Philanthropic connections and Britain’s ‘lost vocation’
in British civic society at the end of empire
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Chapter 4 assesses humanitarian engagements with the decolonising empire, using the Freedom from Hunger Campaign (FFHC) to show how humanitarianism became a way to talk about Britain’s ‘lost vocation’. The typical narrative of post-war development is one of professionalisation. Rather than excluding the public from the ‘triumph of expertise’, the FFHC’s educational imperative sought to include them within it, providing the British public with an unprecedented opportunity to participate in international development. The FFHC was a global movement, but it also informed and was informed by specific national experiences. Britain’s own participation was shaped by the legacies of imperial and humanitarian intervention as well as the contemporary context of decolonisation. The chapter shows how the Campaign supported multiple, contradictory visions for Britain’s post-imperial global role.

British civic society at the end of empire

Decolonisation, Globalisation, and International Responsibility


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