The strategic defence review 1998: Politics, power and influence in government decisions
Grattan, R., Parry, G. and O'Regan, N. (2011) The strategic defence review 1998: Politics, power and influence in government decisions. Working Paper. University of the West of England, Bristol.
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This study explores the UK Strategic Defence Review [SDR] 1997/98 from a strategy process perspective. The review in contrast to previous reviews was intended to be transparent and policy rather than resource led. The paper adopts a case study approach based on interviews with the leading figures involved, and supplemented with reference to Parliamentary documents and information from the Ministry of Defence’s files provided under the Freedom of Information Act. The analysis shows that the review went relatively smoothly but that a number of factors influenced the final strategy; politics (political decisions, the Treasury), power (civil servants and strong stakeholders) and influence (participants in meetings). The intention to return to a foreign policy base line was eschewed in favour of last minute adjustments and compromises. Finally the review process is considered in the light of strategic decision making models drawn from the extant literature.