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Title: The creative urge : anarchist perspectives on violence, nonviolence, and social change
Author: Chan, Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0001 3526 5066
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 1993
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Anarchists are commonly perceived to possess a pathological attraction to violence. Other stereotypes define anarchists as utopians with little grasp of either human nature or economic and political processes. Furthermore, anarchism is not accorded the same gravity by academics as they give to other political doctrines. The apparent failure of anarchist theorists to match their formidable goal with a consistent strategy is one more reason for academics to maintain their general indifference to anarchism. This thesis seeks to challenge the currency of anarchist stereotypes by producing evidence which suggests that anarchists are not significantly given to unrealistic expectations, nor the glorification of violence. The attitudes of anarchists concerning violence in revolutionary and prerevolutionary situations are examined empirically. The ideological and moral consistency of violence with anarchism is investigated by theoretical enquiry. Documentary analysis is the·usual mode for determining theoretical and propagandist perspectives. However, this study also refers to the activists who compose the greater part of the anarchist movement. A pilot qualitative interview study is, therefore, an important constituent. The reader is oriented in the study by definitional work on ideas surrounding anarchism and violence. The novel methodology of the study is explained in depth both to ensure internal validity and to guide further forays in the field. Information extracted from contemporary propagandist literature and the testimony of activist respondents is then analysed for attitudes toward violence, nonviolence, and social change. Finally, issues of theoretical and historical significance are examined. The anarchist experiment with covert violence at the end of the nineteenth century, and the moral and ideological dilemmas concerning consistency are given particular attention
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science