Teemu Häkkinen, Ph.D. Candidate

E-mail: teemu.hakkinen(a)jyu.fi

Funded by project ”Parliamentary means of conflict resolution in 20th century Britain” (Department of History and Ethnology and Academy of Finland)

The British Parliament and its role in Britain’s decision-making in going to war in 1982-2003 from viewpoints of argumentation and advising

In my doctoral dissertation, I shall concentrate on the British decision-making process in the decisions on going to war in 1982-2003 and in the political debate surrounding the decisions. In the British political system, the government led by the Prime Minister has a royal prerogative to wage war and the Parliament has no official role in the decisions to wage war.  This gives an interesting perspective to study. The prerogative rights have been recently under discussion in Britain, and this may in time result some changes to the British constitution by giving more power to the elected Parliament.

I shall compare different major military conflicts and Parliament’s ability to participate in decision-making processes by means of analyzing arguments used and advises given in the parliamentary debates. Attention will be paid both to House of Commons and to the House of Lords. 

Major military conflicts to be studied are the Falklands War in 1982, the Gulf Crisis of 1990-1991 and the Iraq War which started in 2003. These three military conflicts will provide the suitable topics for comparative study. The analysis will employ the methods of political history and the history of political thought.

I shall participate to the project “Politics of Dissensus” by participating to different workshops and team meetings. My research subject relates closely to the topics studied in this project, and as a doctoral student of the Department of History and Ethnology I find it useful to exchange views and knowledge with people who work with topics under political science.