The Politics of the Strategic Defence and Security Review: Centralisation and Cuts



This article examines the politics of the October 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), focussing on the points of difference between the main political parties (and within the Cameron coalition government) and the political dynamics of the review process. In examining how the government's core mission to reduce the country's ‘historic deficit’ impacted on the review process and outcomes, we are also able to highlight the practical results of a political philosophy that is currently being implemented across Whitehall. We argue that defence is a path-finding policy area for a new kind of post-industrial bureaucratic environment typified by a ‘thin-client’ and ‘smart customer’ function that interacts with industry.