The UK government and the 0.7% international aid target: Opinion among Conservative parliamentarians


This is the first article to use a detailed dataset of the 2010 - 2015 Parliamentary Conservative Party (PCP) to identify the drivers of MPs’ positions on legally enshrining a commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on foreign aid. We position every Conservative parliamentarian into three different categories on international aid - (1) aid critics, who openly opposed and/or voted the 0.7% target; (2) aid sceptics, who abstained in parliamentary divisions on the 0.7 target and (3) aid advocates, who voted for the 0.7% and spoke out for it. We then draw on a range of political and ideological variables to determine drivers of support or opposition to aid. By doing so we identify that Cameron achieved remarkable success in transforming opinion towards aid amongst Conservative parliamentarians. This article represents a quantitative challenge to the prevalent qualitative assumption in the academic literature, which claims Cameron’s modernistion project was a failure.

In The British Journal of Politics and International Relations

Dr David Jeffery
Dr David Jeffery
Lecturer in Politics

My research interests include British politics (widely defined), Liverpool’s political history, Scouse identity, and quantitative methodologies.