Ideology and Aid: The Relationship With British Domestic Politics and Social Welfare Payments, 1987-2016

Daniel Michael Stabler

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This study sheds light on to the question over how foreign aid is determined. Specifically, how the persuasion of British political ideology has come to affect the nature of its aid, between 1987-2016. The study proxies political ideology with social welfare payments to form effective indicators for analysis. These indicators are then statistically regressed with data from 12 different British aid measurements, to evaluate the relationship between ideology and the character of British aid. The results suggest a somewhat limited relationship between the variables, indicating that other extraneous variables have come to skew and affect the results. These other explanatory variables have been discussed within the study, relating to previous literature and theory. These include partisan changes, war and humanitarian crises, international pressures, and financial crises. The 1997 election of New Labour into power is particularly noteworthy, with a government keen to stretch its socio-political arm internationally, but unwilling to intervene domestically. The Iraq war is analysed as a particular explanatory variable, whilst also being linked to the ideological change in government with New Labour. Importantly, the international attention paid towards aid and international development at the turn of the millennium is also considered as an explanatory variable, with international pressures certainly influencing UK aid. One of the major implications from the study, however, is the level of doubt that the results throw onto the idea of social welfare payments and ideology. A clear example of this is New Labour’s somewhat ambiguous position ideologically, with a reluctance to invest into domestic social welfare projects, but a keenness to intervene on the international stage. Overall the study's results reflect the complexity of both the concept of ideology, and the phenomenon of aid.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato3 sep. 2018
VejledereLine Engbo Gissel