Faculty Book: Roger Karapin
Protest Politics in Germany: Movements on the Left and Right Since the 1960s
(Penn State University Press, 2007)
In the immediate postwar period, West Germany’s citizenry was largely passive. In the late 1960s, however, Germany experienced waves of left-wing protest that expanded the political agenda and broadened political participation. After unification, the country was confronted by new challenges from right-wing groups, which often engaged in violence during the early 1990s. Roger Karapin looks at the growth of these protest movements and the reasons why protesters in different conflicts used quite different methods (ranging from conventional participation to nonviolent disruption to violent militancy). His study of nine cases includes leftist opposition to urban-renewal and nuclear-energy policies in the 1970s and 1980s and rightist opposition to immigration policy in the 1990s. Comparisons of contrasting cases reveal the crucial role played by strategic interaction among protesters, party politicians, and government officials—rather than socioeconomic factors or political institutions—in determining the paths that the movements took. Roger Karapin is associate professor of political science at Hunter College and the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: AUG 1, 2007