Globalisation, Citizenship and the War on Terror

Globalisation, Citizenship and the War on Terror

Edited by Maurice Mullard and Bankole A. Cole

This book explores globalisation and the war on terror in a world that is becoming increasingly and significantly polarised and in which dialogue is undermined. The authors contend that citizenship does not obey a static definition, and that its meaning is located in changing economic, social and political contexts. Equally, civil, political and social rights are continually being politically defined. The war on terror has, the book argues, influenced issues of civil liberties and prioritised the need for ‘security’ over and above the protection of human rights: it has redefined the meaning of the rule of law.

Chapter 7: Citizenship, Rights and Tony Blair’s Doctrine of International Community

Colin Tyler

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, politics and public policy, human rights, international politics, international relations, terrorism and security


1 Colin Tyler INTRODUCTION G.W.F. Hegel observed in 1821 that, ‘the declining nation . . . loses its autonomy, or it may still exist, or drag out its existence, as a particular state or a group of states and involve itself without rhyme or reason in manifold enterprises at home and battles abroad’ (Hegel, 1821, sec. 347R). Alex Callinicos (2001, p. 96, also chs 3 and 4) has made much the same point in a contemporary context: ‘Britain has waged a series of colonial wars since 1945. Carrying these on in the name of human rights may help give its rulers a sense that they continue to bestride the globe. Continuing also to act as Washington’s closest and most obedient ally . . . may strengthen this illusion. But an illusion it remains’. In May 2003, Tony Blair was even awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of the UK’s support of US-led action in Afghanistan and Iraq. Even though the bill’s sponsor claimed that ‘Tony Blair is a hero’, the Prime Minister did not collect the award, possibly out of fear of the potential domestic political damage doing so might cause (Hollingshead, 2006). With these thoughts in mind, this chapter analyses Tony Blair’s doctrine of the international community, which, for many years, has been the ideology officially underpinning much of New Labour’s foreign policy. In this way, it assesses the Blair government’s self-image as a civilising power in the world. The next section argues that the political dimensions of this ideal of international relations...

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