Forms of commitment and activism in the United Kingdom

Laurent Curelly Announcement
Subject Fields
British History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Intellectual History, Journalism and Media Studies, Political Science


Revue française de civilisation britannique

Forms of commitment and activism in the United Kingdom

This issue of Revue française de civilisation britannique will investigate forms of commitment and activism in England, and in the UK, from the sixteenth century to the contemporary era. It will especially study the way individuals or groups of people express an opinion and/or act in support of a cause, or in defence of ideas and values that they assume are shared by others. Activists, members of non-governmental organisations and artists of all kinds engage with public debates and issues, and sometimes question supposedly obsolete or potentially dangerous norms, in an attempt to improve or alter the political, economic and social status quo. This collection of essays will examine the interaction between personal or collective commitment and the forms of political action that it generates. Gerrard Winstanley, the suffragettes, charitable workers, and artists who opposed the Iraq war are examples of multifaceted forms of activism or commitment. The defence of private interests may be involved but need not rule out – far from it, we argue – stepping forward for the benefit of others. This volume will look at this form of involvement as an insight into participatory politics.

Contributions to the volume may address – but are by no means limited to – the following themes.

  • Volunteering as a form of implication in social and political matters; volunteering as commitment to a cause; volunteering as a form of activism. Various forms of volunteering may be explored (non-governmental organisations, political parties and clubs, trade unions, etc.) in a variety of fields (politics, sport, culture, environmental issues, human and animal rights, etc.) and from different angles (civil responsibility, social cohesion, attitude towards and relationships with the state, link between volunteering and empowerment, etc.).
  • Forms and expressions of commitment and activism in British culture. The following themes may be explored: local authorities’ and regional and national governments’ cultural policies as forms of commitment; the role of artists and cultural institutions (in the fields of drama, music, cinema, television) in support of such diverse causes - to name but a few – as the fight against racism, the defence of human rights, the democratisation of art and the promotion of minority languages and cultures.
  • Forms and expressions of commitment in various types of news media, from the first newspapers of the seventeenth century to the new media of the digital age (newspapers and magazines - in print or online, the radio, television, fanzines and blogs). These may be discussed in a variety of ways, such as commitment to ideas and interests in the political, religious, economic or social spheres; mobilisation for an individual, a group of people or a community; commitment in support of or against the political, religious or social status quo; expressions of dissent; “alternative” news media as new forms of commitment and activism; link between forms of commitment and activism and types of news media.

Please send proposals for articles (250 words max.), with a short bio-bibliographical note, to Dr Laurent CURELLY ( ), Guest Editor,  by 28 February 2016. Articles should be submitted by 15 June 2016 for double-blind peer review.

Contact Information

Dr Laurent Curelly, Senior Lecturer in British Studies, Université de Haute Alsace - Mulhouse, France

Contact Email