Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.554575
Title: 'Fill the jails' : identity, structure and method in the Committee of 100, 1960 – 1968
Author: Carroll, Samantha Jane
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2011
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Abstract:
The Committee of 100 (C100) (1960 – 68) were a British anti-nuclear protest group who campaigned for mass non-violent direct action (NVDA) in an effort to force the government to revise its defence policy. The formation of C100 created tensions with the already-established Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), whose leaders objected to C100's commitment to civil disobedience. The two anti-nuclear campaigns had some membership overlap but always remained separate. Until now, any investigation of C100 has been incorporated within wider studies of CND or has been quantitative in method. This thesis therefore addresses a historical gap by employing a life history approach to examine C100 as a distinct group. Drawing upon oral history interviews with twenty-four C100 members the resulting analysis reveals new aspects of C100's innovative structure and method, and identifies the particular nature of those who joined the campaign. A new image of first wave anti-nuclear activists emerges when focusing on C100 protestors. The respondents reveal motivations for campaign engagement that contrast with those of earlier representations of CND supporters. They were inspired by a common interest in global civil rights concerning human health and survival and a need to actively challenge rather than merely petition the authorities. Significantly, many C100 members came from left-wing, progressive or anarchist backgrounds. They were an erudite group with regard for knowledge, despite many putting conventional education on hold to fully engage in the campaign. This thesis examines C100's libertarian nature, and the extent to which its membership managed to be anti-hierarchical in structure, ethos and policy. It explores tensions within C100 concerning limits and definitions of NVDA that changed over time and came to radicalise the campaign. A biographical approach also reveals significant factors around C100 prison experience concerning issues of class and gender. This thesis serves to situate C100 for the first time in its own right on the socio-political map, both historically and globally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.554575  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM0831 Social change ; JZ5511.2 Promotion of peace. Peaceful change ; JZ6360 Non military coercion
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