The Future of UK Aid in an Age of Austerity

This event debates the future of UK Aid in an Age of Austerity. It is organised by Dr Danielle Beswick and is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences.

International development is a 'ring-fenced' area of current government spending, leading to increased public and media scrutiny of UK aid policy. The public debate on this issue has however been dominated by a few high-profile refrains, such as whether the UK should give aid to India, a 'rising power' with a space programme. This event, for sixth form students at Hereford Sixth Form College, will use guest speakers to put debates on UK aid in historical and social context. Speakers will present a range of perspectives and consider the value of social science research in enhancing public understanding of the 'effectiveness' and 'roles' of aid alongside 'amounts' of aid.

Speakers from the University of Birmingham and external agencies, will use social science research (public surveys, research on UK historical relationships with developing regions and research on UK national identity) to debate two questions:

  1. How does aid fit into UK identity in an interconnected world?
  2. Should UK aid spending be maintained whilst other areas of government spending are being cut?