The British and French Hunger Marches of the 1930s: An Exclusive Mode of Protest, a Cultural Transfer, and a Fulcrum of Success

  • Matt PerryEmail author


This chapter compares the hunger marches associated with the British and French unemployed protest movements during the 1930s. It is based on archival research in both countries. The study locates the hunger march within national repertoires of action of the unemployed and within the distinctive national political cultures and traditions. The comparative and transnational context of the hunger march helps to identify the mechanisms of transmission of this form of protest from the British to the French environment. The chapter makes the case that the hunger march is unique within the repertoire of action of the unemployed as it is a form of action that does not appear in the repertoires of other social groups: it is an exclusive mode of unemployed protest. This study reveals that the hunger march also has distinctive characteristics given that it is an amalgam of several forms of collective action and that it has a particular relationship to cycles of protest among the unemployed.


Collective Action Political Culture Resource Mobilization Cultural Transfer Political Opportunity Structure 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Historical StudiesUniversity of NewcastleNewcastle upon TyneUK

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