The 1972 miners' strike: popular agency and industrial politics in Britain

Phillips, J. (2006) The 1972 miners' strike: popular agency and industrial politics in Britain. Contemporary British History, 20(2), pp. 187-207. (doi: 10.1080/13619460600600748)

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The national miners' strike of 1972 is central to contemporary British history: it undermined Edward Heath's Conservative government and sharpened social conflict; the common interpretation of the strike as a 'victory for violence', shown here to be disingenuous, legitimised the Thatcherite attack on organised labour in the 1980s. This article examines the high politics of the strike, but situates popular agency - the actions and attitudes of the miners - as the predominant historical contingency. This was especially so in the uproarious events documented at Longannet in Fife, which shaped the outcome of the strike. This analysis is related to the character of industrial politics more generally in the 1960s and 1970s.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Coal miners, trade unionism, industrial relations
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Phillips, Professor Jim
Authors: Phillips, J.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:Contemporary British History
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2006 Taylor & Francis
First Published:First published in Contemporary British History 20(2):187-207
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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