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Here's another analysis.  I can't access the whole paper.

2. Dyson, Stephen. and Lawrence, Brianna. "Blair's War: Institutional and Individual Determinants of the British Choice in Iraq" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2005-03-05 Online <.PDF>. 2007-05-10
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper seeks to explain the Blair administration's decision to support the United States in the 2003 Iraq war. The paper develops a framework for the explanation of foreign policy decisions in Britain based upon a model of institutional structure, the resources of key decision makers, and the individual characteristics of the prime minister (Dyson, 2003; 2004; Rhodes, 1990, 1995; Kaarbo, 1998). METHOD: Content analysis of the universe of Tony Blair's responses to foreign policy questions in the House of Commons from 1997-2004 is used to measure his individual characteristics, which are operationalized through Margaret G. Hermann's Leadership Trait Analysis technique (Hermann, 1980, 1983, 1999). The structure of the administration's decision making, and the strategies employed by actors within this structure, are reconstructed through a content analysis of British and international press accounts located through the lexis-nexus search engine. RESULTS: In terms of institutional structure and resources, the paper finds that key members of Blair's cabinet, such as Robin Cook and Clair Short, both opposed the war and utilized resources available to them such as public opposition, the leaking of information and resignation from ministerial posts, in order to seek to frustrate Blair's policy goals. Other actors, such as Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, were personally uneasy about the policy and the prime minister was required to expend significant political capital in order to secure their support. Indeed, had Blair been a less dominant prime minister prior to the Iraq war, it is unlikely that he would have been able to secure the support of his cabinet and of parliament in the endeavor. In terms of individual characteristics of the prime minister, Blair is measured as significantly higher than other modern British Prime Ministers in belief in ability to control events, suggesting a proactive orientation to foreign policy, and significantly lower in conceptual complexity, suggesting a black and white view of the world which accorded well with the Bush administration's framing of the Iraq situation. The findings suggest that explaining the British decision to go to war alongside America requires an understanding of both the institutional structure of British foreign policy making, the resources possessed by key actors within this structure, and the individual characteristics of the Prime Minister.

by zoe on Thu May 10th, 2007 at 05:08:21 PM EST
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