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Gresham College: Prof. Vernon Bogdanor – Postwar Political Crises in Britain – #6/6 – 2003 The Iraq War


This series from 2015 is most interesting, even if you do not necessarily accept Bogdanor’s perceptions and interpretations of the events.

About this series

A series of lectures to analyse six political crises since 1945, crises which shook the British political system.

This lecture

Britain and the United States had long been fearful that Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq, was developing weapons of mass destruction in breach of the armistice agreement which had ended the first Gulf war in 1991. After the terrorist attack on the United States on 11 September 2001, President Bush determined on regime change, a policy first announced by his predecessor, President Clinton. Britain’s Labour government, led by Prime Minister, Tony Blair, as well as the Conservative opposition, supported the United States. There was, however, considerable opposition to the war, opposition which appeared justified when no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. The Iraq war led many to feel that government was insufficiently accountable to Parliament, and it increased popular distrust of political leaders, a distrust which remains today.

Vernon Bogdanor CBE

Vernon Bogdanor CBE is Emeritus Gresham Professor of Law, current Visiting Gresham Professor of Political History, Research Professor at King’s College London, a Fellow of the British Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Prior to 2010, Professor Bogdanor was a Fellow of Brasenose College and Professor of Government at Oxford University.

He has been an adviser to a number of governments, including those of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Israel and Slovakia. His books include The People and the Party System, Multi-Party Politics and the Constitution, Power and the People, and Devolution in the United Kingdom. He is a frequent contributor to TV, radio and the press and is a sometimes special advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities (1982-83), and the House of Commons Public Service Committee. Most recently he was awarded the Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies by the Political Studies Association.

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