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In The Name of LiberalismIlliberal Social Policy in the USA and Britain$
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Desmond King

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198296294

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198296290.001.0001

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‘Reconditioning the Unemployed’: Work Camps in Britain

‘Reconditioning the Unemployed’: Work Camps in Britain

Chapter:
(p.155) 5 ‘Reconditioning the Unemployed’: Work Camps in Britain
Source:
In The Name of Liberalism
Author(s):

Desmond King (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198296290.003.0008

King documents the establishment and operation of British Instructional Centres from 1929–38, ‘labour camps’, which also featured physical training and reconditioning classes. He argues that, unlike British eugenics policies, there was little expertise cited or marshalled in the formulation of British work camps; instead, such policies rested simply on the perception amongst senior civil servants that the long‐term unemployed required physical ‘reconditioning’ to successfully enter the labour market. As a result, in King's view, such camps serve as striking examples of collectivism and the antithesis of the liberalism individualism.

Keywords:   Britain, civil service, collectivism, eugenics, expertise, instructional centres, labour camps, liberal individualism, unemployment, work camps

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