Dr Constance Bantman

Research Interests

  • Franco-British political and cultural exchanges, 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Transnational history and international networks.
  • History of the anarchist movement and trade unions in France and Britain up to 1914.
  • International anarchist terrorism and its policing, late 19th century

Teaching

Undergraduate level
Translation English – French I, II and III
French I
Contemporary France II
Advanced oral and writing skills in French

Postgraduate level
Globalisation: Theories, Discourses and Practices

Departmental Duties

Programme Leader for Business Management & a Language

Programme Leader for Liberal Arts & Sciences

Examinations officer, UG Languages

Contact Me

E-mail:
Phone: 01483 68 3065

Find me on campus
Room: 03 LC 03


My office hours

During Semester 2 I will be on research leave

Publications

Highlights

  • Bantman C. (2013) The French Anarchists in London, 1880–1914. Exile and Transnationalism in the First Globalisation. First Edition. Liverpool University Press 1

    Abstract

    This book is a study of political exile and transnational activism in the late-Victorian period. It explores the history of about 500 French-speaking anarchists who lived in exile in London between 1880 and 1914, with a close focus on the 1890s, when their presence peaked. These individuals sought to escape intense repression in France, at a time when anarchist-inspired terrorism swept over the Western world. Until the 1905 Aliens Act, Britain was the exception in maintaining a liberal approach to the containment of anarchism and terrorism; it was therefore the choice destination of international exiled anarchists, just as it had been for previous generations of revolutionary exiles throughout the nineteenth century. These French groups in London played a strategic role in the reinvention of anarchism at a time of crisis, but also triggered intense moral panic in France, Britain and beyond. This study retraces the lives of these largely unknown individuals – how they struggled to get by in the great late-Victorian metropolis, their social and political interactions among themselves, with other exiled groups and their host society. The myths surrounding their rumoured terrorist activities are examined, as well as the constant overt and covert surveillance which French and British intelligence services kept over them. The debates surrounding the controversial asylum granted to international anarchists, and especially the French, are presented, showing their role in the redefinition of British liberalism. The political legacy of these ‘London years’ is also analysed, since exile contributed to the formation of small but efficient transnational networks, which were pivotal to the development and international dissemination of syndicalism and, less successfully, to anti-war propaganda in the run up to 1914.

Journal articles

  • Bantman C. (2017) 'Louise Michel’s London years: a political reassessment (1890-1905)'. Taylor & Francis Women's History Review,
    [ Status: Accepted ]
  • Bantman C. (2014) 'The Franco-British Syndicalist Connection and the Great Labour Unrest 1880s-1914'. Liverpool University Press Labour History Review, 79 (1), pp. 83-96.

    Abstract

    This chapter explores the transfers between French and British trade unionism between 1880 and 1914, and the transnational elaboration of syndicalism in this period. The role of press exchanges and informal personal networks of influential militants is emphasized, as is the fact that influences between French and British militants travelled both ways - not simply from France to Great Britain, as is often assumed. Discourses on these cross-influences by contemporaries are also examined, in order to show that the transnational dimension of syndicalism was perceived and discussed at the time, often in terms of national character. The notable differences between these two brands of syndicalism are also examined, especially regarding the role of the state and the place of antimilitarism.

  • Bantman C. (2014) 'Anarchistes de la bombe, anarchistes de l'idée: les anarchistes français à Londres, 1880-1895'. Cairn International Le Mouvement Social, 246, pp. 47-61.

    Abstract

    The political activities of the 450 or so French-speaking anarchists exiled in Great Britain between 1880 and 1914 have recently been the subject of diverging historiographical assessments. The terrorist motive, which the movement's contemporaries were so concerned with, has been taken up by several studies. Yet a transnational approach brings out a very different interpretation: that of a group with a predominantly informal organisation (against the myth of the "anarchist International"), overwhelmed with basic material preoccupations, and more inclined to strategic thinking concerning the revolutionary potential of trade unions than to terrorist pursuits. In the light of this analysis, it is therefore more fruitful to describe London's "French quarter", not as a terrorist outpost, but rather as a node of networks and transfers for the international anarchist movement.

  • Bantman C. (2013) 'Review of Timothy Messer-Kruse, The Haymarket Conspiracy. Transatlantic Anarchist Networks'. Cambridge University Press International Review of Social History, 58 (1), pp. 131-134.
  • Bantman C, David-Guillou A. (2012) ''Les études interculturelles franco-britanniques: définitions et exemples''. Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle Revue Francaise de Civilisation Britannique, 17 (3), pp. 59-76.
  • Bantman C. (2010) 'Review of Paul Knepper, The Invention of International Crime: A Global Issue in the Making 1881-1914'. Sage Publications Ltd Theoretical Criminology: an international journal, 14 (4), pp. 540-542.
  • Bantman C. (2010) 'The Recent Historiography of French Anarchism: Terrorists, Networks, Transnationalism, and a Few Polemics'. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Modern & Contemporary France, 18 (3), pp. 383-389.

    Abstract

    This article reviews three recent books on the history of the late nineteenth-century French anarchist movement—one by the French historian Vivien Bouhey and the other two by American scholars, Alexander McKinley and John Merriman. It replaces these works in the context of a renewed interest in the study of the anarchist movement, as an early example of transnational terrorist organisation, and as a relevant field of application for the historiographic concepts of network and transnationalism. In conclusion, it highlights the differences between French and US approaches to the study of anarchism, and evidences the limits of the ‘transnational turn’ in this particular historical field.

  • Bantman C. (2009) 'The Militant Go-between: Emile Pouget's Transnational Propaganda (1880-1914)'. Liverpool University Press Labour History Review, 74 (3), pp. 274-287.

    Abstract

    This article is a study of the transnational activism of the French anarchist militant Emile Pouget (1860–1931), from his early days in the 1880s as an agitator and as the editor of the scathing anarchist weekly Père Peinard, through to his key role in the spread of revolutionary syndicalism in France and beyond. Against dominant representations focusing on his substantial journalistic and organizational propaganda exclusively within national boundaries, it suggests that Pouget did start off as a locally-minded militant in the 1880s, but later became aware of the great importance of international organization. This contribution depicts Pouget’s year of exile in Britain (1894–1895) as the turning point leading to a greater international emphasis in his activism. Through Pouget, the usually unheeded transnational ramifi cations of belle-époque anarchism and syndicalism are highlighted, as well as the relevance of militant biography for the study of transnational networks and ideological dissemination.

  • Bantman C. (2009) 'Review of John MERRIMAN, The Dynamite Club. How a Bombing in Fin-de-Siècle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror.'. Société d'histoire de 1848 et de la Rh19 Revue d'Histoire du XIXe Siecle, 39, pp. 178-178.
  • Bantman C. (2006) ''Internationalism without an International? Cross-Channel Anarchist Networks, 1880-1914''. Persee Revue Belge de Philologie et d'Histoire, 84 (4), pp. 961-981.

Books

  • Bantman C, Suriani da Silva A. (2016) The Foreign Political Press in Nineteenth Century London: Politics from a Distance. Bloomsbury
  • Bantman C, Altena B. (2015) Reassessing the Transnational Turn: Scales of Analysis in Anarchist and Syndicalist Studies. Routledge, Taylor & Francis

    Abstract

    This edited volume reassesses the ongoing transnational turn in anarchist and syndicalist studies, a field where the interest in cross-border connections has generated much innovative literature in the last decade. It presents and extends up-to-date research into several dynamic historiographic fields, and especially the history of the anarchist and syndicalist movements and the notions of transnational militancy and informal political networks. Whilst restating the relevance of transnational approaches, especially in connection with the concepts of personal networks and mediators, the book underlines the importance of other scales of analysis in capturing the complexities of anarchist militancy, due to both their centrality as a theme of reflection for militants, and their role as a level of organization. Especially crucial is the national level, which is often overlooked due to the internationalism which was so central to anarchist ideology. And yet, as several chapters highlight, anarchist discourses on the nation (as opposed to the state), patriotism and even race, were more nuanced than is usually assumed. The local and individual levels are also shown to be essential in anarchist militancy.

  • Bantman C. (2013) The French Anarchists in London, 1880–1914. Exile and Transnationalism in the First Globalisation. First Edition. Liverpool University Press 1

    Abstract

    This book is a study of political exile and transnational activism in the late-Victorian period. It explores the history of about 500 French-speaking anarchists who lived in exile in London between 1880 and 1914, with a close focus on the 1890s, when their presence peaked. These individuals sought to escape intense repression in France, at a time when anarchist-inspired terrorism swept over the Western world. Until the 1905 Aliens Act, Britain was the exception in maintaining a liberal approach to the containment of anarchism and terrorism; it was therefore the choice destination of international exiled anarchists, just as it had been for previous generations of revolutionary exiles throughout the nineteenth century. These French groups in London played a strategic role in the reinvention of anarchism at a time of crisis, but also triggered intense moral panic in France, Britain and beyond. This study retraces the lives of these largely unknown individuals – how they struggled to get by in the great late-Victorian metropolis, their social and political interactions among themselves, with other exiled groups and their host society. The myths surrounding their rumoured terrorist activities are examined, as well as the constant overt and covert surveillance which French and British intelligence services kept over them. The debates surrounding the controversial asylum granted to international anarchists, and especially the French, are presented, showing their role in the redefinition of British liberalism. The political legacy of these ‘London years’ is also analysed, since exile contributed to the formation of small but efficient transnational networks, which were pivotal to the development and international dissemination of syndicalism and, less successfully, to anti-war propaganda in the run up to 1914.

  • Berry D, Bantman C. (2010) New Perspectives on Anarchism, Labour and Syndicalism. Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

    Abstract

    This collection presents exciting new research on the history of anarchist movements and their relation to organised labour, notably revolutionary syndicalism. Bringing together internationally acknowledged authorities as well as younger researchers, all specialists in their field, it ranges across Europe and from the late nineteenth century to the beginnings of the Cold War. National histories are revisited through transnational perspectives—on Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Poland or Europe as a whole—evidencing a great wealth of cross-border interactions and reciprocal influences between regions and countries. Emphasis is also placed on individual activist itineraries—whether of renowned figures such as Errico Malatesta or of lesser-known yet equally fascinating characters, whose trajectories offer fresh perspectives on the complex interplay of regional and national political cultures, evolving political ideologies, activist networks and the individual. The volume will be of interest to specialists working on the history of anarchism and/or trade unionism as well as the political or social history of the countries concerned; but it will also be useful to students and the general reader looking for discussion of the most recent thinking on the historiography of labour and anarchist movements or those wanting a comprehensive overview of the history of syndicalism.

Book chapters

  • Jones T, Bantman C. (2016) ''From Republicanism to Anarchism: 50 years of French exilic publishing''. in Bantman C, Suriani da Silva A (eds.) The Foreign Political Press in London, 1815-1914. Politics from a Distance. Bloomsbury
  • Bantman C, Berry D. (2016) ''The French Anarchists and the War: from Antimilitarism to Union Sacree''. in Adams M, Kinna R (eds.) Anarchism, 1914-18: Antimilitarism,. militarism and war Manchester University Press
  • Bantman C. (2016) ''Terrorism and its Policing: Anarchists and the Era of Propaganda by the Deed (1870s-1914)''. in (ed.) Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice
  • Bantman C. (2014) 'Anarchists, Authorities and the Battle for Public Space, 1880–1914: Recasting Political Protest as Anti-social Behaviour'. in (ed.) Anti-Social Behaviour in Britain. Victorian and Contemporary Perspectives Palgrave Macmillan
  • Bantman C. (2013) '''Almost the only free city in the world': mapping out the French anarchist presence in London, late 1870s-1914''. in Kelly D, Cornick M (eds.) A History of the French in London. Liberty, equality, opportunity. London : Institute of Historical Research, University of London Article number 8 , pp. 193-215.

    Abstract

    This chapter charts four decades of anarchist presence in London through the prisms of space and perception. Through its rich history of exile, London had by the end of the nineteenth century become a connotated space, a palimpsest. The most literate and educated anarchist exiles were certainly conscious of walking in the footsteps of illustrious refugees, as evidenced by regular references to the generations of revolutionaries who had preceded them in London. These nodded primarily to the post-1848 waves, as journalists noted for instance that the anarchists congregated in one of the rooms of St Martin’s Hall, where the International Working Men’s Association had been set up in 1864, or inscribed themselves in the Communards’ lineage: ‘One street in the French quarter has conquered fame: it is Charlotte Street and, on this road, one house deserves the honours of history: it is that of Victor Richard, the faithful friend of Vallès and Séverine’. This historical perspective also informed the eyes of beholders, although they were more likely to stress the different character of the anarchists, and especially the discontinuity with the previous, morally noble generations of exiles and the peak of French presence in London: How many French [in London]? A lot less than one may think. One should not assume that the streets of Soho and Fitzroy have regained since the recent explosions the very special character which they had after the Commune. A few rare French shop-fronts among the shop-fronts, a few vaguely familiar figures in Charlott-Street [sic] and in Wind-mill-Street [sic] and that’s it. The importance of this historical lineage means that the London years of the French anarchists can be read both in continuity and in contrast with the preceding waves of revolutionary exile, including from the point of view of outside observers who constantly compared the anarchists with their illustrious predecessors. Their growing hostility and the polemics provoked by the anarchists’ presence – suspected as well as seen – turned London into a contested space. The novelty which this presence represented must also be stressed, in order to convey the sense of puzzlement expressed by contemporaries – and by the exiles themselves – upon seeing or even just imagining these hundreds of individuals recreating an anarchist ‘Petite France’ in the streets of Soho and Fitzrovia. Their dismay stemmed from the fear of anarchist terrorism, because of the well-established reputat

  • Bantman C. (2010) 'From Trade Unionism to Syndicalisme Révolutionnaire to Syndicalism: The British Origins of French Syndicalism'. in Berry D, Bantman C (eds.) New Perspectives on Anarchism, Labour and Syndicalism. The Individual, the National and the Transnational Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing Article number 7 , pp. 126-140.

    Abstract

    The French and British trade union organisations of the 1880-1914 period are usually presented as antagonistic, British trade unionism being financially powerful and predominantly conservative, connected in turn with the Liberal Party and the Labour Party set up in 1893, while French unions were numerically weak, fiercely independent from political power, and preached revolutionary methods. This opposition is epitomised by the contrast between the powerful and conservative Trade Union Congress and, on the other hand, the CGT, the French trade union confederation set up in 1895, with its adamant rejection of political alliances formalised by the iconic 1906 Charte d’Amiens. These oppositions are often taken to reflect profound differences in the political orientations of skilled workers (with the contrast between France’s radical artisans and Britain’s labour aristocracy), and in the maturity of industrial development (between France’s decentralised and workshop-based production system and Britain’s more advanced industrialisation). In spite of these partly debatable alleged ideological and socioeconomic differences, the years between 1880 and 1914 saw an intense exchange of ideas and tactics between France and Britain, as trade union organisation and ideology underwent rapid changes on both sides of the Channel. The British organisations evolved from the reformist and elitist culture of the mid-Victorian social consensus into larger, more democratic and combative “new unions”.1 In France, the trade union movement remained very weak during the 1880s, until the development of the CGT and its formal rejection from parliamentary politics at the turn of the century, triumphant at first, then increasingly problematic.2 In both countries, these years witnessed a succession of periods of strength and decline, in ideological and numerical terms. For these two rapidly-changing movements, developments occurring across the Channel provided both an example and a counter-example through which they could define and reinvent themselves. This chapter maps out these ideological transfers within the revolutionary branch of the international labour movement, insisting on the personal networks underpinning these exchanges and on the processes of reinterpretation and adaptation such cross-influences required. It focuses on the “ideological” level, rather than the grassroots and organisational levels3: it is a study in transnational exchanges of ideas and debates, which leaves a

  • Bantman C. (2009) ''Visionaries or Reactionaries? British Anarchism and Modernity'.'. in (ed.) Arts, Politics and Society in Britain (1880-1914). Aspects of Modernity and Modernism. Cambridge Scholars Publishing , pp. 89-105.

Other publications

  • Bantman C. (2014) Making Another World Possible, Anarchism, Anti-Capitalism and Ecology in Late 19th and Early 2oth Century Britain. Bloomsbury. CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF SOCIAL HISTORY, 59 (3), pp. 524-526.
  • Bantman C. (2013) Making Sense of Anarchism. Errico Malatesta's Experiments with Revolution, 1889-1900. CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF SOCIAL HISTORY, 58 (3), pp. 523-525.
  • Bantman C. (2013) Review of Christophe Charle and Julien Vincent, La Société Civile. Savoirs, enjeux et acteurs en France et en Grande-Bretagne, 1780-1914. Société d'histoire de 1848 et de la Rh19 Revue d'histoire du XIXe siecle, (45), pp. 222-223.
  • Bantman C. (2012) Review of Karine Salomé, L'Ouragan Homicide. L'Attentat politique en France au XIXe siècle. Société d'histoire de 1848 et de la Rh19 Revue d'histoire du XIXe siecle, (44), pp. 198-200.
  • Bantman C. (2010) A bit of anarchy is good for you. Review of . Anarchism and Utopianism, edited by Laurence Davis and Ruth Kinna, Manchester University Press, 304 pp. £60.. Wiley-Blackwell Political Quarterly, 81 (4), pp. 646-648.
  • Bantman C. (2009) Review of Vivien Bouhey, Les anarchistes contre la République. Contribution à l’histoire des réseaux sous la Troisième République (1880-1914) Préface de Philippe Levillain, Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2008, 491 p. ISBN : 978-2-7535-0727-2. 24 euros.. Société d'histoire de 1848 et de la Rh19 Revue d'Histoire du XIXe Siecle, 39, pp. 175-176.

Theses and dissertations

  • Bantman C. (2007) Anarchismes et anarchistes en France et en Grande-Bretagne, 1880-1914. Echanges, représentations, transferts..

    Abstract

    Anarchismes et anarchistes en France et en Grande-Bretagne, 1880-1914 : Échanges, représentations, transferts Cette thèse analyse les relations et les collaborations entre les mouvements anarchistes français et britannique entre 1880 et 1914. À rebours des travaux réduisant l’internationalisme anarchiste à des institutions formelles peu efficaces et polémiques, ou considérant le mouvement dans une optique strictement nationale et donc tronquée, les transferts idéologiques et militants entre ces courants sont détaillés. Le rôle et la densité des réseaux informels et des multiples canaux rendant possibles ces influences croisées sont soulignés, et notamment l’impact des colonies anarchistes françaises installées outre-Manche. L’importance de cet axe franco-britannique s’observe notamment à travers l’essor de la propagande anarcho-syndicaliste de la fin des années 1880 à la Grande Guerre, dans la mise en place de pédagogies libertaires ou de campagnes de protestations internationales. À travers le cas apparemment marginal des anarchistes, cette étude transnationale ouvre également de nouvelles perspectives pour une étude comparée de l’intégration ouvrière en France et en Grande-Bretagne dans les dernières décennies du long XIXe siècle. La réception du mouvement libertaire dans les deux pays offre enfin des perspectives privilégiées pour analyser les sociétés française et britannique de la fin du siècle à travers le prisme d’un groupe dissident et stigmatisé. Anarchisms and Anarchists in France and Great-Britain, 1880-1914: Exchanges, Representations, Transfers This thesis analyses the relations and the interactions between the French and the British anarchist movements from 1880 to 1914. It seeks to counteract the prevalence of studies which reduce anarchist internationalism to polemical and inefficient formal institutions, or consider the movement in a strictly national – and therefore truncated – context. The ideological and militant transfers between these movements are emphasised. The role and density of informal networks, and the many channels making such cross-influences possible are brought to light, especially through the impact of the French anarchist colonies living in Britain. The importance of this Franco-British connection can be observed through the rise of anarchosyndicalist propaganda from the late 1880s to the Great War, the implementation of libertarian pedagogic ventures or international protest campaigns. Through the seemingly marginal

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