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Question: What does David Cameron’s recent victory mean for Britain’s role in the world?

Jim Hoge: Britain’s role in the world regardless of who is in the government has been in a declining state for a long time and still is.  My opinion and that of a number of people sort of in the government, but it’s my opinion, as long as they hold off becoming a part of Europe in a very sustained way across the whole border currency and everything they’re going to continue to decline and will be more and more a small island nation with a big past.  If they join Europe and we see an interest in reinvigorating the European American relationship to be sort of an entity at the top of the international system that is comparable in size both in terms of population and in terms of economics with a continuingly rising China and a continually rising Indian and ultimately a continuing rising Brazil then they have a future, but it’s a multilateral future.  It’s not an individual future.  If they don’t do that, if they stick with the Tory Government’s idea that they should be hands off about Europe except for some things here and there I think they’re a diminishing power in the world and the idea that there will be a special relationship between the US and Britain will begin to fade.  The more likely special relationship if there has to be one between us and just a nation in Europe is going to be between us and Germany.  Germany has once again by far the most powerful and prosperous and successful country in Europe and we have to keep that in mind as we go forward.  Now as to does this coalition government represent something new in British politics, they’ve had them before, but not in a long time.  I think it does represent something somewhat new.  The two old parties, labor and the Tories have lost a great deal of trust and allegiance from the British public.  The British public is ready for more than a two party system.  They’re ready for a more European system of a number of parties and we may see that begin to flourish even more if this coalition government is successful.

Recorded May 28, 2010
Interviewed by Jessica Liebman


Britain Needs to Join the Euro

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