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Policy rethinking in opposition

The chapter presents an empirically original account of the evolution of UK Labour Party international development policy, and Africa’s place within that, in the Party’s years of opposition from 2010–17. The chapter explores the significant processes of policy development which took place during these years and draws on archival research and interviews with key politicians. It argues that the Party has used the Sustainable Development Goals and a renewed focus on inequality to move policy beyond the Blair–Brown era. The chapter identifies constraints on this policy rethinking, including internal party politics and processes, rapid turnovers of shadow secretaries of state and an increasingly hostile external environment. Continuing tensions in policy remain to be resolved if Labour is to meet the challenge of developing an effective left-of-centre policy programme for Africa.

in Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century

This chapter analyses the interactions between the Enough Food If campaign and the Conservative Governments. The chapter contextualises this interaction as a novel political interaction, between a Party historically disinterested in international development and a coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which has mainly associated with the liberal left. Both sides effectively addressed their traditional distance by using the coalition to generate a certain kind of success story. For the NGOs this was a way of addressing a difficult political coalition post-Make Poverty History. For the Conservatives, their association with the campaign generated an image of justice-seeking and value-driven Conservatism in an age of tax evasion, austerity and poverty. The salient outcomes of this comity were that the campaign itself did not capture the public imagination nor generate a clear and demanding political agenda. Its successes were overwhelmingly Party and coalition-based, not policy or mobilisation-based.

in Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century
Spyros Blavoukos

Chapter 2, by Spyros Blavoukos, covers the multiple streams approach (MSA). The core objective of this contribution is to examine how MSA fares in the foreign policy realm and whether it is relevant and appropriate for the study of foreign policy. Kingdon’s seminal work on public policy-making conceptualizes public policy as the intersection of three different streams (problem, policy, politics). Against this background, the theoretical component of this chapter provides an overview of the approach and discusses its transferability. The empirical thrust of the contribution derives from the analysis of two major foreign policy shifts, namely the first ever substantial Israeli–Palestinian agreement in the early 1990s that led to the Oslo Accords and the Greek–Turkish rapprochement in the late 1990s, which resulted in the substantial upgrading of the EU–Turkish relationship.

in Foreign policy as public policy?
Christopher Ansell and Jacob Torfing

Chapter 7, by Christopher Ansell and Jacob Torfing, introduces the Network Approach. This chapter first defines the network concept, sets out the core features of the network approach and explains how and why it has emerged as an alternative lens for understanding policy-making in dispersed and interactive settings that defy description in terms of the traditional hierarchy–market dichotomy. It then compares different theories and methods for understanding policy and governance networks and discusses how these networks can be instrumental for enhancing knowledge sharing, improving inter-organizational and cross-sector coordination, and solving wicked and unruly problems in ways that both increase effectiveness and democratic legitimacy. Subsequently, the chapter describes how and why the network approach is applicable to foreign policy-making and assesses the scope conditions and merits and limits of applying the approach. It argues that the network approach is useful for analyzing how states formulate, implement, and diffuse foreign policy in response to domestic interests and global problems and events. Finally, the chapter provides a more extended example of how the network approach is applicable to core concerns of foreign policy. The example illustrates the role of networks in facilitating political cooperation to prevent nuclear proliferation.

in Foreign policy as public policy?
Siegfried Schieder

Chapter 6, by Siegfried Schieder, covers new institutionalism (NI). The purpose of this chapter is to bridge the gap between the sub-discipline of FPA and NI, providing new insights into how the former can benefit from the various strands of the latter. To do so, this chapter examines NI as one of the most prominent research program in the field of public policy analysis and presents an overview of how NI in its rational, sociological, historical, and discursive variants have been applied to research on FPA and what their contribution is to this field. While FPA can be enriched by all four forms of NI, much of the relevant literature employs either rational institutionalism or a more sociological approach. To bring out the promise of NI in FPA, the chapter then looks at how historical institutionalism may be able to explain the United States’ decision to impose sanctions on Russia in response to the Ukraine crisis in 2014.

in Foreign policy as public policy?
Katja Biedenkopf and Alexander Mattelaer

Chapter 8, by Katja Biedenkopf and Alexander Mattelaer, covers policy diffusion. It argues that the analytical lens of interdependent policy decisions and mutual influence among foreign policy-makers can add a useful angle to FPA. More specifically, the focus of this chapter is on policy diffusion and transfer as independent variables in the analysis of foreign policy choices. The chapter starts with outlining policy diffusion and transfer as public policy approaches and then has a section that proposes how these two concepts could enrich FPA. The fourth section illustrates the application of a policy diffusion lens to foreign policy decisions, namely the case of planning doctrine for military crisis response operations. It explores the historical origins of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operational planning doctrine and how it has diffused to other international organizations such as the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN). The concluding section provides some reflections on the contribution and limitations of integrating policy diffusion and transfer into FPA.

in Foreign policy as public policy?
Toward a dialogue with foreign policy analysis
Sebastian Harnisch

Chapter 9, by Sebastian Harnisch, discusses the policy learning approach. Learning is a change of beliefs or a development of new beliefs, skills, or procedures as a result of the observation and interpretation of experience. Policy learning has been long recognized as a central mechanism of change in public policy and it has been employed in various research approaches, such as advocacy coalition, theories of institutional change, policy diffusion, and transfer or epistemic communities. Thus far, however, its broad application has not resulted in any (substantial) additional analytical purchase because respective sub-disciplines have not communicated with and built upon each other. The chapter offers a systematic review of the extant public policy literature and discusses the competitive application of several learning approaches to the case of Soviet Union foreign policy learning under Gorbachev. In lieu of a result, it identifies three areas of common interest to Public Policy and FPA, i.e., the historicity and cross-fertilization of domestic and foreign policy experience, the temporal pattern of specific learning episodes and the variant patterns of sociality, including international institutions as teachers/facilitators of learning, for a future dialogue.

in Foreign policy as public policy?
Jeroen Joly and Friederike Richter

Chapter 3, by Jeroen Joly and Friederike Richter, discusses punctuated equilibrium theory (PET). This theory, which was first proposed by Baumgartner and Jones, explains how the same institutional set-up, usually preventing new policy issues from gaining political attention, is also responsible for the occasional outbursts of attention that cause disproportionately large policy shifts. PET has been successfully applied to a wide range of public policies and has increasingly generated cross-sectional and cross-national analyses, which aim at understanding and comparing the causes of stability and change in different political systems. However, the focus of these studies has mostly been on domestic policies, with only very little attention for PET in FPA. The aim of this chapter is to show that PET is not only relevant in the realm of domestic politics, but also useful for studying and understanding foreign policy-making. To illustrate this claim, this chapter looks at yearly changes in attention to foreign policy issues and examining the relationship between changes in foreign aid allocations and the size of aid administrations.

in Foreign policy as public policy?
The Conservative Party and Africa from opposition to government

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.

in Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century
A comparative case study of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda

This chapter explores the securitisation of UK development aid from the pre-2010 Labour Government to the post-2010 Conservative-led Government. It does so by examining official policy discourse in Department for International Development (DFID) aid programming in five sub-Saharan African countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. It finds that, in line with the development discourse, aid securitisation as conceptualised here progressed in the five case-study countries gradually between 2002 and 2015. The most notable change from Labour to the Coalition Government in this regard was the higher preference to channel ‘securitised’ aid to countries of more strategic importance to the UK. A closer look at three examples of ‘securitised’ aid projects implemented by Conservative-led DFID unfortunately demonstrates that such projects are not likely to contribute to one of the key aims of securitised aid provision: the sustainable reduction of conflict and instability in the recipient countries.

in Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century