Political Legitimacy and Celebrity Politicians: Tony Blair as Middle East Envoy 2007–2015

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


After Tony Blair resigned as the United Kingdom’s prime minster in June 2007, he was appointed as the official envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East. His appointment was marred with controversy not the least with regard to his suitability for the role and his performance as peace envoy, with many observers questioning his ethical credentials. The EU along with the US, Russia and the UN make up the Quartet and funded Blair’s office until 2012. With the US and the EU as the key regional players in this conflict, Blair became an embodiment of these players in this specific role. This article employs critical discourse analysis to nuance whether Tony Blair’s role as Middle East envoy, and as an embodiment of the EU, was indeed a legitimate one in terms of achieving at least some of its stated aims, particularly those pertaining to the Palestinians who live under Israel’s colonization. It does so by engaging with the work of John Street and more broadly the literature on celebrity politicians and by counterbalancing this conceptual framework with a critical reflection on Blair’s time as Middle East envoy.


External organisations
  • Roskilde University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


  • Celebrity, celebrity politician, critical discourse analysis: Israel, Middle East envoy, occupied Palestinian territories, Palestine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-398
JournalMiddle East Critique
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch