Blair, Brown and the Gleneagles Agenda: Making Poverty History, or Confronting the Global Politics of Unequal Development?

Author/s (editor/s):

Anthony Payne

Publication year:

2006

Publication type:

Working paper

Find this publication at:
IR Working Paper 2006/3 (PDF, 184KB)

Anthony Payne, ‘Blair, Brown and the Gleneagles Agenda: Making Poverty History, or Confronting the Global Politics of Unequal Development?’ IR Working Paper 2006/3, Canberra: Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific and Asian Affairs, The Australian National University, May 2006.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the United Kingdom Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer respectively, set out a highly ambitious ‘development’ agenda for 2005 when it was the UK’s turn to hold the Presidency of the Group of 8 and thus host than annual summit, held on this occasion in Gleneagles in Scotland. This agenda embraced issues of aid and debt, trade and climate change. It was given additional prominence by the activities of the Making Poverty History campaign. However, the G8 could never have worked to ‘make poverty history’ because such an achievement was not remotely within its compass. The details of the agreements reached at Gleneagles and at subsequent international meetings reveal a much less impressive record than the initial hyperbole suggested. The global politics of development is not animated any longer—if indeed it ever was—by what the ‘North’ is willing to do for the ‘South’. It is driven instead by a complex ‘global politics of unequal development’ into which Blair and Brown’s Gleneagles agenda has been swept up. The outcome may represent significant change in some of the patterns of global politics, but it will not mark the ending of poverty.

Updated:  15 August 2022/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team