On Nov 16th, a group of 25 or so campaigners and historians gathered to continue a discussion initiated at two prior workshops co-organised by History & Policy and Friends of the Earth. Based on 9 specially commissioned historical case studies, the conversation focused on how campaigners have identified and achieved their goals, ranging across Irish Home Rule, the repeal of the Corn Laws, the creation of National Parks and the achievement of gay rights, amongst other topics in the history of campaigning. This provided an opportunity for two way dialogue, as campaigners drew out commonalities and patterns within the case studies, and reflected on their practice today. Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth, welcomed the opportunity to think hard about context, cycles and opportunity and observed that "campaigning goes in waves. It's the job of campaigners to create a strong tide that builds a powerful movement larger than the incremental campaigns." Historian Richard Huzzey and FoE campaigner Mike Childs will take forward the publication of the case studies and the responses of campaigners. Richard Huzzey commented, "For historians, it's invaluable to understand campaigners' perspectives but also hear how historical case studies cause them to reflect on the politics of the possible today. Different perspectives bring new questions to our understanding of the past, but also demonstrate how history casts new light on the very different challenges facing campaigners today."
H&P is an expanding Partnership based at King's College London and the University of Cambridge, and additionally supported by the University of Bristol, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Leeds, the Open University, and the University of Sheffield.
We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.