British Women Activists and the Campaigns against the Vietnam War, 1965-75

Roberts, Sophie (2018) British Women Activists and the Campaigns against the Vietnam War, 1965-75. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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This thesis makes an original contribution to the literature on anti-war protest in Britain by assessing the role of women activists in the movement against the Vietnam War. The study adds to the existing scholarship concerning British peace activism in this era, which either tends to focus on the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) or on the role of students in the protests of the 1960s. The thesis appraises the role of female activists, exploring their backgrounds, motivations and methods.

The main part of the thesis is dedicated to case studies of four women. Peggy Duff, former organising secretary of CND, embraced transnational relationships, as exemplified by her role as general secretary of the International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace. Anne Kerr, a Labour MP, pursued an anti-war agenda by parliamentary means. Amicia Young placed her status as a scientist and trade unionist at the heart of her activism whilst serving as secretary of a national organisation, the British Campaign for Peace in Vietnam (BCPV). Finally, Margaret Stanton ran a thriving local branch of the BCPV in Birmingham. Unlike CND and the more militant Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, BCPV has not attracted much historiographical attention, despite its prominent role in navigating the political terrain between the decline of CND and the rise of new protest movements.

The discussion of these women broadens our understanding of the interplay between gender and peace activism, providing an analysis of both gendered and nongendered approaches to anti-war protest. It locates this activism within the political contexts of late 1960s and early 1970s Britain. The dissertation draws on a wide variety of sources, including organisational records, memoirs, correspondence, and personal interviews.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: peace activism, gender, Labour Party, CND, Sixties
Subjects: L200 Politics
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2019 16:39
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 23:59

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