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From civil liberties to human rights?: British civil liberties activism, 1934-1989

Moores, Christopher (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis is about organizations working in the field of British civil liberties between 1934 and 1989. It examines the relationship between the concepts of civil liberties and human rights within a British context, and discusses the forms of political activism that have accompanied this subject. At the centre of this work is an examination of the politics of the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), an organization that has played a key role in the protection and promotion of civil liberties from its formation in 1934. It also examines the activities of a range of other organizations that considered themselves to be active on such a subject. The thesis argues that thinking about civil liberties has been extended throughout the twentieth century to incorporate a more positive and broader conceptualization of rights. However, for all the increased importance of the politics of human rights, a tradition of civil liberties has remained crucial to organizations working within such a field. The thesis also seeks to demonstrate that concerns about civil liberties have often reflected the political ideologies of those acting on such issues. Whilst a large amount of conceptual agreement has existed over the importance of the subject within Britain, this has consistently been met with disagreement over what this means. NGOs have played crucial roles as mediators of such a conflict. In performing such a role, the civil liberties lobby has been characterised by a set of professional, expert activists that have, at times, been able and will to engage with radical political ideas.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Hilton, Matthew and Crowson, N. J.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Arts and Law, Department of Modern History
Subjects:CB History of civilization
DA Great Britain
D History (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1760
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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