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The Operational Code of Tony Blair: Did he experience Learning, Stability or Change in his Belief System during the period he was Prime Minister?
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The intention of this project is to examine whether or not; Anthony Charles Lynton "Tony" Blair, experienced any belief changes or learning, during the period he was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), a period which lasted 10 years commencing 1997 until 2007. Our analysis will cover a timeline beginning from 1999 a point in time when the UK participated in NATO’s Operation Allied Force during the Kosovo War until 2006 when Britain took on the reins of the EU presidency for a six-month period.

An exploration, of the beliefs behind a leader’s decision making logic, should always be considered a prudent undertaking especially when it comes to foreign policy studies. This is because, it is only through such activity scholars can comprehend the distinction between decisions and actions. Thus, understanding when and how; an individual leaders’ belief system changes, is of central importance in furthering our ability in explaining not only state behaviour, but, also the relationship between ‘self’ and ‘other’. The main purpose of an operational code analysis is to enable political scientists and policy makers alike, to deduce from a particular leader’s verbal content, what that actor's beliefs are and the premises they take in relation to their decision-making process.

The first of our two part hypotheses seeks to determine whether Tony Blair exhibited changes in his beliefs at various stages of his premiership. These stages were signified by events which were also crucial in defining his political legacy. The events are divided into three categories, Post Kosovo – Pre Iraq, Pre 9/11 – Post 9/11 and Pre EU – Post EU. On completion of our VICS and SPSS analysis on Tony Blair’s operational code belief we discovered that there were no statistically significant changes in any of his operational indices. So, due to the lack of statistically significant changes in Blair’s Philosophical and Instrumental indices we could not classify the events selected for this analysis as having produced any influence on his belief system. Thus we rejected our null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 78 p.
Keyword [en]
Operational code, analysis, Tony Blair, statistical significance, Philosophical, Instrumental, Belief system, Foreign Policy, Other, Self, Kosovo, Iraq, 9/11, EU.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30510OAI: diva2:943474
Subject / course
Political Science
, Södertörn University, Stockholm
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2016-06-28 Created: 2016-06-27 Last updated: 2016-06-28Bibliographically approved

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