Civil Liberties and Human Rights in Twentieth-Century Britain

Civil Liberties and Human Rights in Twentieth-Century Britain

by Chris Moores


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The National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) was formed in the 1930s against a backdrop of fascism and 'popular front' movements. In this volatile political atmosphere, the aim of the NCCL was to ensure that civil liberties were a central component of political discourse. Chris Moores's new study shows how the NCCL - now Liberty - had to balance the interests of extremist allies with the desire to become a respectable force campaigning for human rights and civil liberties. From new social movements of the 1960s and 1970s to the formation of the Human Rights Act in 1998, this study traces the NCCL's development over the last eighty years. It enables us to observe shifts and continuities in forms of political mobilisation throughout the twentieth century, changes in discourse about extensions and retreats of freedoms, as well as the theoretical conceptualisation and practical protection of rights and liberties.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107088610
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/16/2017
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Chris Moores is a Birmingham Fellow at the University of Birmingham where he is Director of Modern British Studies. He has taught widely on British social and political history, global social movements, and the international human rights movement, and has published work within Twentieth Century British History, Contemporary European History and History Workshop Journal.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. Civil Liberties in the Age of the Popular Front: 1. Decent citizens and agitators: civil liberties activism in the 1930s; 2. From civil liberties to human rights: British civil liberties activism and Universal human rights; Part II. Civil Liberties, a Rights Revolution, and New Social Movements: 3. The progressive professionals: the National Council for Civil Liberties and the politics of activism in 1960s Britain; 4. From progressive to radical: the 1970s and a crisis of civil liberties; Part III. NGOs and the Consolidation of Human Rights: 5. The road to freedom: civil liberties, human rights and the evolution of the NGO in the age of Thatcher; 6. The politics of vigilance: human rights activism during and beyond the age of New Labour.

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