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Keywords:

  • Africa;
  • Britishness;
  • campaigns;
  • development

This article explores the way that Africa has been represented within British political modernity through the representations of campaign organisations. Using a model of framing, campaigns are reviewed in terms of the ways that Africa is rendered diagnostically, prognostically and motivationally. In each case, one can identity a ‘layering’ within a single campaign tradition. This tradition is based in a Christian, liberal and humanitarian nationalism that emphasises notions and norms of good Britishness at least as much as it does specific realities in African spaces. As a result, representations of Africa within campaigns are ‘domesticated’ for national consumption. The article concludes by considering the prospects of this tradition in a period when development campaigning has become more globalised.