Healing the scar?
in Britain and Africa under Blair
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This chapter examines what Africa means to actors clustered around the state: MPs, officials and those working with them during the Tony Blair era. How is British policy in Africa different from policy in other parts of the world? Why does Britain engage in it? What do the actors involved get out of it? British engagement in Africa is represented as being driven by moral compulsion, in contrast to other parts of foreign policy which are discussed more in terms of British interests or political questions. Under New Labour, Africa gradually came to embody the ethical dimension of foreign policy, and speeches, statements and publications by Labour ministers reinforce this perspective. Speeches from the Conservative and Liberal Democrat leaders and development spokespeople could as easily have been made by members of the government. Was there a consciousness that the three main political parties were broadly in line over Africa? Was this something they found difficult or that they enjoyed? This chapter argues that Britain's Africa policy can be viewed as representing a sense of the good state.

Britain and Africa under Blair

In pursuit of the good state

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