Rehabilitating the ‘nasty party’?
The Conservative Party and Africa from opposition to government
in Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century
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Under David Cameron’s leadership from 2005 the Conservative Party embarked upon a campaign to rebrand the Party in the minds of voters. In the arena of international policy, a commitment to meet development spending targets and to maintain a separate Department for International Development marked significant shifts in Conservative approaches. Despite this, there is little analysis of the role of international development in rebranding, repositioning and redefining the Party. Even less attention has been paid to the particular role that Africa plays in these processes, in sharp contrast to extensive research on Africa’s role in relation to the self-identification and projected images of Labour Governments and leaders. This chapter begins to fill this gap. It analyses party documents, speeches by members of Cameron’s inner circle, and commentaries by Conservative media and the wider UK press to explore how Africa has featured in a narrative of change in relation to Conservative Party identity. In doing so it considers the role of Africa in defining a new Conservative identity as projected at three levels: within the Party, to potential voters and on an international stage.

Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century

Between ambition and pragmatism

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