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Thinking Ahead: David Cameron, the Henry Jackson Society and British Neo-conservatism

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Abstract

The Conservative party under David Cameron's leadership has embarked on a series of foreign policy initiatives which appear to revise the political right's traditional reluctance to interfere in third-party conflicts with no obvious British interest. This article looks at whether this shift is substantial through an examination of Cameron's and William Hague's foreign policy pronouncements. Its particular focus is to discuss whether the Henry Jackson Society, a group of academics, parliamentarians and journalists, is exercising any influence over Conservative party foreign policy discussion. Finally, we consider how critics including individuals associated with the Henry Jackson Society have evaluated Cameron's and Hague's tentative interventionist convictions. It is suggested that the notion that idealism in foreign policy has to be conditioned by realism is actually a reworking of Blair's foreign policy, especially when applied to overseas intervention.

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