chapter  11
17 Pages

The Organised Consumer Movement since 1945

ByMatthew Hilton

This chapter overviews the modern consumer movement, that is those organisations in which shoppers professed their own expertise and sought to speak against those businesses, professions and public officials who had often spoken in their name. It outlines the growth of comparative testing organisations and magazines which have formed something of a social movement, before comparing different consumer protection systems operating in the affluent West. The chapter focuses on the global nature of modern consumerism, no more seen than in growth of the International Organisation of Consumers Unions (IOCU) which became one of the most prominent international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) of the late twentieth century. Organised consumerism in France has taken the form of something of a social movement. Along with women's organisations and the labour movement, the consumer movement was one of the earlier sections of civil society to be invited to participate within the UN.