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On 5 December 2014, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate the following motion:

“that this House takes note of the role of soft power and non-military options in conflict prevention”

This Library Note provides background reading for the debate in the House of Lords on 5 December 2014 on the role of soft power and non-military options in conflict prevention. It includes information on the different conflicts taking place across the World in the 21st Century and on some of the trends that have emerged over recent years in the types of conflicts being fought. It also provides information on soft power and non-military action, using the definition of soft power developed by the House of Lords Select Committee on Soft Power and the UK’s Influence. The Note goes on to summarise the policies of the United Nations, the European Union, the Commonwealth and the UK Government that are intended to prevent conflict. This includes information on the Government’s attempts to target aid towards fragile states and its use of the Conflict Pool. It also includes a summary of parliament scrutiny of the effectiveness of the Government’s current policies, and recent policy proposals from the Opposition.

Documents to download

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