Rohan McWilliam : “Labour and the Left in the 1980s: New Times, New Histories” (16/11)

Rohan McWilliam, professeur et co-directeur du Labour History Research Unit à Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, présentera sa communication “Labour and the Left in the 1980s: New Times, New Histories” le jeudi 16 novembre 2017 de 17h30 à 19h30. Maison de la Recherche, 28 rue Serpente, 75006, salle D421.


Résumé :

“The serious scholarly study of Thatcherism in Britain is expanding dramatically. Far less attention has been devoted to Labour in the 1980s or the cultures of the left more widely. This paper, drawn from a new edited collection, Labour and the Left in the 1980s (to be published by Manchester University Press in December 2017), seeks to redress this and calls for new historical investigations of recent progressive politics so as to put the development of modern neo-liberalism in perspective. The 1980s was a contested and divided decade.

Why did the left do so badly? Labour was defeated in the elections of 1979, 1983, 1987 and 1992. Workers’ struggles, such as the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike, ended in defeat.   This paper argues that in many ways the 1980s was actually a creative decade for the left. We need to redefine what we mean by political success. The left shaped the morality of modern Britain in distinctive ways. Arguments about opposition to gender or racial or homophobic discrimination (once controversial) are now mainstream. This paper considers the paradigms and approaches that need to shape a new history of the modern British left.”