Alternatives to State-Socialism in Britain: Other Worlds of Labour in the Twentieth Century

Alternatives to State-Socialism in Britain: Other Worlds of Labour in the Twentieth Century

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This book poses a major revisionist challenge to 20th century British labour history, aiming to look beyond the Marxist and Fabian exclusion of working class experience, notably religion and self-help, in order to exaggerate ‘labour movement’ class cohesion. Instead of a ‘forward march’ to secular state-socialism, the research presented here is devoted to a rich diversity of social movements and ideas. In this collection of essays, the editors establish the liberal-pluralist tradition, with the following chapters covering three distinct sections. Part One, ‘Other Forms of Association’ covers subjects such as trade unions, the Co-operative Party, women’s community activism and Protestant Nonconformity. Part Two, ‘Other Leaders’, covers employer Edward Cadbury; Trades Union Congress leader Walter Citrine; and the electricians’ leader, Frank Chapple. Part Three, ‘Other Intellectuals’, considers G.D.H. Cole, Michael Young and left libertarianism by Stuart White. Readers interested in the British Labour movement will find this an invaluable resource.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783319341613
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 12/03/2016
Series: Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements
Edition description: 1st ed. 2016
Pages: 354
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Peter Ackers is Professor of Employment Relations at De Montfort University, UK, and Visiting Professor of Labour and Social History at Loughborough University, UK. He co-edited Findings a Voice at Work? (2015), and publishes on Hugh Clegg and the ‘Oxford School’ of Industrial Relations, trade unions, working-class Protestantism and labour biography.

Alastair J. Reid is a Life Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge, UK. He was a co-founder of the History & Policy dissemination network. His publications include United We Stand: A History of British Trade Unions (2005) and The Tide of Democracy: Shipyard Workers and Social Relations in Britain, 1870-1950 (2010).

Table of Contents

1. ‘Other Worlds of Labour’: liberal-pluralism in twentieth century British labour history    Peter Ackers and Alastair J. Reid


Part I: Other forms of association

2. Trade unions: voluntary associations and individual rights    Richard Whiting

3. The Co-operative Party: an alternative vision of social ownership    Rachael Vorberg-Rugh and Angela Whitecross

4. Working class women activists: citizenship at the local level    Ruth Davidson

5. Protestant Nonconformists: providers of educational and social services    Andy Vail


Part II: Other leaders

6. Edward Cadbury: an egalitarian employer and supporter of working women’s campaigns    John Kimberley

7. Walter Citrine: a union pioneer of industrial co-operation    James Moher

8. Frank Chapple: a thoughtful trade union moderniser    Calum Aikman


Part III: Other intellectuals

9. G.D.H. Cole: a socialist and pluralist    David Goodway

10. Michael Young: an innovative social entrepreneur    Stephen Meredith

11. The left after social democracy: towards state-society partnerships    Stuart White


12. Looking forward: civil society after state socialism and beyond neo-liberalism    Peter Ackers and Alastair J. Reid

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