assistance in operations in Afghanistan, sending 1,000 British Special Forces to wo rk with Americans on the ground (Clarke 2007, 605). Despite accusations of ties to terrorist networks, the primary justification for war on the part of the Blair administration was the presence of continuing WMD programs in Iraq. Throughout the 1990s an d early 2000s, the Iraqi gov ernment attempted to circumvent UNSC declarations removing inspectors from the country, or limiting access to suspected sites. When pressure was increased regime would often relent, allowing inspectors to return or per mitting access to previously forbidden sites. By late in 2002, the Bush and Blair administrations were emphasizing the purported connection between the Iraqi government and terrorism, and the fear of the acquisition of WMDs by terrorist groups. 1 In Septemb er of 2002, the US intelligence community, at the behest of Congress, prepared a National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraqi capabilities to 1 Accusations of connections between Al Qaeda and S addam Hussein were dropped soon after they were alleged, and in the UK, the emphasis on this connection was never officially used as justification for war.
194 ing ways to weaponize and deliver biological onstituting its nuclear program (Ricks 2006, 52). The British intelligence community also provided evidence of continued development of WMDs (Fawn 2006, 2) . Later in the month, Tony Blair ( who had exploited his position of credibility within the US administration to argue for seeking UN approval before going to war ) and US Secretary of State Colin Powell made the case to the UNSC to seek approval for war with Iraq. Ultimately, a compromise s olution was reached on November 8 in the form of UNSC Resolution 1441, calling for weapons inspectors to be readmitted to Iraq (after a four year absence) and placing the burden of proof on Iraq to demonstrate that it did not have WMDs. Notably, this resol ution did not explicitly mandate military action in the event of non compliance. In response to this, on November 18 th , weapons inspectors under the auspices of the IAEA and the UNMOVIC were allowed to resume their efforts in Iraq, and on December 7 th , 200 2, the Iraqi government delivered 12,000 printed pages of materials regarding the weapons program (Fawn 2006, 3) . Despite the fact that, from November of 2002 onward, weapons inspectors were allowed free access to all suspected sites, a point confirmed by Hans Blix, head of UNM O VIC , the US argued that Baghdad was in continuing breach of UNSC Resolution 1441. In fact, Blix insisted on December 19 th , 2002, that Iraq was more or less in compliance with weapons inspections, and as of January 9 th , 2003, that no had been found (Timeline of Iraq War 2013 ) . Further evidence was forwarded in early
195 was hiding biological and chemical weapons, an d harboring members of Al Qaeda (Bush 2003; Dao 2003; Faw n 2006, 4). None of these accusations were fully substantiated (Fawn 2006, 4) . Throughout February and March, there was every indication that Iraq was complying with weapons inspections, and by January and February, key US allies within NATO, including Fra nce and Germany , had made clear their opposition to the war. Both British and US governments argued that UNSC Resolution 1441 legally mandated war in the case of non compliance, and therefore a second resolution was not necessary ( Fawn 2006, 6; Williams 20 03, 25 ) . After rejecting a French plan to allow inspectors 120 days to finish their job, Blair and Bush joined the Prime Ministers of Spain and Portugal in a meeting in the Azores where they established March 17 th to leav e Iraq within 48 hours or face war. The ultimatum was not met and war began on March 19 th . Policy Options Ostensibly, justification for military action was based upon the presence of WMDs in Iraqi territory, and the continued unwillingness of Saddam Hussei n to allow unfettered access to inspectors. The presence of WMDs in Iraq, combined with the future range delivery systems, was argued to be a strategic threat to Britain. Beyond this, it was argued that sanctions a nd the British/US policy of containment, practiced throughout the Clinton and early Bush administrations had proven ineffective, and would continue to be so, as Saddam untrustworthy and inhumane nature (Bluth 2004, 871). Yet, there are a number of questions to be answered. First, to contend that construction of identity was
196 instrumental in legitimating the drive to war against Iraq by the British cabinet, we must first effectively show the presence of other viable policy options, and de monstrate that they were recognized by pol icy makers at the time as such. These break down into two distinct categories: continued containment and deterrence through sanctions and periodic small scale military action, and continued supp ort for UN weapons i nspections. First, a policy of dual containment had been pursued throughout the Clinton and early George W. Bush administrations, which identified both Iraq and Iran as potential threats, and sought to contain the latter through mostly economic and diploma tic means, and the former with economic, diplomatic, and when necessary, military means (Clawson 1998; Ehteshami 2003; Gause 1994). These included targeted economic sanctions as laid out by the UNSC, as well as the implementation of two no fly zones in Ira qi territory. This also included measured strikes against Iraq in retaliation for non cooperation with weapons inspections, the most notable being a retaliatory bombing campaign designated Operation Desert Fox in 1998. To be clear, for the purposes of this study, it is not necessary to demonstrate that containment was an ideal option, as in most cases, policy choice is merely a satisficing exercise , but instead that it was possible, thus lending itself to being legitimated through reference to identity. Tho ugh many in the Blair cabinet did not believe so, it may be argued that the policy of containment and deterrence was quite effective, and arguments for their continuation were circulating both in academic and policy circles. It was argued that past action been any more aggressive than his neighbors (Walt and Mearsheimer 2003). Moreover,
197 the continued threat of military action against Iraq was effective in containing his territorial and political ambitions, as Iraq mobilized its army on the Kuwaiti border in order to force modifications of the UN weapons inspections regime, but was deterred by a UN warning, backed up by the threat of US military power (Mearsheimer and Walt 2002). Moreover Saddam, prevented the rebuilding of Iraqi defenses after the Persian Gulf War, and Cortright 2004, 90). Moreover, there was the question of how the toppling of Saddam affect the wider Middle East. What the policy of dual containment implicitly recognized was that, though both may be considered national security threats, Iraq and Iran cou ld be employed in containing one another. After all, they had fought a bloody, protracted war against one another between 1980 and 1988 and their governments were controlled by competing ethnic groups. It was recognized that to upset this balance by toppli ng the minority Sunni regime in Iraq would result in a Shia majority Iraqi state that would likely be closely aligned with Iran, thereby increasing its power in the region. By yed one off against the other, and prevented either from becoming a dominant regional power. Moreover, the perceptions within the British government at the time were that Saddam Hussein did not constitute a significant military threat. A British report cir effectively frozen, and that biological and chemical weapons programs were facing
198 seriou for the past decade. Yet, by the middle of 2002, regime change was replacing containment as the policy of choice towards Iraq in the Blair administration. To be fair, it was a present threat of military action in the background, but this cannot be forwarded as a critique of the containment strategy. This is, in fact, the very point of a containment strategy based upon dete rrence: to coerce an opponent to do something they would otherwise not through the threat of punishment. The paradox of deterrence is that the actual use of military force, rather than only the threat, places pressure on the target state to employ the weap ons that the threat is meant to deter. As far as the problem of destabilization of the greater Middle East, it was clear that this problem was recognized in the Blair administration, as early on, much of on was based upon renewal of the Israeli Palestinian road map for peace, which had stalled after 9/11 (Clarke 2007, 606). Also, certain elements amongst the political elite were keenly aware of the geopolitical ramifications of regime change in Iraq. As I demonstrate later, there were a number of individuals within the House of Commons who actively argued that Iraqi regime change through military action, rather than fostering a political realignment in the region in line with British and American aspiration s, would undermine the security of the UK by instigating terrorist activity or upsetting the delicate geopolitical balance of the Middle East. Finally, it may be argued that containment was not a viable policy option because Iraq was supporting and collabo rating with terrorists, and, most alarmingly, Al Qaeda.
199 The Bush administration claimed that there was significant collaboration between Iraq and Al Qaeda operatives, and if this collaboration continued, that would provide a sufficient casus bellum (Fawn 2 006, 4). Indeed, while these accusations were redacted by the Bush administration only after the decision to go to war was made, immediately approaching to the decision to go to war, the Blair administration shied away from making substantial claims about Al Qaeda involvement, and the belief that there was significant collaboration between the two was not wide spread (Hansard 2003b, 286w). 2 I argue later that part of the legitimation of the war hinged on attaching Iraq and Al Qaeda under a common identity a cooperation. A number of scholars suggest that containment vis Ã vis became viewed in increasingly negative terms within the Blair administration after 9/11, despite the perceived, if partial, succe ss that it had delivered (Bluth 2004). 3 Containment was presented as an illegitimate option due to the constructions of identity that Blair and his administration employed in arguing for war in Iraq. These included discursively linking Iraq to a terrorist threat that could be neither contained nor deterred. Similarly, Saddam and his international policies, aided in the construction of the Iraqi government as irrational and therefore unable to be dete rred by conventional means. The other policy option was continuing the UN inspections regime under 2 Geoffrey Hoon, Secretary of Defense. The threat to Britain from Al Qaeda was considered distinc t from Iraq, as a number of MPs questioned how military action in Iraq would make British safer from the Al Qaeda threat as demonstrated in Hansard 2003b, 23 and Hansard 2003b, 36. 3 For the American context see Jervis 2003.
200 compliance with a series of disarmament provisions, including the disclosu re and destruction of chemical and biological weapons facilities (Bluth 2004, 827). This is not to suggest that Saddam complied with the inspections regime, as a number of UNSC Resolutions found Iraq in breach of its obligations, including USNC Resolution 707 (1991) to UNSC Resolution 1441 (2002). Moreover, UNSC Resolution 687 had support of the US plan for war was initially contingent on the US taking the case to the UNSC in order to argue for an additional resolution, although, when support in the UNSC was not forthcoming, it was argued that UNSC Resolution 1441 alone granted authority to intervene in the case of Iraqi noncompliance with weapons inspections (Bluth 2004). Given the fact that Saddam maintained a record of noncompliance, why should we consider continued UNSCOM inspections to be a possible policy option? First, there is eviden ce to suggest that weapons inspections were in fact working, and UNSCOM inspections demonstrated the Iraqi regime did not have the capacity that US intelligence suggested. In February of 2003, Mohammed El Baradei, director of the IAEA reported to the Unite report suggested that real progress had been made in dismantling a weapons program that wa s highly advanced in 1991, including confiscation of nuclear weapons usable material and equipment (Williams 2003, 22). Moreover, UNMOVIC, which had been barred from Iraq, was unconditionally allowed to return in September of 2002. Until the
201 beginning of t he war in March of 2003, there were repeated assertions on the part of there were active WMD programs in Iraq. In fact, the evidence suggested that Iraq was in compliance, a material [related to its WMD program], such as CDs, on 7 December, one day ahead of In January, Britain asserted that it would possibly go ahead with military action absent a specific UNSC Resolution sanctioning it, relying instead on the authority that Iraq was concealing biological and chemical weapons (Fawn 2006, 4). This is despite the fact that El Baradei, the head of the IAEA, gave the impression that weapons inspections were working, and asked for more time in order to car ry them out. In February, US Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the case for war against Ira q to the UN, arguing that the presence of WMD programs in Iraq was provable beyond a On February 14, Hans Blix reported to the Security Counci government insiders, and available to policy maker s and political elites in the British House o f Commons. Moreover, the UN option was seriously supported by a number of of the foreign policy was a turn towards Europe. French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin declared at the UN on the 21 st
202 inspections in lieu of military action (Fawn 2006, 4). At a Security Conference held in Munich in February, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer declared to US 5). Finally, there were calls within the United Nations in late 2002 and early 2003 against a war in Iraq. K ofi Annan, specifically, argued against the unilateral approach that would be taken by the British alongside the United States (Mockatitis 2012, 85 6). 4 temple of the UN we are the guardians of an ideal, the guardian of a con s advocacy of war absent UN approval was surprising , given the foundational identit y as a supporter of international law. In fact, Blair was instrumental in convincing the US administration to go to the UN in the first place. Therefore it is puzzling that, despite this effort, Blair would side with the US over the wishes of the UNSC and other major allies such as the French and Germans. In any case, the UN was still a possible legitimate policy op tion, despite not being chosen . I will argue that continued inspections under UN auspices was delegitimated due to the representations of the Br itish Self, constituted as courageous and steadfast, willing to stand up to aggression when international organizations fail. As a corollary to this was the construction of the UN as an organization that acted merely to facilitate the Iraqi regimes continu ed intransigence. 4 Kofi Annan, in a speech deliv ered to the UN General Assembly on September 12, 2002.
203 Finally, we must examine some evidence that would militate against the choice of war as a policy option. First, there were serious questions as to whether Iraq ever posed a serious threat to the British . Indee d, both the British and Ameri can press es questioned the analogy that Paul Wolfowitz forwarded between the contemporary Iraqi regime and industrial base, and was split internally by religious and ethnic 64; Mearsheimer and Walt 2002, 2). Moreover, the British Joint Intelligence Committee issued a summary of the intelligence on Iraqi WMDs in 2002 that was circulating in the government in the run up to the war, which suggested tha t, while there were still questions as to whether Iraq had weaponized stocks of chemical and biological agents, they did not possess the delivery systems to successfully deliver a payload onto British territory (Intelligence and Security Committee 2003, 15 ). Moreover, regarding this does nothing to demonstrate a threat, let alone an imminent threat from Saddam . . . we will need to make it clear in launching the document that we do not claim that we have questions as to whether the preparations for a post Saddam Iraq were going to be adequate, given the constraints of men and material with which th e US and British forces would face . It was noted that the hopes for a smooth democratic transition in Iraq were mired by lack of civil society and a tradition of brutal, cen tralized rule (Ricks 2006, 65). Moreover, voices within the military began questi oning the rosy assessments of postwar Iraq forwarded by the Bush administration, and argued that postwar occupation
204 and transition would involve many more troops that were allotted merely to maintain security (Ricks 2006, 71). The question, then, is how th e choice for military conflict was legitimated absent a clear an immediate threat (according to the intelligence services) as well as a plan for postwar administration. Again, I argue that it was based upon a construction of Saddam Hussein as untrustworthy , unable to be deterred, and single mindedly preoccupied with obtaining such weapons in the future, despite the fact that he had limited capacities at the time. Given these policy options, and the identities forwarded in the dominant narrative, how were bo th containment and continued UN inspections rendered illegitimate, and the military option legitimated ? Identities Whereas the dominant narrative in previous cases was forwarded most prominently by the party in government, in this case, the dominant narrat ive cut across party lines, adopted by many in both the Labour and Conservative p arties. Before proceeding into how the dominant narrative constructed the important actors in the Iraq War , there is an important distinction to be made between here and the c ases explored in Chapters 3 and 4. Whereas the construction of time figured prominently in the Suez Crisis and the Falklands War, it takes on particular significance construction of the crisis in the Iraq War. Bal (1997) contends that the representation of time is important in producing meaning in narratives. Choosing at which point to begin a narrative may include or exclude information that would otherwise allow for different interpretations of the crisis. In constructing this crisis, the dominant narrati ve began at the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and continued repeated and flagrant violations of multiple UNSC Resolutions . In doing so, it leaves out a checkered history during which the British and the US lent support to Saddam
205 Hussein in the Iraq Iran war (1980 1988). Rather, the dominant narrative constructs the crisis as having its roots in the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Although many MPs in the House of Commons debates mentioned such cooperation, th is cooperation was downplayed and constructed as irrelevant . This allowed the government and its allies to construct the crisis in such a way as to place responsibility solely on the Iraqi regime. Overall, the government and its allies, like in previous cr ises, constructed the British as paragons of morality and protectors and upholders of international law and order. In doing so, the government and its allies constructed Britain in opposition to Saddam Hussein and his regime, as criminal and immoral. Moreo ver, despite the lack of clear evidence, the dominant narrative linked the Iraqi regime to a new radical Other, i nternational Islamic terrorism. Similar to Chapters 4 and 5, the dominant narrative constructed the British as reasonable purveyors of the curr ent international order. The government and its allies suggested that the British offered repeated attempts at good faith negotiation , which the Iraqi regime either ignored, flouted, or actively evaded. UK Secretary of State Jack Straw claimed that Iraq wa s granted repeated chances to rec tify their situation: As of the 8 th November 2002, we obtained a Security Council resolution. All we are asking now of the international community, Iraq and this House, is that we follow through on the words that were ( agre ed by the United Nations on 8 November and by this House on 25 November (Parliamentary Debates 20 02; hereafter known as Hansard). Straw recounts the number of times that the British attempted good faith negotiations, providing every possible chance for co mpliance: Let us look at the recent evidence. On 10 September last year, Iraq declared I was there in the General Assembly when this was said that it would never, ever readmit weapons inspectors under any circumstances. Then President Bush made his importa nt and most welcome speech to the General Assembly. Four days later, Iraq said that it would after all
206 readmit weapons inspectors, but made its offer subject to 19 spurious conditions of the kind that it has often come forward with. Fortunately, those were rejected. There were then two months of intense negotiations inside the Security Council. In response, the international community united, resolution 1441 was passed unanimously and the Security Council agreed to back its diplomacy with the credible threa t of force. The inspectors finally entered Iraq on 27 November, looking, as the resolution required, for full, active and immediate co operation from Iraq (Hansard 2003c, 267). Beyond this, the government and its allies constructed the British as trustwort hy, both in relation to Iraq and its allies . Patrick Mercer (Independent, Newark) assured his fellow MPs that the British must be viewed as trustworthy, as standing shoulder to shoulder with its damaged ally the United States (Hansard 2002a, 105). This tru stworthiness was characterized as courage. According to the dominant narrative, the British must support its allies, lest it be construed as cowardly . George Osborne (Conservative, Tatton) compared the British government favorably to other European governm ents, [who] have put their head above the parapet and supported the Unit Conversely, the dominant narrative constructed Saddam Husse in in opposition to the British as untrustworthy. Whereas the British had offered every route for a peaceful solution, Prime Minister Tony Blair suggested Saddam disregarded these offers at every possible juncture . Saddam obstruct and harass the duties (Hansard 2003c, 123). This untrustworthiness was further evidenced by the (Hansard 2002a , 89). 5 Blair makes clear that throughout the late 1990s, up to 2002, 5 Donald Anderson, Labour, Swansea East.
207 [ Saddam ] was engaged in a systematic exercise in concealment of [WMDs] 2002a, 123). Defectors from his regime offered further evidence of his prevarication. David Winnick (Con servative, Walsall North) argued that the 1995 defections of in game with the in spectors will lead to anything [resembling a peaceful solution] As was noted, essential to the construction of the dominant narrative was Tony war. He questioned why such an extensive effort was required for Iraq, when it required only nine inspectors a matter of months to assure compliance in the case of the former South African nuclear program . This, he argued, revealed that Saddam nnot be trusted (Hansard 2003c, 400). According to Straw, the reasons for this lie in the characteristics of the regime. He continued that dictators such as Saddam are rarely trustworthy. He claimed, regarding Saddam is goes on to list repeated attempts to force compliance that failed due to Saddam purported aims (Hansard 2003c, 267). Simply put, Jack Straw claimed Saddam Hussein constructions of both the British Self and the Iraqi Other as moral entities. As in Chapters 3 and 4, during the Iraq War the government and its allies constructed Iraqi and British political actions in moral terms. The government and its
208 allies ignored domestic and geopolitical political imperatives and instead, cons tructed as evidence of immoral, brutal nature. The dominant narrative constructs British identity in opposition to this immorality, and argued that to allow this to continue would contradict prior and contemporary construct ions of Britain as a moral power, and the purveyor of international order and international law. The government and its allies constructed Britain as a state that was imbued with a responsibility toward upholding this international order. During the Iraq W ar, the government and its allies linked this morality the renewed construction of Briti sh strength post Falklands War. Those supportin g the dominant narrative asserted that, though it is not the easy course, the moral path (in this case, war) , as history has shown, is the nobler path, and the one that Britain has always chosen to take, if not with a few initial missteps (Hansard 2002a, 105; Hansard 2003b, 23; Hansard 2003c, 331 32). Patrick McCormack (Conservative, South Staffordshire) MP lampoons those wh in 04). While Britain con structed itself as a moral power and a supporter of the international order, the dominant narrat three distinct ways. First, by the construction of Saddam Hussein as a radical Other;
209 second, by the construct ion of the Iraqi people as passive victims of Saddam Hussein which must be rescued by the British, and finally, through the construction of a new radical Other linked to Saddam Hussein international Islamic terrorism. First, the government and its allies c onstruct the Iraqi regime, usually represented in the figure of Saddam Hussein, in exclusively mora his own people and has a history of brutality, repr ession and disdain of human rights Hansard 2003b, 271). 6 Throughout the Commons debates, individual instances of Saddam and intentions (Hansard 2002a, 907 08; Hansard 2003c, 361). 7 As shown above, the dominant narrative constructed British identity as opposed, indeed duty bound, to react to such events. Those purveying the dominant narrative questioned and how they should be addressed , relying on constructions of and comparisons two past dictators . Two Conservative MPs argued Saddam table for negotiations in lat e 2002 . The government and its allies suggested dictators such as Saddam Hussein only because . . . it is inconceivable that Saddam Hussein will comply and disarm without the 8 Like all dictatorial 6 Jack Straw, Secretary of State; David Winnick, Conservative, Walsall North; Tony Blair, Prime Minister. 7 Tony Blair, Prime Minister; David Winnick, Conservati ve, Walsall North. 8 Geoffrey Hoon, Secretary of Defense; Hugh Bayley, Conservative, York Central. See also Hansard 2003, 23 and Hansard 2003a, 562.
210 not as a cooperative partner, but . . . decisively through force if necessary (Hansard 2003b, 1063). 9 After all, claims Jack Straw (Secretary of State), Iraq under Saddam is used chemical weapons against its own people, and . . . that has invaded two of its neighbors in rece The government and its allies also compared Saddam Hussein to past dictators in order to construct him in an unfavorable light. Robert Wareing (Independent, Liverpool West Derby) compared Saddam Hussein to Adolf Hitler (though he is careful to admit they did not have the same capabilities) (Hansard 2002a, 103). George Osbourne (Conservative, Tatton) argued that military dictators have always had the same perverse aims, and, in response to q (Hansard 2002a, 98). Although these comparisons often offered the proviso that Saddam does not possess the capabilities that G ermany did in the 1930s , these construction s create p According to the dominant narrative, Saddam may not have had the capabilities of Hitler, but he certainly possessed his intentions . The government and its allies convey ed this, constructing boundaries for future action. The dominant narrative argued that, left unchecked, dictators such as Saddam will gain power and use that power towards ends corrosive not only to British national interests, but also in pursuing actions th at challenge key 9 Alan Howarth, Labour. Newport East.
211 aspects of British identity. This is explored later in the analysis regarding narratives of forwarded to delegitimate diplomatic and containment policy options. Second, the dominant narrative constructed the British Self in o pposition to a weak and helpless partial Other represented by the Iraqi people. Often, elements of an identity excluded from a narrative a re as revealing as those included . In this case, the dominant narrative characterized the Iraqi people as lacking in a gency, as passive objects in a contest between the West and Saddam Hussein. Indeed, the British government and its allies disassociate the Iraqi people from Saddam Huss ein in the dominant narrative. They whom British] have no quarrel , and 10 Indeed, when mentioned at all, the Iraqi people are characterized as victi ms of the Iraqi regime, 11 The government and its allies suggested that the sanctions regime, c ons idered to be harmful by many MPs in the House of Commons, 12 Those who espoused the dominant narrative were silent concerning desires of the Iraqi people , or for the most part, assumed they were coterminous with those of the West . . . . as s country with a middle 10 Jack Straw, Secretary of State. 11 Shaun Woodward, Labour, St. Helen s South. 12 Tony Blair, Prime Minister.
212 class and educated peo ple . One MP suggested, are returned to Iraq, that can have a powerful effect on a region in which those liberties 13 As shown here, the dominant narrative constructed the Iraqi pe ople as partial Others. They were victims brutality, but imbued with a kernel of humanity, allowing them to become full members of the international community if Britain helped remove Saddam (the major impediment to their development) f rom power. While the dominant narrative constructed the British as moral paragons, the Iraqi people are constructed as an entity with no agency, passive onlookers, or at most, victims to the barbarous regime of a dictator. tion of the Iraqi people warrants comparison to of Arabs during the Suez Crisis. Whereas the dominant narrative in Chapter 3 constructed of the community, this discourse is absent similarly constructed as lacking agency, as passive observers. Similar to Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Egyptian Leader during the Su ez Crisis, Saddam Hussein does not embody the wishes of his people. Whereas in Chapter 3, Nasser and the Arab people are constructed as complementary, during the Iraq War, the Iraqi regime and its people are constructed through a relationship of difference . Saddam Hussein is constructed as their oppressor, and it is their lack of agency, their helplessness, rather than their eagerness and susceptibility to demagoguery that allows Saddam to continue in power. Finally, in Chapter 3, whereas the dominant narra tive charges that Nasser does not 13 Michael Portillo, Conservative, Kensington and Chelsea.
213 work in the interest of his people, the dominant narrative did not use this as legitimation for war in itself. In the case of the Iraq War, although not the primary legitimation, during the Iraq War, this acted (in conjunc tion with other arguments) to legitimate war against Saddam in and of itself. The dominant narrative argued that brutal dictators must not be left in power as a matter of international law and international morality. This difference will be explored furthe r in Chapter 6. 14 Finally, t he dominant narrative constructed Saddam as morally opposed to Britain through his linkage with international Islamic terrorism. The government and its allies discursively linked Saddam to this threat, despite the fact that the g overnment forwarded only marginal empirical evidence to substantiate these claims or to clarify how the Iraqi government was en al a point which he reiterated in a speech before the House of Commons six d ays later (Hansard 2003a, 871). Despite the tenuous nature of these links, the government and its allies insisted the nature of the threat (the Iraqi Government and glo bal Islamic terrorism) is one and importan t to deal with both I believe that they are linked not least because of the signals that we convey about the firmness of Woodward (Labour, St. Helens South) argued: I do not believe that we face a choice between a hierarchy of dangers either winning the war against terrorism or dealing with Saddam Hussein. Those are part of the sa me strategy for security . . . Iraq is central to the 14 For more on changing norms of humanitarian intervention in the international system see Finnemore 1996.
214 strategy for security an d dealing with global terrorism (Hansard 2002a, 106). Blair further argued, in more abstract terms, that these two threats are linked not only by common goals, but through their According to Blair, Al represent the threats of the fanatical over the rational. They represent threats to the civilized world from acts of b continued are intimately linked . . . It is not possible to have those two threats operating and for them not to come together at a certain point, and the consequences would then be 2003b, 35). This construction of the threat of a faceless, yet powerful enemy implicitly constructed Britain in opposition as the protector of a moral that it is duty bound to uphold. Not only is that moral order challenged by traditional interstate thre ats, but now by new, more insidious, transnational threats allied to more traditional ones. Conceiving of this linkage in terms of boundaries of acceptable actio n, although the capabilities of Saddam are limited (despite his attempts at building WMDs) his connection with Islamic terror constructs him as a pervasive and immediate threat. At this time, less than two years had passed since the United States was attacked, without warning, by Al Qaeda. Regardless of whether or not Blair actually believed this co nnection to be true, the dominant narrative constructs boundaries of possible and acceptable action. First, it increased the capabilities of Saddam vicariously, and more importantly, it legitimated any course of action in order to gu ard against this threat to life and property but also but to threats to B ritish values and ways of life.
215 Finally, the dominant narrative constructed the British as both purveyors of, and protectors of , the internatio nal legal order. The dominant narrative suggested that the Brit despite Saddam to comply. The dominant narrative suggested that the British, in their capacity as protectors of international law, must sometimes act to upho ld that designation. Straw argued, Those purveying the dominant narrative argued that, if nothing is done, this may be corrosive t o the very principles of international law that Britain is duty bound to uphold. One MP argued, . defies international law . . . it is absolutely essential that we tackle him . . . otherwise we will undermine the very principles and in stitutions in 15 In opposition to this British identity, the dominant narrative constructed Saddam while the domina nt narrative similarly referred to him as an international criminal. David Winnick (Labour, Wallsal North) argued that Saddam criminal dictator had time to leave Kuwait [in 1991] and his refusal to do so led to the eover, his actions vis Ã vis his own people were constructed (Hansard 2003a, 156). 16 The dominant narrative constructed Britain, not only as a follower of international law, but its enfor cer if necessary. Similarly, it constructed Iraq 15 Michael Moore, Liberal Democrat, Berwickshire, Roxb urgh and Selkirk. 16 Andrew Robathan, Conservative, South Lecestershire.
216 under Saddam as a pervasive threat to international law, whose lack of compliance threatened the entire structure of international law itself. It thus fell to the British to act. In short , the government an d its allies, through the dominant narrative, ntity along three axes. First, the government and its allies constructed Britain as trustworthy in opposition to Saddam Hussein as duplicitous. Second, the dominant narrative constructe d Britain as a purveyor of international morality and order. Opposed to this was the dual threat of Saddam Hussein and his regime, and its links with international terror. Furthermore, British identity as upholder of international order and morality was c a st in opposition to the partial Other of the Iraqi people. While the Iraqis are constructed as passive victims of Saddam , the British are constructed as heroic saviors, allowing the Iraqis to fulfill their potential through the removal of Saddam nt. Thus, according to the dominant narrative, these radically and partially opposition identities threatened the identity of Britain as a moral paragon and protector and protector of in ternational law was a criminal. What follows is an explanation of how the government and its allies, through the dominant narrative, employed these identities to justify military action during this crisis . Ana lysis The Containment and UN Options In order to understand how the military option was legitimated , we must first explore how the non conflictual options were delegitimated. To be fair, these two policies, containment and continued UN pressure, were neith er independent nor easily distinguishable; most policy elites in favor of the continuation of the policy of
217 containment pursued jointly by the UK and the United States in the 1990s and early 2000s believed that it had worked, and would continue to work. Co ntinued weapons inspections were a manifestation of, and an indispensable component of this policy. Yet, f or the sake of analysis, I discuss them as analytically distinct, as the narratives that delegitimate each choice follow different paths. First, the d ominant narrative suggested that, due untrustworthy nature , and his linkage to global Islamic terror , the policy of containment towards Saddam Hu ssein had been a failure. The government and its allies provided a number of reasons for th is. First, since previous containment policies had failed to deter the 9/11 attacks, one could not be sure that Saddam would not behave similarly, especially given his previous actions. Whereas if the dominant narrative constructed Saddam in a similar fash ion to a more traditional state, such as the former Soviet Union, policies of containment may have worked , instead the dominant narrative linked him to global Islamic terror . Indeed, the possibility of deterrence is contingent upon an enemy having somethin g of value to lose. Yet, the government and its allies linked Saddam Hussein to global terror, and suggested that he represented an entity that was unable to be deterred. The government and its allies underscored the severity of this threat by reference to the frightening suddenness, randomness, destructiveness and relative containment could work (Hansard 2003c, 356). 17 Michael Ancram (Conservative, Devizes) assured that Saddam would use such weapons against the West as he had 17 Alan Duncan, Conservative, Rutland and Melton.
218 readily used them against his own people (Hansard 2002a, 64). 18 Those in support of the dominant narrative suggested tha t containment could not be guaranteed to work 100% of the time, an d therefore, it was incumbent upon the British not to risk this policy. An important component in the construction of this legitimation was the way in which the dominant narrative constructe d the relationship between Saddam Hussein and his own people. Tony Blair suggested that, if Saddam cannot be contained from gassing his own people by the threat of revolt, how could anyone hope to divine whether or not he could be trusted not to do so agai nst Britain or the United States . The dominant narrative asserted , people and has a history of brutality, repression containment be expected to operate (Hansard 200 3b, 271)? Second, the sanctions and inspections regimes were an essential element in the containment policy , and had been regularly transgressed by supposed allies , rendering the policy ineffective. Michael Portillo (Conservative, Kensington and Chelsea) c laimed conta inment is not the policy of disarmament as set out in resolution 1441 or any of the continued evidence of a weapons program (Hansard 2003c, 273). The blame for the failure of contai nment, suggested the dominant narrative, fell not only upon Saddam shoulders, but the lack of resolve on the part of such supposed allies as France. The 18 See also Hansard 2002a, 84.
219 government and its allies argued that continuing upon this track would simply reinforce Finally, the government and its allies suggested the events of September 11 th presented a break from traditional thinking about containment, as the threat of terrorism was not subject to the logic of containment. Not only was Saddam unt rustworthy, and were the stakes now immeasurably suspicion of the risks that come with containment. An essentia l feature of containment is , yet not allowing them to expand beyond a particular area. As conveyed earlier, containment is often used in conjunction with deterrence, which assumes that, because your enemy values something (e.g. a population, a territory, at the very least, their own lives) they can be cow ed into acting in (Hansard 2003b, 23). Terrorists, argued the government and its allies, coul d not be deterred, nor could a state leader that displayed the brutality necessary to use chemical weapons on his people. Again, both Saddam , together with his putative connections with terrorism rendered containment or dete rrence an illegitimate policy. Moreover, Straw argued that the failure of containment was e policy of containment was not compatible with the identity that was constructed for Saddam as c, 273). Not
220 that this would be acceptable in a pre 9/11 world, but it became less acceptable in a post 9/11 one. The lingering threat of Iraq linked to global Islamic terror would remain anathema to a British identity that was construc ted as anti appeasem ent. This is discussed in the later in Chapter 5. Arguments delegitimating the UN option relied both on constructions of Saddam international law. This involved a strang e twist of logic. Indeed, a mandate from the UNSC legalizing an invasion was not forthcoming due to opposition by China, Russia, and most notably, France. Despite this, the government and its supporters contended that UNSC Resolution 1441 provided the nec essary authority for war. They argued that if Saddam was found to be non compliant with this initial resolution, a second resolution providing explicit sanction for military action would in fact be redundant . According to the dominant narrative, the langua ge of Resolution 1441 provided the necessary authority. Moreover, because Saddam had regularly flouted the inspections regime, as well as numerous UNSC resolutions, to leave this transgression unpunished would endanger the credibility of the UN itself (Han war predecessor, the League of Nations, had the Hansard 2003c, 276). Despite evidence that inspections were working, and head of the UNMOVIC calling for additional time , Straw argued that the UN had repeatedly been fooled by a perpetually untrustworthy Saddam , and that they were probably being fooled no w (Hansard 2003c, 269). Despite the fact that the Iraqi regime had cooperated, providing unfettered access to sites and disclosing
221 significant amounts of information regarding their weapons program in a timely fashion, opposition remained consistent. The d ominant narrative portrayed this cooperation as a means to obfuscate and delay. It seems that, regardless of the level of cooperation on the part of the Iraqi regime, the construction of the Iraqi identity contained in the dominant narrative would not allo w for the continuation of weapons inspections, no matter how fruitful they were demonstrated to be. Thus, following the UN option, which would ostensibly coincide with British identity as a protector and follower of international law, was deemed illegitima te. Similar to Chapter 3, where during the Suez Crisis, the dominant narrative argued a distinction between the spirit of the law and the institutions purveying it, the dominant narrative during the Iraq War offered a similar suggestion . The government and its allies argued that following through with more UN inspections would undermine the entire fabric upon which the international legal order was founded. In comparison with Chapter 4, in which the boundaries of action were understood post facto (i.e. the invasion of the Falklands by the Argentines had already occurred at the time the debates were ongoing) construction of boundaries for Iraq within the dominant narrative involved more interpretation. The dominant narrative constructed containment as impossi ble due both to the untrustworthy nature of Iraq, as well as the identity as a protector of the international order was challenged by this new threat, one that could not be contained, and furthermore, one whose boundaries themselves seemed limitless. According to the government and its allies, to merely contain a threat that, by definition, did not operate according to a territorial paradigm was deemed illegitimate. T
222 international law and order due to the oppositional construction of Saddam as both untrustworthy, and linked to an enemy that, by its nature, could not be contained nor negotiated wi th . The Military Option If the options for containment and continued inspections were rendered illegitimate, how were the identities deployed in the dominant narrative used to legitimate the military op tion? First, those supporting the dominant narrative a rgued that war was necessary because the Iraqi regime presented an imminent threat to the British, because the extent of Saddam adequately discerned. Soon after the passing of UNSC Resolution 1441 on November 8 th , a deba te in the House of Commons concerning the path forward revealed that many within the chamber viewed Saddam Hussein as unique amongst Iraqi leaders, arguing have preceded has weapons of mass destruction, clearly, we should take pre emptive action to disarm him" (Hansard 2002a, 79). 19 uniqu e in its aggressive stance against its neighbored rendered his regime a major threat (Hansard 2003c, 266). avoide push to wards war (Hansard 2003b, 859). 19 Peter Tapsell, Conservative, Louth and Horncastle.
223 As addressed earlier, remarks on the part of the Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix suggested that, by this point, the Iraqi governmen t was in fact cooperating, though admittedly, gaps in information still remained. Blair summarily ignored this information, arguing that: I believe that those inspectors, if they were given . . . cooperation, could do their work very easily; but if they ar e not given that cooperation . . . we get sucked back into delays of months and then years [ the result of which would be that] we are unable to then unable to shut down the weapons of mass destruction programme . . . that everyone a ccepts is a danger to th e world (Hansard 2003b, 859 60). 20 (Hansard 2003c, 335). 21 Furthermore, some MPs argued that, if acquired, Saddam would use these WMDs against the West as he had not hesitated to use them against his own people (Hansard 2002a, 46; Hansard 2002a, 79). 22 This suggestion, however, relied upon a construction of Saddam as being both untrustworthy, unable to be deterred or contained, and finally, as barbarous and cruel, whose nature would dictate he would attempt to use these weapons against the West . Yet, while Saddam connection with terrorist eleme nts identified by the dominant narrative placed this danger in stark relief. The dominant narrative argued that it was not the weapons capabilities that the Iraqi regime possessed at the time (as it was clear that, despite any WMD programs that were extent , Iraq did not possess the ability to deliver these 20 He reiterates this idea of a threat to global secu rity no less than three times throughout the month in the House of Commons. See also Hansard 2003b, 23. 21 Donald Anderson, Labour, Swansea East. 22 Michael Ancram, Conservative, Devizes; Peter Tapsell, Conservative, Louth and Horncastle.
224 weapons to British soil) but rather, the imminent threat of terrorism and similarly minded rogue states threat. It is because of this that war became the only means of legitimately addressing that Iraq is not alone in developing weapons of mass destruction; there are unstable, fiercely repressive states e Stuart Bell (Labour, Middlesbrough) asked, attendant to t errorism and rogue states that rendered the military option preferable. The r and law could be maintained. Yet, in order to legitimate war as a policy option, it was not enough to simply assert these threats existed. After all, they had existed for a while, and moreover, there were calls on the part of both allies and the UN to de lay the rush to war and allow more time for inspections. As corollary to the argument that the Iraqi regime was an imminent threat, those supporting the dominant narrative argued a renewed policy of containment or continued UN weapons inspections was tanta mount to allowing this imminent threat to go unanswered, merely delaying inevitable conflict be right to take pre
225 23 As in Chapters 4 and 5, the government and its allies security. It will simply be returning to confront the issue again at a later time, with the possible signal that his strategy is succeeding. It would tell him that the international it would suggest to other potential rogue actors that they should indeed do the same (Hansard 2003c, 272). Furthermore, despite calls on the part of UN weapons inspectors and much of the international community to delay war (as it seemed that, at least for the time being, the inspections regime seemed to be bearing fruit) any compliance on the part of Saddam disingenuous, and merely an attempt to stall for time. Gerald Kaufman (Labour, Manchester Gorton ) Saddam can get away with the games he is playing, stringing out the process until it is idea that war should be delayed was dismissed as ludicrous, as it was deemed to be (Hansard 2003c, 301). The government and its allies asserted delay merely allowed 23 George Osborne, C onservative, Tatton.
226 Saddam to continue his atrocities. George Foulkes (Labour, Carrick, Cumbock and means that more of those children will die and more members of the opposition will be continued consequences of inaction, as well as o In addition to the argument that Saddam represented an immediate threat to the British Self, the government and its allies furthe r argued that that , if the British did not go through with their threat for war unless their exact demands were met, it would give the impression of weakness and reveal a lack of resolve on the part of the British, and the West as a whole. Blair argued as early as November 25 th , 2002 that to not fulfill the UN will ever believe us when we try As we know from world history, on occasions it is essential to enf internatio nal community is weak, that it does not have the determination to confront struggle was deemed essential, as its identity constructed in the dominant narrative, was that of protector and guarantor of world order and international institutions. To back
227 the League of nations in 1924 during the Abyssinian campaign . . . If the international community had taken those events more seriously . . . international law could have 24 The defense of Britain was explicitly connected with defense of these institutions, as Patrick Cormack (Conservative, South Staffordsh ire) argued in an effort to dissuade MPs from voting for an amendment that would require explicit UN sanction for military action, We are now at a critical juncture in the history of this new century. If we allow this evil tyrant to get away with it, we w ill advance into the century with no credible international organisations and with our own credibility, and therefore the defe nce of our very people, at risk (Hansard 2003c, 304). In short, the military option was legitimated according to four arguments. F irst, the traditional argument, that Iraq posed an existential threat to Britain be c ause of its WMD program. This only was possible in due to a prior construction of Saddam as unable to be contained or deterred. Second, because of connection with in ternational terror and other rogue states , it threatened world order, and challenged the w challenge knew no boundaries, was constructed as sui generis , although and th erefore argued to be all that more dangerous . Third, Saddam was constructed as an imminent threat to Britain (and by extension, the world) due to his perceived intransigence. Allowance of this continued intransigence was tantamount to a policy of appeasem ent, state is unable to be sated. If allowed to continue on, the dominant narrative argued this threat to the British Self would only become greater, and degrade its ability and that of 24 Andrew Selous, Conservative, South West Bedfordshire.
228 its allies to contain it. Additionally, to ignore this threat would embolden other potential moral power, steadfast in its protection of internati onal order and law. Finally, the construction of British identity as active, courageous and steadfast in its protection of international order and international institutions served to restrict policy choice. Given the construction of Iraqi identity as untr ustworthy and barbaric, pursuit of negotiations or continued containment, according to the dominant narrative, would be equated with appeasement. Thus, the identity narrative legitimated resort to arms . Given the constructed identity of the Iraqi regime, t he only threat that would be deemed action . To fail to follow through on this would entail the destruction of international law and international institutions to which British identity is ineluctably moored. The government and its allies argued that to fail to act (with military force if necessary) in defense of these would reveal British weakness, and ultimately, invite international disorder. Yet, this dominant narrative did not go unchallenged. Competing constructions of iden tity, both of Britain and Iraq, challenged the legitimacy of the military option, instead privileging other , more diplomatic courses of action. Alternative Narratives The aforementioned narrative was espoused by a broad array of political actors, including the Labour Government, PM Tony Blair, the Secretary of State Jack Straw, Secretary of Defense Geoffrey Hoon, as well as a number of staunch supporters from the Labour Party, such as David Winnick (Labour, Wallsal North) as well as from across the aisle, s uch as Patrick Cormack (Conservative, South Staffordshire). Despite the bipartisan support, many MPs proffered alternative narratives, most of which constructed the main actors in a very different fashion, and as a result, delegitimated
229 war as a policy opt ion. I hesitate to call this a unified narrative, yet, these different narratives displayed a number of common themes . First, whereas the timeline presented in the dominant narrative tended to begin at 1990, with Saddam Kuwait, or perhaps in 1988 with Saddam citizens, the timeline of these alternative narratives extended the temporal ambit , noting Western cooperation with Saddam 2003c, 342). 25 Second, w hereas the dominant narrative is sparse on the details of post invasion planning, those who question this dominant narrative ask how the government is prepared to occupy, administer, provide for security of the Iraqi people, and rebuild Iraqi institutions and infrastructure post invasion (Hansard 2003a, 558; Hansard). 26 Most important were the portrayal of actors and how their identity was constructed in these alternative narratives. First, whereas in the dominant narrative the crisis is constructed narrowly , as a defiant rogue state faci ng the international community led by the lawful Western powers, alternative narratives tended to place the issue in a wider context, including other actors. Israel, for example, was included in many of these narratives, port rayed as a state that, similar to Iraq, routinely ignores UNSC Resolutions and possesses WMDs (Hansard 2002a, 67; Hansard 2003c, 312; Hansard 2003c, 355). 27 Moreover, whereas in the dominant narrative the impact of a war in Iraq on the greater Middle East i s left unaddressed, those challenging this 25 Neil Gerrard, Labour, Walthamstow; Mohammed Sarwar, Labour, Glasgow Central. 26 Tam Dalyell, Labour, Linlithgow. Also, though it is not necessarily germane to the argument at han d, the connection made between past conflicts is interesting. Whereas the dominant narrative tried to connect this conflict with the Falklands War, generally regarded as a necessary and just war, those questioning this dominant narrative attempted to attac h this to the Suez Crisis, which was and continues to be regarded as a debacle. For this comparison see Hansard 2003b, 463; Hansard 2003c, 357. 27 Peter Kilfoyle, Labour, Liverpool Walton; Frank Dobson, Labour, Holborn and St. Pancras ; Geoffrey Clifton Bro wn, Conservative, Cotswalds.
230 narrative argued that considerations of other states in the region should be included , most notably a Shiite dominated Iran (Hansard 2002a, 67). 28 In these alternative narratives, the identities of the British Self , the Iraqi Other, and the Iraqi people were constructed differently. First, although Iraq (i.e. the Iraqi Government, and more explicitly Saddam Hussein) is constructed negatively (indeed, all agree that he is a murderous dictator) he is not constructed a s an imminent threat (Hansard 2003, 33; Hansard 2003b, 36; Hansard 2003c, 295). 29 In these narratives comparisons to Hitler are downplayed, and in stead he is not constructed as a traditional political actor, subject to persuasion and coercion through incent ives and disincentives (Hansard 2002a, 103; Hansard 2003c, 285 86). 30 Most important, alternative narratives connections with global Islamic terrorism , arguing that organizations such as Al Qaeda constitute the true threat to Britain (Hans ard 2002a, 116; Hansard 2003b, 265; Hansard 2003b, 29; Hansard 2003c, 295; Hansard 2003c, 347). 31 In fact, David Heath (Liberal Democrat, Somerton and Frome) argued that a war against Iraq would her than increasing Britis h security (Hansard 2003b, 33). Second, alternative narratives constructed the British Self differently . Most certainly, these alternative narratives espoused a vision of British identity that is 28 Peter Kilfoyle, Labour, Liverpool Walton. 29 Douglas Hogg, Labour, Sleaford and North Hykeham; Jenny Tonge, Liberal Democrat, Richmond Park; Kenneth Clarke, Conservative, Rushcliffe. 30 Robert Wareing, Independent, Liverpool We st Derby; Chris Smith, Labour, Islington South and Finsbury. 31 Jenny Tonge, Liberal Democratic, Richmond; Charles Kennedy, Liberal Democrat, Ross, Skye and Lochaber; John Stanley, Labour, Tonbridge and Malling; Kenneth Clarke, Conservative, Rushcliffe; Rob ert Walter, Conservative, North Dorset.
231 commensurate with international la w. Yet, they argued that Britain has historically, and should continue to remain subordinate to these international institutions and laws (Hansard 2002a, 77). 32 They argued that if Britain did not subordinate itself to international law in its action vis Ã vis Iraq that this, rather than the continuance of Saddam to being contrary to its identity. Many of these alternative narratives argued that Britain had in fact subverted this identity by acting as a lackey to the United States, which these alternative narratives regularly identified as flouting international law (Hansard 2002a, 97; Hansard 2003c, 309). 33 They specifically identified the current US regime as the perpetrators, cha racterizing them as dishonest at best, and criminal at worst (Hansard 2002a, 99 100; Hansard 2002a, 93). 34 Finally, alternative narratives challenged the dominant construction of the Iraqi people in a number of ways. To be clear, the majority of these alter native narratives constituted them as victims, but also argued that to perpetrate a war against Iraq would make the Iraqi people victims to both Britain and Iraq (Hansard 2002a, 103; Hansard 2003, 550 01; Hansard 2003b, 39). 35 Additionally, whereas the domi nant narrative constructed the Iraqi people as a monolithic entity, this is challenged, as Mark Hendrick (Labour Cooperative, Preston) that the Iraqi people are indeed three different peoples: Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish (Hansard 2002a, 96 7). 32 Michael Moore, Liberal Democrat, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk. 33 George Osborne, Conservative, Tatton; George Galloway, Labour, Bradford West. 34 Desmond Turner , Labour, Brighton Kemptown; Gerald Kaufman, Lab our, Manchester Gorton. 35 Robert Wareing, Independent, Liverpool West Derby; Simon Thomas, Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion; Joan Ruddock, Labour, Lewisham Deptford.
232 Yet, the questi on remains: how did these alternative identity narratives help to delegitimate war as a policy option? First, as these alternative narratives constructed Saddam Hussein as distinct from global Islamic terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, some argued h e was not a significant threat . In fact, alternative narratives argued that an illegitimate war in the Middle East would only help to destabilize an already unstable region (Hansard 2002, 108). 36 These alternative narratives pointed to the fact that suppor t for war amongst Middle East states is minimal, and hatred of the West is palpable amongst the general populations of these countries (Hansard 2002a, 80; Hansard 2002a, 103 04; Hansard 2003c, 286 87). 37 Since Saddam Hussein and global Islamic terrorism wer e constructed separately, alternative narratives argued that the removal of a bulwark against this terrorism, in addition to the ill will created by an invasion of Islamic territory by the West, would give terrorists newfound support in these countries, an d thus would decrease rather than increase British security (Hansard 2003b, 30). 38 Second, most alternative narratives argued that military action should take place firmly within the framework of international law by the normal procedures, which would speci fically include an additional UNSC Resolution sanctioning military action (Hansard 2002a 76; Hansard 2002a, 101; Hansard 2003c, 288). 39 Indeed, a second resolution explicitly mandating military action against Iraq was not a viable political option for the B ritish, due to strenuous opposition from China, France, and Russia . 36 David Chidgey, Liberal Democrat, Eastleigh. 37 Peter Tapsell, Conservative, Louth and Horncastle; Robert Wareing, Independent, Liverpool West Derby; Chris Smith, Labour, Islington South 38 Ian Taylor, Conservative, Esher and Walton. 39 Diane Abbott, Labour, Hackney North and Stoke Newington; Elfyn Llwyd, Plaid Cymru, Meirionnydd Nant Conwy ; Michael Moor e, Liberal Democrat, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.
233 Those espousing this alternative narrative argued that, if the British indeed identified as a protector and purveyor of international law, they should yield to the strictures of internatio nal institutions such as the UNSC. Finally, alternative narratives forwarded a number of arguments in favor of continuing the containment or deterrence as viable policy options , as well as allowing for the continuation of UNMOVIC ins pections. First, these narratives argued that, during its tenure, the policy of containment allied with inspections had significantly degraded Saddam 285 86). 40 Kenneth Clarke (Conservative, Rushcliffe) ar gued that inspections had not the use of threat [as opposed to actual warfare] in order to get compliance 2003c, 293) . Gavin Strang (Labour, Edinburgh East) qu estioned about those 12 years, we should not pretend that they were 12 years of total failure . . . there was an effective containment of Saddam Hu ssein, and containment in those Moreover , the questionable intelligence adopted by the Blair Cabinet in arguing for war raised a number of flags, many asserting the evidenc e connecting Sa ddam to global Islamic terrorism was not convincing enough to justify war (Hansard 2003, 34; Hansard 2003c, 294). 41 40 Chris Smith, Labour, Islington South. 41 Tony Lloyd, Labour, Stretford; Kenneth Clarke, Conservative, Rushcliffe.
234 These arguments adopted an identity of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi Government as being able to be contained, characterizing his regime in po litical rather than moral terms. Indeed, most who espoused this narrative suggested that Saddam Hussein is indeed an immoral person, but this does not prevent him from being faced with the same types of incentives as other state leaders. Moreover, they arg ued that containment or continued UN inspections presented a more legitimate option as it accorded with both the proffered Iraqi identity (as an entity able to be contained or deterred) as well as British identity in accordance with international law . Acco rding to alternative narratives, absent a second UNSC Resolution, the only recognized legal option was continued inspections . To circumvent this process was considered illegitimate, contrary to a British identity that was in accordance with international l aw, while conversely, supporting continued inspections in accordance with world opinion and international law was constructed as legitimate. seriously by the Blair Cabinet tha t they would have resulted in a different outcome, but rather that there was an intimate connection between identities that are forwarded by the Government and the justification for going to war . Simply put, policy choices are, at least in part, contingent upon the identities that are forwarded in their defense, and further, chosen policies merely serve to reinforce these identities. What follows is a brief examination of the implications of this, how this insight may be applied to further studies in the fu ture, and what limitations are contained in this research. Epilogue Whereas in the epilogues in Chapters 3 and 4, I discussed the ramifications for British identity in the shadow of the conflicts in which they participated, it is questionable
235 whether enoug h time has passed in order to fully explore ramifications for British identity in regards to the Iraq War. Despite this, a few points may be noted. There is some evidence to suggest Britain has begun to take a more active role in world affairs. First, the British have become quite active in humanitarian crises, sometimes employing military force, since the end of the Cold War . In addition to a military intervention in Sierra Leone in 2000, the British (along with France) took the lead in lending support to the united opposition to the Libyan regime in its 2010 Civil War. Second, Britain has been foremost amongst nations in support of the changing view of sovereignty explicated in the UN doctrine of Responsibility to Protect (Chandler 2010 ; Feinstei n and Slau ghter 2004 ) . Whereas traditionally the institution of state sovereignty places a the political and legal ken of other countries, the R2P doctrine suggests that sovereignty is a privilege, a contract between governed and t hose that govern. This doctrine argues that, if a state leader violates his responsibility to protect his people, then traditional rules of sovereignty no longer apply, and the international community may be empowered to take action. This doctrine has clea r affinities with a similar concept of human security, which suggests that the onus of the state is not protecting itself, but rather its citizens. The paradigm of Human Security suggests that, often times, wars that are represented as protecting citizens often do more harm, and that other non military security threats, including criminal and environmental, are often more dangerous than traditional military ones (Kaldor 2007 ). hift in its identity as a protector of international law, but perhaps a shift in how that role is being expanded. Finally, although it is beyond the purview of this analysis, one must question
236 Ã vis a radical terrorist Other will direct British foreign policy in subsequent years. On the other hand, few would suggest that the fallout of the Iraq War had a positive effect on the British political establishment. The prosecution of the Iraq War, under wha t were considered generally false pretenses, was perhaps almost single handedly responsible for the removal of Tony Blair from party leadership. The British electorate continues to hold a very dim view of the war and future involvement in the region, as ev idenced by strong rhetoric combined with limited action vis Ã vis the Syrian Civil War. Thus, it is perhaps too early to make definitive comments concerning British identity in the future. However, what is certain is that, whatever military interventions d o take place, their legitimation will depend heavily upon the categories of identity treated in the preceding analysis. Politics may be viewed not only as the art of leadership, but the art of legitimatin g policy choices . The ways in which that is done, an d the categories adopted are of paramount importance for the study of IR. Chapter 6 will focus on how the preceding analysis sheds insight into current debates into IR, including the necessity of focusin g on identity, policy legitimation, and their relatio nship, as well how this project provides multiple entry points for future inquiry regarding the relationship of narrative representation, identity, and the politics of legitimation.
237 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION Throughout this project, I analyze how constructions of British identity vis Ã vis its partial and radical Others were employed to legitimate foreign policy choices during three post World War II security crises. Focusing on the construction of dominant identity narratives, I demonstrate that legitimation of foreign policies cannot be understood apart from the identities employed to justify them, and foreign policy choices must accord with these identities. Despite significant shifts in historical, political, and economic realities within Britain between 1956 and 2003 , and significant differences in the crises themselves, construction of British identity within the dominant narratives in Chapters 3, 4 and 5 remained remarkably similar. These dominant narratives emphasized Britain as a rational, democratic, dyn amic, and international law promoting power . They constructed Britain as a full political entity imbued with political agency, and a protector and seminal figure in the creation of international law and the international order. Furthermore, these narrative s constructed the radical Others in Chapters 3, 4, and 5 in a remarkably similar fashion. They were constructed as irrational, criminal, and corrosive of international order. While Britain was constructed as embodying universal political and legal principl es, the radical Other was constructed as avaricious, dishonest, and harboring a hidden agenda. Moreover, the dominant narratives constructed these crises not as political events , but criminal acts for which the radical Other was responsible , necessitating swift and forceful action. Finally, the role of the partial Other, while differing amongst the three cases, was always a passive one. The partial Others
238 were constructed as victims of the radical Other in need of protection and rescue for which the British were responsible. In Chapter 6, first, I offer a brief comparative analysis of Chapters 3, 4 and 5 . Second, I examine potential shortcomings of my research method, and propose strategies to address them in subsequent analyses. Third, I demonstrate how thi s analysis fits into the broader scholarly context r egarding identity and narrative. Finally, I suggest some avenues for future research into the relationships among identity, narrative, and legitimation. Comparing the Cases Pronounced similarities amongst the three cases lead one to conclude that certain elements of British identity have remained relatively constant throughout the post World War II period. Legitimations in the dominant narrative of foreign policy choices in the Suez Crisis, Falklands War, and Iraq War were all contingent upon system, its unique role as the fount and protector of international law, and the superiority of the British political system vis Ã vi s the Other. While strategic or geop olitical considerations were evident , legitimation of the military option in Chapters 3, 4, and 5 all hinged , to some degree, on defense of principles deemed constitutiv e of the British corps pol itique challenged by an array of radical and partial Others. First, analysis of House of Commons debates during the Suez Crisis reveal that legitimating the decision to undertake military action did not hinge on g eostrategic imperatives alone. During the S uez Crisis, the dominant narrative constructed the crisis as a breach of international law on the part of the Egyptian regime, and legitimated war
239 based on Britain international law and order. The dominant narrative construct ed both the Argentine invasion of the Falklands in 1982 and the Iraq Crisis in mid 2002 and early 2003 in a similar light. Britain , as the upholder of international law and order, was duty bound to intervene in response to what the dominant narrative const ructed as an international criminal act. Indeed , there were significant geopolitical imperatives for the British to go to war during the Falklands Crisis. Whether or not the same can be said for the Suez Crisis or the run up to the Iraq War is questionable . Yet, while there may have been strategic imperatives for military action in all three crises, legitimation in the Suez, Falklands, and Iraq Wars hinged on defense of principles and elements of identity, rather than these geostrategic imperatives. Further more, the governments and their allies in the Suez, Falklands, and Iraq Wars constructed British identity in convergence with , and uphold ing universal interests and principles. The dominant narratives constructed Britain as exceptional in this regard . In 1 956, the dominant narrative Suez Canal was a challenge to the prevailing international order, just as in 1982 the invasion of the Falklands constructed as undermining the principle of state sovereignty, and the c ontinued transgressions of Iraq in relation to UNSC undermined constitutive principles of international order in 2003 . In short, the dominant narrative constructed a British Self indelibly aligned with universal principles and acting in the interes ts of un iversal peace and order , and in fact, duty bound to uphold these principles . As an aside, portents construction of British identity in the post World War II era . Carr (1964) suggests that
240 the post Wo the allies had suggested, but rather represented their individual state interests. He suggests that natural concordance of state interests do not exist, and instead this so served as a rhetorical tool used by t he British and the Americans to justify the imposition of a post World War I internat ional order reflective of their interests . insights have been supported by subsequent analyses. M ore recent scholarship supports the contention that states use rhetorical tools to justify the prevailing international order. Labels adherence to do not exhibit stable meaning , and are often times attached to sta friends and allies, while enemies are constructed in a less generous manner (Hoffman 1977; Oren 1995; Oren 2003). Analyses in Chapters 3 5 support these assertions. Dominant constructions of British identity were closely identified with principles suc Indeed, legal justifications for military intervention in the Suez Crisis and the Iraq War were questionable at best . Regarding the former, British military intervention lacked even the most minimal international support , including its most fundamental ally, the United States . Moreover, despite the dominant narrative s in Chapters 3 5 allying British identity with democratic principles juxtaposed with its non democratic enemy, public and cross party suppo rt for military action were absent. British adherence to universal principles, and the notion that those principles were shared not only by members of the Commonwealth , but by the world as a whole, w as indeed questionable .
241 Second , the dominant narratives in Chapters 3 5 exhibit fundamenta l similarities in how the governments and their allies constructed their enemies. In these narratives, radical Other ness is not constituted in the guise of a competing s tate or society, but rather, is constructed as a single government or individual . The dominant narratives in support of military intervention constructed the behaviors of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Argentinian military Junta, and Saddam Hussei n not as politic al actions of heads of state, but rather the transgressions of the international order by criminal outlaws. Whereas the dominant narrative constructed the British Self as a legitimat e political entity, the radical Other was inherently irrational , anti demo cratic, power seeking, and possessed of nefarious designs inimical not only to Britain and its interests, but by extension, the interests of global order, international law, and democracy. The dominant narrative constructed the Other as brutally oppressive ( Often individual instances of this oppression were forwarded as legitimations for going to war . ) not only toward s foreigners , but own citizens as well. In all cases, were shorn of any political connotation and instead represented as moral choices. Many constructions offered in these dominant narratives are paradoxical to say the least. The Egyptian government during the Suez Crisis is an instructive example. On the one hand, Gamal Abdel Nasser was constructed as a cunn ing political operator, yet was subject to the excesses of desire, passion and irrationality. His decisions were constructed as moral choices , thus rendering mainstream political categories irrelevant, implying his motives were apolitical. Yet, during the constructed Nasser as a cunning political master and demagogue to which the masses of the Arab states are susceptible . The
242 construction of the radical Other in Chapters 3 and 5 exhibit stark similarities a nd rely upon Orientalist constructions of Arab leaders and populations forwarded in the 19 th century (Said 1979). Despite these similarities, this project reveals broad shifts in the construction of British identi ty and Other identities. Le gitimation in Ch apters 3 5 cannot be understood absent inclusion of a partial Other. In both the Suez Crisis and the Iraq War, the partial Other consisted of the Egyptian and Iraqi people respectively. In both cases, they were constructed as non agents, passive societies that had fallen under the sway of a ruthless tyrant. While not constructed entirely in opposition to the British Self, they were characterized partly through difference, yet exhibiting potential for advancement. On the other hand, in Chapter 4, Falkland Is landers were constructed as a kind of partial Other reflective of a previous and more authentic form of British political and moral ideals. Indeed, in Chapters 3 5 , while the partial Others were constructed as passive agents, victims of the radical Other, marked differences exist amongst Chapters 3 5 regarding both the construction of the partial Other as well as British responsibilities towards them. ial Other in Chapters 3 5 reveal changes in how th e British both constructed these populations, as well as their role as protectors of international law and international order. During the Suez Crisis, the dominant narrative constructed Egyptians and Arab s as similar in some important respects yet differe nt in others . As discussed in Chapter 3 , the dominant narrative depicted Egyptians as untrustworthy due to their affiliations with Nazi Germany during the Second World War. The dominant narrative in Chapter 3 constructed Arabs writ large as fanatical, chil d like, and overly emotional , although capable of advancement .
243 Whereas discussion of the nature of Arab peoples figured prominently in the dominant narrative in Chapter 3, in Chapter 4 there were relatively few mentions of the nature of the Argentine peop le in House of Commons debates. 1 Despite the dearth of Argentine popular identity construction, in Chapter 4 the dominant narrative constructed the Falkland Islanders themselves as exemplars of an idyllic British identity. government and its all ies constructed the Falklanders as romanticized , indep endent British yeoman embodying pr inciples of a British exceptionalism endangered by years of political decline . Finally, i n Chapter 5, the dominant narrative constructed Arabs differently than in Chapt er 3. While constructions of Arabs revolve d around Orientalist stereotypes during the Suez Crisis, constructions of the Iraqi people during the Iraq War depicted them as helpless victims, robbed of agency, and in need of British protection. The dominant na rrative during the Iraq War constructed an Iraqi people without an independent political identity. Insofar as their political desires were constructed, they reflected the desires of the West. On a related noted , representations of the partial Other change d throughout Chapters 3 5, and representations of British responsibility vis Ã vis the partial Other changed as well. British responsibility toward the partial Other and its duties under international law and regarding the maintenance of international order differed significantly. During the Suez Crisis, legitimation of military action relied upon construction of the partial Other as a potential threat. As the dominant narrative constructed Arab peoples as susceptible to the demagogu ery of the Egyptian 1 Racist, stereotypic depictions of Argentines were, however, heavily represented in the British media, although this is beyond the purview of this study.
244 government, military intervention was justified to prevent the construction of an Arab Empire. Furthermore, insofar as the dominant narrative referenced rescue of the Egyptian people, it constructed sponsibility. In Chapter 4, the government and its allies depict ed responsibility towards the Falklanders in terms of responsibility toward British , rather than colonial, subjects . Finally, in Chapter 5, the dominant narrative constructed the Iraqi people , not as potential enemies, but innocent as upholders of international law and order is used as part of the argument to legitimate military action. Whereas during the Suez Crisis, the dominant narrative constructed international order as the maintenance of international property rights, on the one han d, or the sanctity of treaties on the other, this analysis renders it clear that, by 2003, maintenance of internation al order entailed an entirely different set of responsibilities. As discussed in Chapter 5, recent scholarship has noted how norms of state sovereignty and humanitarian intervention have changed over the past sixty years. Finnemore (1996) argues that legit imate humanitarian intervention in the early 20 th century usually involved rescuing Christians from Muslims. Muslims were not yet were . Yet , due in part to decol onization and changing norms , by the la te 20 th century norms of humanitarian intervention constructed individuals as equal, regardless of race or ethnicity. Similarly, norms of state sovereignty have also undergone significant changes from 1945 to the present. Whereas norms of classical state s overeignty privilege the principle of non intervention, norms have shifted to reflect a more conditional notion of sovereignty especially in the wake of the Cold War (Chandler 2010; Feinstein and Slaughter 2004).
245 Norms forwarded by the UN in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and supported by many in the international community underscore a Responsibility to Protect, claim ing that state sovereignty is conditional upon a its citizens with certain basic civil rights an d protections (Doyle 2011; Evans 2004). Given this shifting conception of sovereignty in the international system, it is ant, how this identity was employed to legitimate military intervention shifted over time . Whereas to consider oneself a paragon of international law and or der in 1956 may not have warranted military intervention for humanitarian purposes, in 2003, this id entity, if not demanding it, at least allows it . Thus, how British identity was employed in legitimating military intervention reflects shifts in this international normative structure. While the categories of British identity may have remained the same si nce 1956, the meanings of those categories have changed . Later, I reflect upon how this very phenomenon necessitates a more complex conceptualization of identity and narrative in IR. To be clear, I do not suggest the dominant narratives discussed above wer e the only ones forwarded. Indeed, as explored in Chapters 3 5, alternative narratives were regularly forwarded by the Opposition to delegitimate military intervention. Further, he population, or even a majority of political elites in Britain. As discussed in Chapter 2, it is impossible to empirically decipher true beliefs with any reasonable certainty. Moreover, as discussed in Chapter 2, there is significant evidence to suggest that the effect of public opinion on foreign policy is minimal. Despite these provisos , the commonalities
246 and differences of construction of British Self and Other identities during these three distinct phases of British history lend insight into how chan ging British identity, in conjunction with changing in international norms, have augured shifts in how those identities are employed to legitimate policy choices. What is clear, through examination of both dominant and alternative n arratives in Chapters 3 5, is that while British identity has undergone some profound shifts, in terms of its role as a colonial power and its fears concerning its status as a great power, the he same. This underscores a point, examined in subsequent pages, that in order to understand legitimation one must examine how identities are employed in historically inte the meaning of those terms are liable to change based upon the narrative context within which they are articulated. Indeed , referring to Britain as follower or protector of international law can, and was, used to both legitimate and delegitimate military intervention in all three cases. Thus, the future of analysis of political legitimation and its relationship to identity relies upon examining these phenomena through the lens of narrative. Yet, wh ile this analysis represents an improvement over existing approaches to studies of legitimation and identity, it exhibits some shortcomings. In the interest of aiding future research into this interesting field, I offer some suggestions on how to improve u pon this research design for future research. Strengthening the Research Design The purpose of this project is to examine how Self and Other identity narratives were employed to legitimate policy choice during security crises. This requires
247 examining how t hese foreign policy crises themselves were cast, and how the narratives used to legitimate them reflected these identities. To be clear, this analysis was not intended to replace or subvert more traditional causal explanations of foreign policy. Indeed, it would be naÃ¯ve to suggest strategic interests played no part in explaining these military interventions. T o proffer a model that casts strategic interests in opposition to identity would be a misinterpretation of the constructivist move. Constructivsts ar gue identity construct s Regardless of the status of British economic and strategic interests, the analysis supports my original contention that legitimation of military intervention depends upon invocation of ident ities. As in all analyses, limitations in terms of time and resources place constraints on the project. W hile I limit the impact of these constraints in my research design to the best of my ability , this project, as well as future projects, ma y benefit fro m certain improvement s. First, expanding the temporal scope of the study would provide a more robust measure of how British identity is used to legitimate foreign policy decisions, especially in regard to British exceptionalism and respect for internationa l law. The purpose of this project was to analyze how the British legitimated military interventions with respect to identity. This invariably involves examining how the British underwent a shift from a colonial to a post colonial identity. One possible cr itique of this design is that, by the time of the Suez Crisis, colonialism was already an illegitimate form of political organization. As early as the mid 1940s, the emerging nationalist movement in India made the continuation of imperial control untenable for the British in its most prized possession. Furthermore, the British Empi re was under immense strain as early as
248 1918, with a dearth of trained administrations, the addition of a number of mandates under British supervision, and finally, the astronomic al costs incurred in fighting the First World War (Hyam 2006, 12). Some suggest that a significant segment of the British political elite viewed colonialism as untenable as far back as the 1890s (Friedburg 1988). Although in the Chapter 3, I demonstrate th at there is evidence that well into the 1950s, certain British political elites believed the Empire not only to be tenable , but the fu ture of the British state, inclusion of a pre 1945 case does hold some appeal . First, it would increase the robustness of the research design by examining how legitimation proceeded in an historical context in which colonialism was a more legitimate form of political organization. Potential cases include the Boer War (1899 1902) and military actions against the Arabs during t he 1920s. I indicate earlier that my analysis provides three snapshots, points in British history during which the British Empire was sick (1956), dying (1982), and dead (2003). My decision to include more recent cases , rather than past cases, was informed by the desire to u ndertake a more timely analysis , rather than an historical exploration of Brit ish identity and legitimation . Keeping this in mind , either of the aforementioned cases would present an instance in which the British Empire was in a healthie r state, and thus provide a more expansive analysis of British legitimation of policy choice during security crises. S econd, my research design relies mostly upon House of Commons debates in lieu of other types of official discourse. While I include some F oreign Office and Cabinet Office documents in Chapter 3, these types of documents are not yet available for the cases I explore in Chapters 4 and 5 . The laws governing declassification of documents
249 in the United Kingdom provide that Cabinet papers are decl assified after thirty years, meaning that much of the information for the Falklands War has already been declassified, though there is quite a ways to go for the Iraq War (Public Records Act 1958). 2 Indeed, during this analysis I had to make a difficult ch oice as to whether or not to include government records available for the Suez Crisis (1956) that were not yet available for the Falklands or Iraq Wars (in 1982 and 2003 respectively). I chose to sacrifice consistency in favor of validity and robustness an d included records from the Suez Crisis, the type of which were not available for the other two. I did this because it made for a richer and more nuanced examination of the Suez Crisis while not necessarily undermining the larger aims of the project. Altho ugh I chose to limit my analysis to legitimation as processes of public justification, it would be a useful exercise to examine how House of Commons debates related to debates within other British institutions. Inclusion of these formerly classified docume nts may help to better elucidate the processes by which these foreign policy choices were legitimated privately to other members of the cabinet. Finally, during all three examined crises , the British decision was for military conflict over negotiation. In a traditional causal analysis this would violate one of the fundamental rules of political methodology , as it is a clear example of choosing cases based upon the dependent variable. As I have stressed in Chapters 1 and 2, this analysis does not seek to sub stitute for causal analysis, but rather, to complement it. 2 During the time I was researching this case, these documents, which can only be found at the British National Archive, were not available.
250 Although the research design does not deem it necessary , examination of an instance in which a military option was not chosen would provide an interesting comparison. Contributions to Existing Lite rature Exploration of legitimation as a phenomenon in international relation s has undergone a renaissance over the past fifteen years, extending its reach into mainstream IR scholarship (Mearsheimer 2011). Realists such as Mearsheimer have traditionally di minished the importance of legitimation in IR, arguing that exploring legitimation should take a back seat to traditional causal explanations of state behavior (Mearsheimer 2001). (2011) current work , rather than representing a break from his earlier assumptions, builds upon them in order to understand the reasons and means by which state leaders lie in order to realize the goals of state security . One reason, claims Mearsheimer, is the need to build both popular and government support for nec essary but potentially costly policies. By focusing on such an important question, Mearsheimer has unknowingly revealed ( and attempts to overcome ) a major gap in mainstream IR . As previously noted, the essence of politics in a democracy is convincing, or a ttempting to, convince other political agents of the necessity or desirability of one policy over another. Until the last 15 years, mainstream IR scholarship has either diminished the importance of this process, or assumed it as a necessary part of the for eign policy process while leaving it unpacked. Thus, this research builds upon prior scholarship in the field of legitimation in a number of ways. First, this work confirms many of the contentions of prior scholars regarding legitimation. Indeed, t he domin ant narratives proffered in Chapters 3 5 suggest that state leaders indeed seek to provide stable link s between identity and foreign policy
251 (Hansen 2006) . Yet, whereas Hansen (2006) suggests a stable link between identity and foreign policy is necessary, m y analysis demonstrates that both alternative and dominant narratives rely o n similar articulations of identity categories . Jackson (2006) makes a similar point by suggesting that legitimations rely upon what he t erms or terms th at have meaningful resonance for p olicy makers and publics alike. My analysis builds upon this scholarship by demonstrating that, while both dominant and alternative narratives rely upon these prior identities , the narratives themselves, and how these iden tities are constructed vis Ã vis partial and radical Others, for mer constructions of Selves, and in relation to a construction of the crisis itself, provide different meanings for these identities . As demonstrated earlier , Britain identity as a protector of international law may be employed to argue for or against military intervention. What truly matters is the way the story is presented, how the crisis is constructed, how previous identities and crises are understood and employed in the ments . These factors make the difference between legitimation of a military option and legitimation of a non conflictual policy options. In short, while legitimation is indelibly moored to identity, narratives provide the context in which identities are em ployed to legitimate foreign policies . Thus, one may not truly explore the role of identity in the process of legitimation without providing an account of narrative. Second, more nuanced analysis of legitimation necessitates not only the inclusion of narra tive, but the extension of the conceptual limits of identity in order to make it compatible with a narrative approach. Until recently, identity scholarship
252 conceived of relational identity in simple Self Other terms. These scholars argued that the Self is constituted through a relationship of difference with a radical Other (Connolly 1991; Campbell 1992; Doty 1996; Neumann 1999). Yet, as was demonstrated in Chapter 2, more recent scholarship has challenged the necessity of construction of identity in simple binary terms (Waever 1998; Hansen 2006). These analyses confirm that identity cannot be understood as a simplistic binary relationship of dif ference. While identity is indeed a relational phenomenon, the relational webs through which identities are cast a re often quite complex . As dem onstrated in Chapters 3 5, explanations for legitimations in war would be incomplete absent inclusions of partial Others and former Selves . Moreover , these constructions are often quite nuanced, historically grounded, and requ ire a careful and grounded empirical analysis. For example, during the Suez Crisis, the construction of Arab and Egyptian people as undependable and susceptible to demagoguery legitimated military action , lest Egypt be left in a position to create an Arab Empire . During the Iraq War, construction of the Iraqi people as victims of Saddam Hussein was similarly instrumental in legitimating war. Furthermore, as demonstrated in Chapter 4, explorations of the role of identity in must not relegate themselves to co ntemporary constructions of identity, but must instead explore how the current Self is often times constructed vis Ã vis a former Self (Waever 1998). The construction of British identity in relationship to a Britain in decline was instrumental in explainin g legitimation of the military option during the Falklands Crisis. Political events are almost unimaginably complex, and due to this, conceptualizations of identity in IR must be able to incorporate analysis of multiple actors and relationships as opposed to privileging singular oppositional relationships (i.e. the radical Self Other
253 binary ). The research design adopted in my analysis builds upon earlier work by providing an empirically grounded framework that accomplishes this. Finally, this project demons trates the possibility of a robust empirical analysis that incorporates both poststructural and social psychological insights. Recent po st st ructur al critiques of identity coincide with alternatives to simple Self Other models proffered by Jackson (2006) an d Steele (2008) among others. The significant overlap between the poststructural view of identity and the model I adopt suggests the possibi lity of cross pollination --narrative identity construction combined with a more complex analytical framework may pr ovide more useful approaches to identity in IR and its relationship to legitimation and understanding state behavior . Recent poststructural ist scholarship underscores this earlier oversimplification of identity in constructivism. critique from within the reflectivist turn for the way it has entrenched a fixed, 2006; Lynn Dot y 2000; Smith 2000; Zehfuss 2002 ). Thi s insight has prompted some to reject the study of identity as a category of inquiry altogether. Some scholars have suggested use u nderstand the ideational roots of statehood. For these scholars, the nothing more than an imaginary construct that the individual needs to believe in order to 2011, 8). the existence of alternative ontologies of identity that According to this view, what constitutes the
254 (Epstein 2011, 8 2011, 10). This is remarkably similar to the insights adopted throughout the mid 2000s by scholars relying on a socia l psychological approach. The biographical narrative approach to identity pioneered by Giddens (1991) and adopted by Steele (2008), while not requiring inclusion of reflection upon the Other in the construction upon the Self, does not preclude it. While ma ny compatibilities and potentialities for synthesis exist amongst these competing schools of thought, many scholars have failed to capitalize on these due to Poststructural ist conceptualizations of identity share more common ground with mainstream IR, such as those borrowed from Giddens , than many would care to admit . Often , useful syntheses are eschewed due to perceived incompatibilities , based in obscure, esoteric epistemologi cal and ontological points . The Lacanian treatment of identity forwarded by Epstein (2011) is functionally similar to the account of identity offered by Giddens (1991). exclusively from mainstream IR schola rs such as Lake. Some scholars argue that the epistemological moorings of poststructural ist scholarship do not preclude the possibility of rigorous research designs, prompting scholars such as Milliken (1999), Hansen (2006), and Epstein (2011) to attempt t o provide methodological standards for poststructural ist scholarship . By adopting and building upon attempts to construct rigorous, empirically driven poststructural ist works such as those of Hansen (2006) and Epstein (2011), and the adoption of the device of narrative in understanding identity
255 pioneered by Steele (2008), this project joins conversations in these two bodies of knowledge. Possibilities for Future Research The analysis offered in this project suggests that narratives and identity play an impo rtant role in legitimating foreign policy. Yet, this insight broaches further questions regarding the relationship between identity, narrative, and policy choice. First, the longitudinal method employed in this analysis may lend insight into shifts in Brit ish identity since the end of Empire . The analysis offered here provides a skeletal rubric which, of course, would need to be expanded and filled in. The research d esign offered in this project provides an explanation for identity change through temporal O thering a la Waever ( 1998) as an analytical method, and if extended, could provide fruitful insights into the nature of British identity. Second, the use of analogy in influencing foreign policy choice, while explored in the US context, has yet to be fully examined in the British context (Khong 1992). Since the so prominently in Chapters 3 5 , this begs the question of how analogies operate over time? Do their meaning s transmute through time , or do they remain constant? What role do es narrative p lay in constituting meaning in metaphor? In regards to the last question, analyses of the three crises provide evidence that analogies to the Munich Crisis figured prominently amongst both supporters of dominant and alternative narratives sug gesting that meanings of analogies may indeed be as contingent upon narrative context as identity . Third, the adoption of a narrative approach to state identity may provide a more complex understanding of how identities are constructed through time. The re lationship between time and the subject in IR has garnered recent scholarly attention (Solomon
256 2013). To begin, there is the question of how identity changes through time and the means by which this occurs. An important part of this story involves the capa city inherent in social beings for self reflexivity, or using previous knowledge and experience to continually reconstitute the bi ographical narrative upon which Self identity is based (Giddens 1991, 52 3). States qua social actors are unique as both produ cts of knowledge as well as produce rs of knowledge about themselves (Giddens 1984, 5; Steele 2008, 150). Therefore, states are self Th is means that prior biographical narratives, both proffered from within and without, are taken into account and influence r eformulations of state identity. Yet, by what means do these reformulations occur? Shame and guilt are two phenomena that bear direct ly on is essentially anxiety about the adequacy of the narrative by means of 1 991, 65). The role of self reflexive shame, as well as the role the academic communi ty plays in challenging the identity of the state, are two facets of international politics that have only recently been explored, but may provide significant insight into how state identity changes, and how this bears upon foreign policy (Steele 2010) . Br itain throughout the post World War II era would provide an excellent testing ground for these theories . Preliminary evidence in Chapter 4 suggests a significant role for the phenomenon of shame in the process of identity shift . Finally, the relationship o f narrative and time presents a n interesting puzzle , and one that has only recently been broached in IR . Further attention to this relationship
257 may lend insight into how c onstructions of time operate in legitimating or delegitimating foreign policy choices . by necessity, implies a representation of the time in which those events and experiences take place. The imp ortance of time and how it is represented has breathed new life into the constructivist approach to international relations over the past 10 years. Recent scholarship has delved into the construction of temporality and how it colors various topics such as the theory of classical realism (Steele and Hom 2010) and the US War on Terror (Debrix 2008; Jarvis 2009; Lundborg 2012; Solomon 2013; Steele 2010 ). Moreover, explorations into the role of temporality and formation of the subject suggest that the construct ion of the subject is ontologically bound to construction of time, as the full meaning of subjectivity understood in Lacanian terms as a string of signifiers is always, its retroactive e This constant reformation of subjectivity in time suggests that, though the subject strives for completeness, it is fantasy, the traces of which are made natural (Solomon 2013, 4; Zizeck 2002; Zizeck 1989, 102). fictions it creates for itself, fictions whic h are constantly reformulated according to the psychological needs of the agent . This means that the subject at present is occupied by the constant process of forming its past and its future. Berenskoetter argues that constructivists have heretofore been preoccupied with the past, though both conventio nal and critical constructivist
258 concerns are deeply pervaded with constructions of possible futures. He argues, l feature of the human condition meaningful by imagining . . . possible worlds been busy making prophecies of their own, how visions of the future affect decision Berenskoetter 2011, 652 655). As such, Berenskoetter examines the role of constructions of utopia in International Relations . How do constructions of future worlds re late to the past, and how does this relate to the concept of identity and narrative within the British context? Furthermore, how does this better help us understand international politics more broadly? biographical narratives during crises tend to by projecting one of two possible futures: either one that is completely dystopian (the worst of all possible worlds) or utopian (t he best of all possible worlds), and in doing so, tends to reduce the menu of possible policy options. For example, during the Suez Crisis, two of the cri sis. The first was one in which Britain had lost the canal, which included the probability of a vast British, possibly pro Soviet dictator with whom negotiations would be impossible. Contrast this to a fut ure in which military action had succeeded and Britain retained its influence in the region, perhaps gaining a more solid foothold and bolstering its regional allies. As might be expected , even though
259 the operation failed, the outcome was not as bad as the worst possible scenario. On the other hand, had it succeeded, this would surely not have stemmed the tide of nationalism and decolonization that was building during this period. The run up to the Iraq War provides an even starker example of these dystopia n and utopian futures: on the one hand, according armed Saddam Hussein was constituted as an existential threat to both the United States and the United Kingdom due to his connections with Islamic terrorism (despite the reco gnized lack of evidence of this). nuclear club would represent a significant reduction in British security. His elimination would not only remove an unreliable and unpredictable quantity from the Middle East , but also remove a brutal dictator that oppressed his own people, making way for a democratic revolution in the Middle East. While there is only preliminary evidence for this relationship, a more rigorous examination of the relationship between crises and dystopian and utopian futures, and how that influences legitimation of less conciliatory foreign policy choice offers the immense promise. Although futures matter, constructions of the future are ineluctably moored to constructions of the past, which them selves are moored to types of narrative . One need only look at how political scientists and historians create wholly artificial boundaries when constructing their works to understand the relationship between the two. Indeed, despite the description of libe ral politics as bound by a linear conception of time, it seems more accurate to describe liberalism as occurring in eschatological time, revelation of prophetic events. One only (1992) End
260 of History , which does not suggest linear progression, but rather that the last days are revealed to us through the occurrences of the end of the Cold War and the ushering in of a post historical liberal futu re, an end of politics. Or, perhaps, one's attention should be directed at constructions of time in globalization literature, which seems to confront the future through construction of a speeding up in time (the increasingly frenetic speed of interactions towards a singularity of sorts) that seems to suggest time is moving exponentially more rapidly. The point of all this is to suggest that men make weave the notion that our human creativity is inescapably pervaded with what we've witnessed before us. If this is indeed the case, then an examination of narratives and their treatment of time may bring us closer to understanding the implications of not only t he construction of identity, but how those identities are coupled with constructions of time, and how these dual constructions act to inform policies. All this is to suggest that even scholars for whom the recent focus on temporality in interna tional relat ions are not immune from the anxiety of influence, as Hayward Alker, writing in 1987 suggested, in a wonderfully poetic moment: neither is it an inevitable tragedy, one that encompasses a ll of Western civilization or the Alker prompted us to think about the constraints that inform our constructions of past of futures, of narratives altogether. I do not want to suggest that we are indelibly bound by a few stock nar ratives tragedy, comedy, utopia or dystopia but rather that these narrative structures ineluctably influence our thinking. White (1987) argues that what makes an historical narrative a true narrative, rather
261 than a chronicle or a set of annals, is th e promise of continuity; it is the notion that the prior narrative suggests a future route, pervaded throughout with a normative position. Part of what is accomplished in my prior analysis is to show that identity is not constructed absent influence of his tory and historical instantiations of that identity. Yet, thus we are bound, perhaps by nature, perhaps by cultural proclivities, to be born back ceaselessly into t he us e of narrative. A renewed agenda in IR would examine how a common tropes represent identity and time in narrative, and what this allows the person formulating that narrative to legitimately do. It would balance the exigencies of understanding the world, wi th the imperatives of changing it, and forge a pos ition for the critical scholar as the purveyor of alternative narratives and alternative ethics of international relations. Th e answ Therefore, the intersecti on of identity, morality, and temporality immense promise for the future of the discipline of IR.
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279 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Stuart Strome began his academic career at Florida Atlantic University in 2001 . Switching majors from music to political science, Dr. Strome graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2005. From there, Dr. Strome w as employed with the American Cancer Society in Broward County Fl orida , assisting in community organization efforts . Dr. Strome began his matriculation at the University of Florida in 2007, initially pursuing a Master of Arts degr ee in political science with a concentration in international relations . In 2008, Dr. Strome was accepted to the University of Florida Department of Political Science doctoral program majoring in political science with a concentration in international rela tions. Having graduated in August 2014 with his Ph.D., Dr. Strome is currently employed as a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Florida as well as a Senior Consultant for Spranza LLC Consulting.