The renewal of radicalism maps the trajectory of Labour politics from its origins in a ‘class-conscious’ radical tradition through to its emergence as a major electoral force in the 1920s. During the 1880s and 1890s, working-class radicals in the East Midlands, East Anglia and the South West embraced the collectivist spirit of the times and built local labour parties that eventually became local branches of the national Labour Party. But even as they established new organisations, ‘labour’ activists – as they came to be known – remained committed to the cultural assumptions, discursive practices and ideological beliefs of their political predecessors. Focusing on largely neglected areas in provincial England, this book offers a new narrative of continuity that challenges conventional understandings of English political history. By applying the conceptual analysis of ideologies to the world of local politics, it identifies, for the first time, the conceptual building blocks of radical and labourist ideologies, suggesting that both deserve to be treated separately from liberalism and socialism. It also offers fresh perspectives on the Labour Party’s contribution to the ‘nationalisation’ of political culture; the survival of restrictive assumptions about gender, place, work, nationality and race in the face of political and economic change; and the process through which political identities and ideologies were forged at a local level.
way radicals and liberals talked about the social and political order and the way they articulated certain terms, phrases and concepts. With these differences in mind, our traveller may well have concluded, quite understandably, that radicalism and liberalism were two distinct political traditions.
But until recently, it was Gladstone’s inclusive vision of liberal politics that found favour among historians of mid- to late Victorian England. In both ‘stagist’ and ‘continuity’ accounts of this period, radicals have often been portrayed as compliant partners in a
This volume offers a series of new essays on the British left – broadly interpreted – during the First World War. Dealing with grassroots case studies of unionism from Bristol to the North East of England, and of high politics in Westminster, these essays probe what changed, and what remained more or less static, in terms of labour relations. For those interested in class, gender, and parliamentary politics or the interplay of ideas between Britain and places such as America, Ireland and Russia, this work has much to offer. From Charlie Chaplin to Ellen Wilkinson, this work paints a broad canvass of British radicalism during the Great War.
Edward P. Thompson's activities and writings were diverse spanning literature, history, fiction and poetry, biography, adult education, socialist and libertarian politics, and peace-movement activism. This book explores the various aspects of his intellectual and political work, and its legacy to later generations of radical thinkers and activists in Britain and internationally. Thompson taught exclusively literature classes for the first three years at the University of Leeds, and aimed to attain and maintain a university standard of adult education. The book examines the way in which The Making of the English Working Class grew out of Thompson's day-to-day work at Leeds. Although Thompson's fusion of Marxism with social history constituted the central attraction of his work, he himself bore a degree of responsibility for subsequent dismissals of the Marxist dimension in his work. The book examines Thompson's career-long commitment to literature and to the craft of writing, and makes clear some significant continuities and contrasts within Thompson's specifically literary output. Thompson's concept of socialist humanism retained a resonance and distinctiveness for the twenty-first century, which was a defining characteristic of the early New Left after 1956. The content of Thompson's analyses provides us with one of the richest account of the flesh and blood of emancipation, and the experience, suffering, failure and courage of the working class. The book also looks at his peace movement from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the 1950s and 1960s to the European Nuclear Disarmament in the 1980s.
This book sketches the history, and outlines the character, of ethnomethodology, a distinctive approach to the study of the social world that emerged in U.S. sociology in the 1950s and 1960s.It examines one of its main sources, the phenomenology of Alfred Schutz, and its similarities to and differences from the work of Goffman. In addition, there is an assessment of its relationship to sociology and other disciplines, and its central principles are interrogated in detail. Attention is also given to its influence on social research methodology.
on the evolution of ‘progressive’ identities and ideologies in response to the new unionist strike wave, which, initially at least, threatened to rupture long-established political alliances and strategies.
The central aim of this chapter is to demonstrate that there were significant continuities between working-class radicalism and labourist forms of politics, identity and ideology. Establishing these connections strengthens the case against the stagist narrative of British political and social history, whose proponents suggest that deep structural changes
direct heirs of older political traditions. In Northampton, Labour candidates and activists frequently mentioned Charles Bradlaugh and what Arthur Henderson described as ‘the ideals of militant radicalism which gave Northampton its special place in political history’ and which had been ‘reincarnated … in the Labour Party’. 11 During his election campaign in Leicester West in 1918, Ramsay MacDonald spoke fondly of ‘the fine old traditions of the Liberal party’ and his successor, Frederick Pethick-Lawrence, called himself the ‘true heir of the Liberal tradition’. 12
liked to call them so, Labour candidates’. 2
This statement was indicative of a broader discursive evolution in which ‘labour’ replaced ‘radical’ as a political descriptor. With the revival of socialism in the 1880s, the term ‘radical’ lost some of its sting, a trend likely accelerated by its appropriation by members of the Liberal Party. Still, the core principles of radicalism, if not the word itself, continued to exert a strong influence on progressive politics. Progressives often positioned themselves as the legitimate heirs of the English radical tradition
working-class radicalism, a conceptually coherent ideology that differed in important respects from liberalism and socialism, goes some way towards rescuing labourism from the pejorative uses to which it has often been put. The concepts at the centre of working-class radical ideology – democracy, liberty, individuality, progress and rationality – remained at the heart of labourism, while adjacent concepts such as equality, rights, the general interest, class, trade unionism and the state served to provide the core concepts with particular meanings. Marginal concepts
Thomas Paine’s democratic linguistic
radicalism: a political philosophy of
Thomas Paine’s thought and writings have often been described as
‘radical’ with regard to various forms of ‘radicalism’. They have
been viewed as pertaining in turn or simultaneously to ‘radical
Lockeanism’,1 to a form of eighteenth-century ‘new’ British ‘radicalism’,2 to a form of ‘American radicalism’ at the origin of the
Declaration of Independence3 and of a ‘community of radical
democrats’4 in the United States of the 1790s, to ‘transatlantic