King's College London

Research portal

Scares, Panics, and Strategy: The Politics of Security and British Invasion Scares before 1914

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-473
Number of pages32
Issue number3
Accepted/In press13 Apr 2021
Published29 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This work presented in this paper was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51208503). Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

King's Authors


This study examines whether “invasion scares” before 1914 period had an impact on the course of British strategy. It shows that contemporary observers perceived a clear link between the ways in which British society depicted and understood issues of strategy and the ways in which the state could prepare for and conduct a future war. This was particularly so when it came to the language used to describe issues of security in Britain and the ideological consensus that these discourses reflected. The prominent place of discussions about how to defend the British Isles against invasion before 1914 therefore convinced some observers that Briton’s preoccupation with passive defence was rendering the nation vulnerable by robbing it of the capacity to adopt credible policies of deterrence and offensive action.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454