Cycles of protest in the post-war British peace movement

dc.contributor.authorMorrison, Janet Rachelen
dc.contributor.departmentPolitical Scienceen
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this paper is to describe and explain the dynamics of the post-war British peace movement. This examination will account for, and link the two distinct phases of activity which encompassed at their peaks, the periods of 1958 to 1960, and 1981 to 1983. The defence issue declined in salience in the intervening years and was largely ignored. The paper sets out to account for these cycles of protest by determining four key factors; the creation of a potential clientele, the symbolic meaning of the movement, the catalytic historical events and the incentives for mobilisation. Three theories are used to explain these elements. Inglehart's 'Post-Materialism' thesis is utilised to explain the presence of a potential clientele in terms of a new value orientation that is emerging among post-war generations due to the unprecedented affluence experienced in their formative years. Parkin's case study of the first phase of the movement provides the symbolic protest element, that explains the salience of the peace movement to these post-materialists. It also suggests that the clientele's interest in the issue lasts as long as the issue is significant and that as soon as it declines other issues claim their attentions and energies. The final vital element is explained by adapting Olson's cost and benefit 'Collective Action' theory to this non-economic case. This theory suggests that the prominent peace movement organisation, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, provided and distributed vital selective incentives that motivated the existing clientele into protest activity. However, once the costs of non-achievement of policy goals add to the costs of protest activity (which are being raised by the radicalisation of tactics) and the organisation becomes inefficient at distributing these selective goods, the incentive to participate is removed and activity begins to decline. The combination of these three theories with the impact of historical atmosphere and a catalytic event creates a coherent explanation of the movement in both phases.en
dc.format.extentvi, 61 leavesen
dc.publisherVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
dc.relation.isformatofOCLC# 16446855en
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subject.lccLD5655.V855 1986.M676en
dc.subject.lcshNuclear disarmament -- Great Britainen
dc.subject.lcshWorld War, 1939-1945 -- Protest movementsen
dc.titleCycles of protest in the post-war British peace movementen
dc.type.dcmitypeTexten Scienceen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
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