War, peace & liberal internationalism: 1792-1914 : Dr Barry Dackombe

"While opposition to war has a venerable history, it was the Anglo-French wars (1790-1815) that saw the coalescence of pacificist and pacifist ideas into organised groups. This included the formation of the Peace Society in 1816 together with active campaigning by religious groups such as the Society of Friends (Quakers). At the core of the peace movement were a number of key figures (William Cobden, John Bright, E.D. Morel, Lord Bryce, J. A Hobson et al.) who both publicly and behind the scenes strove to influence public opinion. As well as advocating a peaceful policy between liberal states many were what the historian A. J. P. Taylor termed ‘The Troublemakers’, in that they actively dissented against British foreign policy. They could be found at the heart of groups such as the ‘pro-Boer’ South African Conciliation Committee during the second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), and the Balkan Committee with its focus on self-determination. This course will look at the origins of the nascent peace movement and associated groups opposing British foreign policy in the century and a half leading up to the ‘War to end all wars’ (First World War). Through a series of case studies, we will consider the role of such groups and the key individuals who worked with and through these dissenting groups. This will enable us to better understand the prevailing attitudes to war, peace and liberal internationalism."

Tutor: Dr Barry Dackombe

Dr Barry Dackombe is an Associate Lecturer at the OU, where he has been teaching on history courses since 2007. Specialising in modern history, Barry has taught courses on the long nineteenth century, war and social change and imperialism and empire. He has a strong interest in the Society of Friends and those who dissent from ‘perceived wisdom’ in relation to international relations. "