An examination of the formulation and implementation of British defence policy, 1979-89.
This thesis seeks to examine the evolution of defence policy within the MoD during the
period 1979-89. It focuses on the dynamics of policy formulation and implementation within
the MoD at the highest level, taking into account the political context, both d~mestic and
international, in which defence policy evolved. It shows how the different dimensions to
policy: declaratory, military strategy and procurement, interacted with one another and
concludes that no single dimension was dominant for the entire period.
To undertake this task the thesis uses the concept of concentric time-cycles operating
within the Ministry of Defence. This provides a means of understanding: firstly, the
objectives and priorities of the various actors involved; and secondly, the areas of policy they
were most able to influence. It gives a clear understanding of how policy evolved within the
MoD over a specific period of time and the factors that lay behind these changes. In
particular, it shows that the way in which the various actors thought was generally a reflection
of the time-cycle they were in.