Julia Gallagher

in Britain and Africa Under Blair

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780719085000
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702253 | DOI:

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This book began with the idea that New Labour's approach to Africa represented something different from foreign policy as usual. It considered the notion that under New Labour, Britain's policy in Africa was ‘different from politics as usual’. It explored what an engagement with Africa might mean, how it is imagined and described by state actors, and how it helps constitute their conceptions of their own political work and their sense of the work and identity of the British state. Emile Durkheim's theory on the role of religion within communities provided a first, useful way to help construct an idea of the ways in which a sacred or pure activity is a vital component of the ethical health of the community. This chapter suggested that Durkheim's ideas have an affinity with Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's depiction of the idea of the good state. Throughout, the idea of utopia has constantly arisen—utopia as a representation of unhappiness with political reality and as an aspiration to perfection.

Keywords: New Labour; Africa; foreign policy; Britain; Emile Durkheim; religion; community; Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel; good state; utopia

Chapter.  3389 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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