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Neo-colonialism encounters regionalism?
Mark Langan

The Brexit campaign for the UK to leave the EU was predicated upon a number of policy claims from the leading ‘Brexiteer’ politicians, notably Liam Fox, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson. One particularly interesting claim was that a Brexit decision to leave the EU would offer a progressive opportunity for improved, ‘pro-poor’ ties with Commonwealth countries in Africa (Lowe, 2016 ; Murray-Evans, 2016 ; Plummer, 2015 ; UKIP, 2016 ). According to the Brexiteer discourse, EU trade and aid policies are skewed against the economic and

in Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century
Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

migration and trade policies, Europeans have increasingly opted for a closing-inwards of the nation state, calling into question the viability of the European project itself. The Brexit referendum, in June 2016, provided a clear example of this. Politics on the periphery has taken a similarly illiberal turn, with more violent consequences. In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte boasts of carrying out extrajudicial killings and threatens to kill corrupt state officials, and he has launched a bloody war on drugs, for which he has been

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

-affected groups ( HPG, 2018 ). The privileging of behaviourism over more conceptual approaches to understanding ( Anderson, 2007 ) is reflected in the growing influence of ‘behavioural economics’ ( Alcock, 2016 ). Before its sobering escape into the wild, as evinced in the Trump election and Brexit referendum ( Cadwalladr, 2017 ), behavioural economics had been popularised as ‘nudge politics’. Despite raising democratic concerns in targeting the sub-conscious, it has found favour among many Western governments. 5 Behavioural economics operationalises

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Between ambition and pragmatism

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.

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Aspects of continuity and change after New Labour
Danielle Beswick, Jonathan Fisher, and Stephen R. Hurt

its predecessors. As a result, troops were sent to both Somalia and South Sudan with the justification being couched very clearly in terms of the UK’s national security. Trade and investment links have also become an increasingly important driver of UK–Africa relations. Since the Brexit vote in 2016 and the ensuing debate on a future independent UK trade policy, this aspect of the relationship has only become more significant. Conversely, Brexit has also complicated the EU’s existing trade relations with Africa. For example, Tanzania has

in Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century
Alex Vines

This chapter examines the key drivers behind the UK Government’s Africa policy from 1997 to 2018 (under Labour from 1997–2010; under the Liberal Democrat Coalition and the majority Conservative Government of 2010–17 and under a minority Conservative Government from 2017). The chapter also assesses developments after the EU referendum (Brexit) and evaluates how the UK’s strategy towards Africa might evolve. 1 Overall, political interest remains firmly based upon humanitarianism but African security and trade have also become secondary

in Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century
Transatlantic relations from Truman to Trump

This book is an interpretive history of transatlantic security from the negotiation of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1948–1949 to the turbulence created by President Trump, British departure from the European Union (Brexit) and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The book concludes with analyses of possible futures for the West and observes “the most disruptive force of all has been the American presidency of Donald J. Trump. Trump refused to accept virtually all the political and strategic assumptions on which transatlantic political, economic, financial, and security relations have been based for 70 years. And, given the transatlantic alliance’s heavy reliance on American leadership and involvement, Trump’s lack of commitment has placed huge question marks over the West’s future.”

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UK Africa policy in the twenty-first century: business as usual?
Danielle Beswick, Jonathan Fisher, and Stephen R. Hurt

Fifteen years after Tony Blair placed Africa at the heart of British foreign policy in his famous ‘scar on our consciences’ speech at the 2001 Labour Party Conference (Blair, 2001 ), the place of Africa in UK international relations could hardly be more ambiguous. For some in Whitehall, Africa represents ‘an exciting trading opportunity’ for a post-Brexit world (Price, 2017 ); for others a source of ‘marauding’ and ‘desperate’ migrants who represent a ‘threat’ to British security (Perraudin, 2015 ). Africa is also the main focus of

in Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century
Policy rethinking in opposition
William Brown

in the wake of Brexit, and to put conflict resolution and human rights at the heart of policy ( ibid .: 122). While this process of policy development covered considerable new ground for Labour, and sought to respond to the changing relationships with developing countries, African countries not least among them, it remained a somewhat fragmented process. Though there were efforts to sustain specific policy pledges, the presentation of these, and their place within a wider development vision, was subject to considerable reinvention under

in Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century
Construction of the African Union’s peace and security structures
Kasaija Phillip Apuuli

-era lenses. The chapter also underlines, however, the emergence of tensions, contradictions and ambiguities in the UK–AU/APSA relationship since the fall of the Labour Government in May 2010 – as domestic UK pressures have driven Conservative-led governments to recalibrate their relations with the continent. For while the June 2016 Brexit vote has encouraged UK policymakers to strengthen security links with non-European partners (including in Africa), concerns regarding continued illegal migration of persons from Africa to Europe have undermined

in Britain and Africa in the twenty-first century