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The Promotion of Global Humanitarianism in Britain, 1945-2000

Timms, Christopher (2019) The Promotion of Global Humanitarianism in Britain, 1945-2000. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the promotion of global humanitarianism in Britain between 1945 and 2000. The purpose of it is to explore how, and why, global humanitarianism became such a large part of British society and culture. This thesis argues that British global humanitarianism developed between 1945 and 2000 in five key stages. The first stage took place between 1945 and 1956. This period was marked by a number of revolutionary aspects such as the development, amongst some, of an attitude to humanitarianism that moved beyond an imperial mindset. The second stage took place between 1957 and 1967. This stage was characterised by the influence of what Paul Virillo has determined the “logic of speed” and it saw British global humanitarianism shaped by the forces of late stage capitalism. The next stage took place between 1967 and 1978. This period was marked by a growing sense of contractual responsibility to the Global South and a growing belief in the value of a rights-based approach. The next stage took place between 1979 and 1990. This period was characterised by the role that neoliberal ideas played in shaping the humanitarian environment. The influence of neoliberalism was evident in a reorganisation of the machinery of the British government, the relationship between UK charities and the Charity Commission, the development of the Band Aid phenomenon, the founding of Comic Relief and the increasing focus on schools and children as a mechanism for raising money. The final stage took place between 1991 and 2000. This period was characterised by the increasing commodification of British global humanitarianism. The period saw the use of charitable donations to fund risky investments, the development of volunteer experiences for purchase and also the rise of the Reclaim the Streets movement that sought to rebel against both commodification and capitalism and acted as the foundation of the alter-globalisation movement.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
Depositing User: Christopher Timms
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2019 15:52
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 15:52
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/24914

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