From Whitehall to the world : international development and the global reconfiguration of New Labour's political economy
Webber, David M.
Since the creation of the Department for International Development (DFID) in\ud 1997, much scholarly effort has been concentrated on describing New Labour's\ud international development policy outputs. Within these accounts however, there\ud has been little, if any, treatment of how its development policies actually came\ud to be formed, or even more specifically, analysis of the linkages between this\ud branch of foreign policy and New Labour's domestic political economy. My thesis\ud seeks to fill this gap in the literature. My major contribution is to show that the\ud character and orientation of a set of policies designed initially by New Labour\ud officials for the domestic economy were subsequently 'recycled' and transmitted\ud abroad into the field of international development. I test such a claim empirically\ud through three case studies exploring in depth the core policy areas of debt relief,\ud HIV and AIDS, and overseas aid, through which I am able to trace the way that\ud ideas first developed at home were subsequently transposed into its\ud international development policy. This provides the framework which allows me\ud to examine how the Blair and Brown Governments managed the frequently\ud conflicting expectations of the two sets of 'market' and 'social' constituencies in\ud the construction of their international development policy. While 'social'\ud constituencies were successful in influencing processes of policy change which\ud iteratively moved policy closer to their expectations, on the whole its character\ud still favoured the demands of the 'market' constituencies, as had been the case\ud previously in its domestic political economy. Although New Labour's\ud international development policies appeared to become more 'social' over time,\ud this did not mean that they became dominated by 'social concerns'. My overall\ud characterisation of New Labour’s often complex phasing of its international\ud development policy, then, is that it remained market-driven albeit not exclusively\ud market-oriented.
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