Class-based Structural Violence in Britain

Jakopovic, Mladen 

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This thesis identifies and analyses the major patterns of class-based structural violence (based on the differential access to class power) in some of the main areas of social organisation in Britain in the period from 1979 to 2010 (the period of neoliberal consolidation in Britain). It does this by pioneering the empirical operationalisation of a neo-Galtungian concept and typology of structural violence. Additionally, the thesis refines the theoretical lens on structural violence for the primary purpose of improving its ability to reach new insights in the process of the empirical analysis of class-based structural violence. These improvements are to a large extent based on a theoretical and typological synthesis of Galtung’s theory of structural violence with Amartya Sen’s conceptualisation of instrumental freedoms. To avoid a static examination of social structures, my work analyses the dynamics of various forms of structural violence in the analysed period understood as the dialectical interplay of structural and subjective agential factors. The extensive and sustained employment of the concept of class-based structural violence in this thesis through a number of specific case studies contributes to a more integrated understanding of the research problem and verifies the hypothesis about the existence of extensive and systemic class-based structural violence in Britain across several main dimensions of social life. My study also elucidates the character of this structural violence and some of the most prominent causal mechanisms by which it is reproduced. This initial cartography of class-based structural violence in Britain also identifies a number of new research questions in relation to the analysed topic.

Blackburn, Robert M.
structural violence, british capitalism, capitalist oppression, class power, democratic theory, democratic self-government, positive peace
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Awarding Institution
University of Cambridge