Britain and Africa under Blair: In pursuit of the good state by Julia Gallagher

By Julia Gallagher

Africa was once a key concentration of Britain's international coverage lower than Tony Blair. army intervention in Sierra Leone, raises in reduction and debt reduction, and grand projects equivalent to the fee for Africa verified the continent as a spot during which Britain might 'do good'.

Britain and Africa lower than Blair: in pursuit of the nice nation significantly explores Britain's fascination with Africa. It argues that, less than New Labour, Africa represented a space of coverage that looked as if it would go beyond politics. steadily, it got here to embrace a fantastic country job round which politicians, officers and the broader public may perhaps coalesce, abandoning extra contentious household and foreign issues.

Building at the tale of england and Africa lower than Blair, the e-book attracts wider conclusions concerning the position of 'good' and idealism in overseas coverage. specifically, it discusses how foreign relationships offer possibilities to create and pursue beliefs, and why they're crucial for the well being of political groups. It argues that country actors venture the belief of 'good' onto idealised, far away items, with the intention to fix a feeling of the 'good state'.

The ebook makes a particular and unique contribution to debates in regards to the position of ethics in diplomacy and may be of specific curiosity to teachers, policy-makers and scholars of diplomacy, Africa and British international coverage, and to an individual attracted to ethics in overseas affairs.

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In the second and third sections, I discuss two key movements and streams of thinking about Britain in Africa. I look first at the abolition movement in the early nineteenth century, and argue that its concentration on a repu� diation of politics in favour of a higher moral authority or framework represents an example of the transcendent approach. Second, I examine the late nineteenth-century colonial expansion into West Africa under Joseph Chamberlain, and I argue that his attempts to invigorate state capacity led to the idealisation of the colonial state, as a way to repair material damage not just in Britain, but in Africa too.

I will discuss in detail how British policy-makers see Africa in such terms in Chapters 5 and 6. I begin here by trying to lay some conceptual foundations by discussing how European thinking about this separation between the good and the political has evolved, how it �informs conceptions of personal and community relations to the good, and in what ways having a secure connection to a pure idea of good might provide social and psychological underpinning for the community. I draw broadly on European thought, but at times think about how this has been interpreted through British history and ideas.

As we have already seen, he wanted to replace it with a policy based on ‘enlightened self-interest’ – a situation where self-interest and altruism worked in harmony – through the pursuit of policies to promote a wider sense of ‘the good’, this being broadly defined as political liberties in the shape of democracy and human rights. Later on, both he and Tony Blair justified various foreign policy interventions – notably in Kosovo and Sierra Leone – more straightforwardly in terms of their being ‘the right thing to do’ rather than because they were in British interests.

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