The thesis purports to examine a movement of political dissenters - the Australian peace movement - from the time of the November 1959 Melbourne Peace Congress to approximately one year after the November 1966 Federal elections. After a definition and exploration of basic terms and concepts used throughout the text, the study is divided into three major sections.
The first section briefly reviews the history of the Australian peace movement prior to the 1959 Melbourne Congress, before delving into a detailed account of that Congress - an event that laid the foundation for the formal, organised movement that emerged.
The second part undertakes to describe and analyse the organisational framework, policies and activities of the movement in two states, Western Australia and Queensland. The modus operandi of the groups in these two states are viewed as two distinct prototypes of organisational patterns existing in other states.
Finally, the thesis depicts the broad developmental pattern of the Australia-wide movement during the first eight years of the past decade. In this respect, the main thane concentrates on the organic nature of an evolving movement where changes were registered in issue-orientation, types of 4isaentera, sources of financial support, degree of social control encountered from the macro-society, and in the militancy of the tactics and outlook of the movement's participants. The description our analysis centres mainly on events that occurred in New South Wales and Victoria. It concludes with an account of the schism affecting the entire movement that followed in the wake of the 1966 election denouement.