Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century provides the first analysis of the state of UK Africa policy in the era of austerity, Conservative government and Brexit. It explores how Britain’s relationship with Africa has evolved since the days of Blair, Brown and Make Poverty History and examines how a changing UK political environment, and international context, has impacted upon this long-standing – and deeply complex – relationship. This edited collection provides an indispensable reference point for researchers and practitioners interested in contemporary UK–Africa relations and the broader place of Africa in British politics and foreign policy. Across twelve chapters, the book’s contributors examine how far UK Africa policy has been transformed since the fall of the 1997–2010 Labour Government and how far Conservative, or Conservative-led, Governments have reshaped and re-cast links with the continent. The book includes analyses of UK approaches to diplomacy, security, peacekeeping, trade and international development in, or with, Africa. The contributions, offered by UK- and Africa-based scholars and practitioners, nonetheless take a broader perspective on UK–Africa relations, examining the changing perspectives, policies and actions of political parties, advocacy groups and the UK population itself. The authors argue that the Afro-optimism of the Blair years no longer provides the guiding framework for UK engagement with Africa. It has not, however, been replaced by an alternative paradigm, leaving significant space for different forms of relationship to be built, or reconstructed. The book includes a foreword by Chi Onwurah MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Africa.
This chapter considers the impact of the Trade Justice Movement (TJM) on broader debates on African development. TJM became one of the three pillars of the Make Poverty History (MPH) coalition which played such a key role in 2005 in shaping understanding within the UK of the main barriers to African development. Often perceived as the poor relation of the MPH coalition, TJM’s focus on the rules of global trade added a crucial structural dimension to the diagnosis of African poverty and underdevelopment. In assessing the influence of TJM since its formation in 2000, the chapter considers three important dimensions. First, the concept ‘trade justice’ itself, how this has been framed and in particular how it relates to ‘fair trade’. Secondly, the organisational challenges faced by TJM given the wide range of non-governmental organisations involved and the changes in the composition of the UK Government since 2010. Thirdly, the focus of TJM’s advocacy is assessed and in particular the extent to which African development has featured in its campaigning since the dissolution of MPH. The chapter’s central argument is that TJM’s impact has been largely discursive rather than achieving significant changes in UK policy.
The promise and pitfalls of studying foreign policy as public
Chapter 10, by Juliet Kaarbo, summarizes the main findings of the preceding
chapters on the selected public policy approaches and draws out key insights
from public policy research that can be transferred to FPA. The chapter
argues that bringing public policy approaches into FPA holds the promise of
theoretical and methodological innovation in the field, widens the scope of
FPA, helps exploring novel connections between the internal and the external
in policy-making and invites reflections on the nature of foreign policy. At
the same time, the conclusion discusses possible pitfalls of linking the
fields of Public Policy and FPA, for example the dangers of adding to the
theoretical incoherence in FPA and of further distancing the subfield from
International Relations. Finally, the chapter provides suggestions for
future research at the interface between public and foreign policies.
Danielle Beswick, Jonathan Fisher and Stephen R. Hurt
This chapter reviews and summarises the main findings of the collection and their implications for scholarship and policy. The chapter highlights some critical changes in emphasis in UK Africa policy since 2010, including divergences in emphasis and policy around trade across the three main UK political parties and a growing fracture in the 1997–2010 political consensus around UK development policy. In these cases, as with wider UK Africa policy, Brexit has represented a critical point of reference. The chapter also explores continuities in UK Africa policy since 1997 (and before), particularly in the realm of security and wider UK–Africa diplomacy. The chapter concludes by exploring the implications of the collection’s findings for understanding broader power dynamics in the UK–Africa relationship and for future policy itself.
This chapter reviews UK–Africa engagement since the late 1990s and assesses its drivers, successes and limitations. It looks at the implications of these factors for future policy, especially post-Brexit, and assesses how Africa will fit into emerging UK foreign policy in this new domestic and international policy environment. The chapter draws on policy discussions, fieldwork, and policy and academic publications on UK–Africa relations. It also benefits from ongoing research and engagement on UK Africa policy conducted at Chatham House. The author, Dr Alex Vines, has been Head of Chatham House’s Africa Programme since 2002.
Chapter 4, by Jonathan J. Pierce and Katherine C. Hicks, covers the advocacy
coalition framework (ACF). The ACF was developed by Paul Sabatier and Hank
Jenkins-Smith in the 1980s to help explain the policy process during
contentious policy-making. The main insight the theory has provided is how
actors collaborating together in coalitions seek to transform their beliefs
into policy by using their resources and various strategies. More
specifically, this chapter discusses how the components of the ACF such as
policy subsystem, policy core beliefs, coalitions, and policy change are
identified and operationalized in order to demonstrate the strengths and the
weaknesses of applying the ACF to foreign policy. In its empirical section,
the chapter analyzes coalition stability among competing international
coalitions over time by applying the ACF to the US government’s decision to
support the partition of Palestine under United Nations (UN) Resolution 181
This edited volume examines how and under which conditions foreign policy
analysis can be enriched by “domestic realm” public policy approaches, concepts,
and theories. Public policy scholars dealing with the analysis of domestic
policy fields, such as social and economic policy, interior affairs, or
environmental policy, use a broad array of heuristics, concepts, and theories,
including, for example, multiple streams, advocacy coalition or punctuated
equilibrium approaches. However, the possible contribution of such approaches to
the analysis of foreign policy has yet to be fully explored. With this purpose
in mind, this edited volume devotes a chapter each on a selection of arguably
the most important domestic public policy approaches and examines their
transferability and adaptability to foreign policy analysis. Thereby the book
points out how bridging the intra-disciplinary divide between the analysis of
public policy and foreign policy can enrich foreign policy studies and shows how
exactly foreign policy analysis can benefit from broadening its instruments for
analysis. The edited volume also discusses under what conditions such a transfer
is less promising due to the “sui generis” character of foreign policy.
Danielle Beswick, Niheer Dasandi, David Hudson and Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson
This chapter examines how the images and representations used in fundraising appeals by international development non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have shaped UK public attitudes towards Africa, Africans and UK–Africa relations. Despite efforts at change, many charity appeals make widespread use of shocking images of African children, devoid of any broader context, in order to induce the viewer to donate. In doing so, they have helped produce a narrative around UK–Africa relations in which the UK public is cast as the ‘powerful giver’ and Africans are portrayed as ‘grateful receivers’. NGOs face a dilemma: negative representations allow organisations to raise funds that enable them to support vulnerable people in Africa and around the world; but they also negatively influence and shape attitudes of the British public towards poverty in Africa more generally. Through an analysis of a recent Oxfam campaign and reporting on new research using survey experiments, the chapter shows that by appealing to more positive emotions, such as hope and solidarity, NGOs can both raise funds for development work, and help to change the narrative around UK–Africa relations.
UK Africa policy in the twenty-first century: business as usual?
Danielle Beswick, Jonathan Fisher and Stephen R. Hurt
This chapter introduces, and sets out the rationale for, the edited collection, which examines the extent to which UKAfrica policy has taken on a distinctive character since the end of the New Labour era (1997–2010). The central argument advanced is that there is a need for scholars to explore the connections between different domestic and international drivers of UK Africa policy if they are to better understand the relationships between Britain and Africa, as well as the successes and failures of efforts to influence policy in this area. The chapter outlines the main areas of focus for the collection, and reviews and synthesises existing literature on the UK–Africa relationship. The authors situate the collection within three areas of inquiry: change and continuity in UK interests in Africa (instrumentalisation), power dynamics within UK–Africa relationships (agency) and the place of Africa in domestic UK politics (identity).
Klaus Brummer, Sebastian Harnisch, Kai Oppermann and Diana Panke
The introductory chapter outlines the rationale behind the edited volume,
defines core concepts, introduces the analytical template along which the
individual chapters are structured, and provides brief summaries of the
individual chapters. Its point of departure is that foreign policy has in
many ways become more similar to (and intertwined with) “ordinary” public
policies. This is true for the actors involved in the policy-making process
as well as for the scope of domestic political contestation around
policy-making. Nonetheless, a divide still persists regarding the analysis
of policy-making processes and substantive policies in foreign affairs on
the one hand and virtually all other public policies on the other hand.
Against this background, this chapter argues that FPA has much to benefit
from more systematically taking on board scholarship in Public Policy. This
allows to broaden the conceptual toolbox for the analysis of state policies
toward external events and topics, and to capture the real-world shifts and
developments in the domestic and international environment of foreign