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Bringing Politics Back In: The Implications of the FCDO’s Focus on Open Societies for Diplomacy and Development

Graham Teskey and Tom Wingfield


October 26, 2021

Abt Global’s Graham Teskey and Tom Wingfield are the authors of the chapter “Bringing politics back in: The implications of the FCDO’s focus on open societies for diplomacy and development,” in the new book, Global Britain for an Open World? Examining the importance of open societies to the UK’s ‘force for good’ ambitions. The publishers are The Foreign Policy Centre and Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

The chapter argues that politics lies at the heart of an open society. It is where the interests of individuals and interest groups are mediated and negotiated and where compromise is reached. It is important to be humble and recognise change will be locally driven. Nevertheless, the Foreign, Commongwealth and Development Office of the UK Government (FCDO) has an important role to play in nudging (and avoiding unintentionally undermining) institutions in a more open direction.