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Anarchists, Authorities and the Battle for Public Space, 1880–1914: Recasting Political Protest as Anti-social Behaviour

Bantman, C (2014) Anarchists, Authorities and the Battle for Public Space, 1880–1914: Recasting Political Protest as Anti-social Behaviour In: Anti-Social Behaviour in Britain. Victorian and Contemporary Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan.

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Abstract

In the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, and especially in the 1890s, anarchists were a small but highly publicised dissident group in many British cities, and especially in London. The identification of the anarchist movement as one of the most striking instances of deviancy by public opinion makes it a relevant case study of non-normative behaviour and its treatment by authorities. This contribution briefly presents the political and economic context from which the anarchist movement emerged, and the modalities of antisocial behaviour with which anarchists came to be associated in public opinion, as expressed in the conservative and tabloid press, parliamentary debates as well as influential theoretical works. Two key aspects emerge from the anarchist example. The first one is the link between immigration, political radicalism and perceived deviancy. Secondly, how the control of public space – especially the street and high-profile meeting places such as Hyde Park and Trafalgar square – became a stake in the battle between the state and anarchists, which hinged on issues of law and order, public visibility and political legitimacy. This must be understood in a context of growing labour militancy, which blurred the boundaries between social unrest and crime in public minds.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Bantman, Cc.bantman@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Date : October 2014
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 15:31
Last Modified : 17 May 2017 14:36
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/820186

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