Labour, international development and Africa: policy rethinking in opposition

Brown, William (2019). Labour, international development and Africa: policy rethinking in opposition. In: Beswick, D.; Fisher, J. and Hurt, S. eds. Britain and Africa in the Twenty-First Century: Between ambition and pragmatism. Manchester: Manchester University Press.



The chapter presents empirically original account of the evolution of UK Labour Party international development policy, and Africa’s place within that, in the years of opposition from 2010-2017. This significant process of policy development draws on archival research and interviews with key politicians. It argues that the party has used the SDGs 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.

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