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Title: A year in Labour : rethinking political parties, campaigns and elections through assemblage and affect
Author: Page, Samuel Lloyd
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 2550
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis argues for a different approach towards the study of elections, campaigns and political parties than has conventionally been pursued in political and electoral geography. I argue that approaches in electoral geography have neglected the everyday lived experience of elections, and in political geography of recent there has been a distinct lack of consideration of the 'political party'. These issues have not gone unnoticed in either field and so I am answering several calls for renewal. To do this, I theorise campaigns, elections and parties through the Deleuzo-Guattarian (2013a, 2013b) concepts of assemblage and affect, highlighting the themes of people, materials and technology in my analysis. Starting with Labour's 2014 Manchester Conference and ending at their 2015 Brighton Conference, I conducted an ethnographical study of the British Labour Party and its relationship to the 7 May 2015 UK General Election. During this period, I participated in Labour's campaign for Hove in the south coast, interviewed participants of the wider Brighton and Hove Labour Party campaigns, recorded how social media related to the election and the subsequent Labour leadership election and lastly, conducted a discourse analysis. By focusing on the themes of leadership, people and materials through relations and experience, I show that there is a different iteration of the party that is becoming in each moment. I conclude by drawing out some theoretical discussions around assemblage and affect, specifically the notion of the 'abstract machine', arborescent/rhizomatic structures and the 'war machine'. I contribute to both electoral geography and political geography by reconceptualising elections, campaigns and political parties as entangled in a bodied, material, emotional and relational world.
Supervisor: Dittmer, J. ; Ingram, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available