British entry to the European Community, 1970-4, and the cognitive paradigm of foreign policy changes
This thesis is about change in foreign policy. It aims to develop the case study of Britain's entry to the European Community and theoretical perspectives of foreign policy change in a mutually helpful way. It contends that foreign policy change cannot be understood without both a theory of the international system and a theory of how governments make decisions and interact. A case will be made for adopting a cognitive theory of decision-making within a critical perspective of international structures. Where other approaches often force accounts of change into an analytical mould of movement towards a well-defined and predictable equilibrium, the critical/cognitive combination allows hypotheses to be formed about the uncertainties, imperfections and inchoateness of change. The case of British entry to the European Community, 1970-4, will illustrate the value of such hypotheses.