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Title: Eleanor Rathbone and her work for refugees
Author: Cohen, Susan
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis employs a social history and biographical approach to analyse the campaigning work undertaken by the Independent MP, Eleanor Rathbone, on behalf of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe both before and during the Second World War. The aim is to demonstrate how this significant but neglected aspect of Rathbone's career was not, as popularly argued, separate from her many gender-related commitments, but was a continuation of her career as an activist who was driven by her conscience and humanitarian concerns. Whilst the main focus of the thesis is upon Rathbone's dedication to the refugee cause, this phase of her career will be viewed within the wider context of her background and earlier humanitarian campaigns. Commencing with an introductory Chapter, Chapter Two will be a biographical overview that emphasises the educational, philosophical and social influences that informed Rathbone's campaigning activities. Following this, Chapters Three and Four will examine, chronologically her involvement with humanitarian issues in India, Africa and Palestine, and demonstrate the way in which these paved the way for her subsequent dedication to the refugee question. Chapter Five is devoted to an examination of Rathbone's engagement with foreign policy matters and her commitment to the collective security debate in the 1930s, and will assess how these issues influenced her views on nationalism and communal and personal responsibility. Chapters Six and Seven, which represent the core of this thesis, will deal specifically with Rathbone's refugee work. Chapter Six, which spans the years 1933 to 1941, will address mainly domestic refugee issues, internment and the work of the Parliamentary Committee on Refugees, established by Rathbone in 1939. Chapter Seven, which covers the period 1940/41 to 1946, will focus on Rathbone's plans for rescue under the auspices of her organisation, the National Committee for Rescue from Nazi Terror. Chapter Eight will provide a conclusion that draws the various strands of Rathbone's humanitarian activities together, so that an assessment of her refugee work can be made, as well as an evaluation of the impact that this had upon her career, and upon the lives of those whom she sought to help.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available