The British Labour Party, Transnational Influences and European Community Membership, 1960–1973

The British Labour Party, Transnational Influences and European Community Membership, 1960–1973


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Current studies of the British Labour Party and the question of European Community (EC) membership are characterized by a striking absence of approaches combining the many transnational processes and contexts in which attitudes to the post-war European integration process developed, the application of non-British sources, and a close and archive-based analysis of the leadership's perceptions of joining the EC during the whole period 1960–73. As a result, this book addresses issues arising from processes and contexts in transnational arenas and questions related to continuity and change in attitudes to British EC membership.

To a considerable extent it differentiates existing accounts of the British Labour Party's European policy up until Britain joined the EC in 1973. While establishing a correlation between intensified and restructured transnational social democratic networking and evolving perceptions of EC membership within the party leadership, it also demonstrates greater continuity in the party's European policies than existing studies have allowed. The book also clearly demonstrates that cross-border networking is an essential and often-neglected factor when explaining changed perceptions of supranational European integration during the period.

"Kristian Steinnes has written a fascinating and illuminating study that greatly enhances our understanding of the manifold influences on the Labour Party’s European policy in the 1960s"

Mathias Haeussler, Journal of European Integration History, 2016/1

"a remarkable methodological achievement"

Lindsay Aqui, Oxford University Press Journals 27- 2, 2016