History | Social Movements in Western Europe, 1850-Present
J400 | 3563 | Roos

Above class open to majors only
Above class open to undergraduates only
J400:  P - HIST-J300

Even democratically elected governments of the present often fail to
represent adequately the interests and viewpoints of important parts
of the population. This was even truer of European states of the
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when a majority of the
population (especially men without property, and all women) was
disenfranchised. In Europe, democratization was a slow and bumpy
process, frequently driven forward by the protests of groups
traditionally excluded from political participation. Since the
second half of the nineteenth century, Europe witnessed the
emergence of social movements challenging the state and established
elites to relinquish their monopoly on power. In this course, we
will trace the origins and successive waves of a broad range of
social movements from the 1850s to the present. Important examples
include, among others, the labor and women’s movements, peace
movements, and student movements. Some key questions we will explore
are: Under which historical and political conditions do new social
movements emerge, and why? What binds together the participants in a
specific social movement? What did the various social movements
achieve? At which historical junctures do international social
movement emerge, and why? What are the different positions social
movements have taken on the issue of violence? Last but not least,
are there examples of conservative social movements?

Some of the readings include: Judith Walkowitz, "Prostitution and
Victorian Society: Women, Class, and the State"; Donatella Della
Porta and Mario Dani, "Social Movements: An Introduction"; and
Jeremy Varon, "Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the
Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and


Regular attendance and informed participation in class discussion
are absolutely indispensable; absences will result in a low
participation grade. The reading load is 75-100 pages per week.
There will be shorter writing assignments and oral presentations, as
well as a final research essay of 15-20 pages (50 percent of the
final grade.)