Did Youth Destabilize Politics? Western European Social Democracies and Student Movements in «the Long Sixties»

Ismail Ferhat


Student movements during «the Long Sixties» had a profound impact on Western politics and societies. One of the major political families in Western Europe, the social-democratic parties, were particularly affected. A major governmental force in a majority of Western European democracies, their post-war views on education, founded on optimistic and careful prospects (democratization of schools, progressive reforms) were destabilized by student protests and radicalism. How did social democrats react to the strong criticism of the universities, pedagogies and hierarchies in educational institutions that they had helped to build? This article is based on archives, documents and publications from the Socialist International, kept at the International Institute of Social History (Amsterdam), and on documents held by several national archives and libraries. It uses a transnational and interdisciplinary approach, linking political history and educational studies.


Students; 1968; Oolitics; Europe; Social Democracy; Education

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14516/ete.269


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