chapter  5
30 Pages

The re-emergence of defence as a political issue

During the 1980s defence re-emerged as a major political controversy in Western Europe after a long period in which there had been a broad consensus on defence between governments and a considerable lack of interest in defence within. domestic politics. This dramatic change was caused by developments outside Europe in the realm of relations between the superpowers and, to a lesser extent, by changes within Western Europe itself. The impact of defence manifested itself in two political arenas: first in foreign and security policy where new and difficult security issues emerged, and second in domestic politics where sharp differences divided publics. Externally and at home defence assumed the highest political salience.