Introduction: The globalization of the sixties

Martin Klimke, Mary Nolan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


Nineteen sixty-eight has been called “the first global rebellion.”1 In that year and during the long sixties for which it is a shorthand, student protests and worker strikes, new ideologies and countercultures emerged in countries around the world. These reflected and sought to reshape local political and cultural contexts and were linked by a dense web of transnational connections, real and imagined, desired by many and feared by many others. Yet we know much more about May '68 in Paris than about the protests in Portugal, Mexico City, or Senegal, about the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, or the events of the Prague Spring than about student demands for free speech in places like Cairo. The British New Left, the German Socialist Student League, and the U.S. Students for a Democratic Society have been thoroughly studied, but not the large Ethiopian or Iranian student movements, active not only in their home countries but in Western Europe and the U.S. as well. The iconic Dutch Provos and American hippies were celebrated and condemned both at the time and later, but we know little about their counterparts in Bamako, Belgrade, or Moscow. In sixties historiography and popular memory, Vietnam was the war of that tumultuous decade, mobilizing protests in innumerable countries in the First, Second, and Third Worlds.2 The civil wars in places like Oman and the Congo and movements of national liberation and nation building have receded in our shared recollections, even though they were integral to the politics and transnational solidarity networks of that decade.3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of the Global Sixties
Subtitle of host publicationBetween Protest and Nation-Building
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781351366113
ISBN (Print)9781138557321
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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