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Timothy S. Brown

1968. Transnational and Global Perspectives

Version: 1.0, in: Docupedia-Zeitgeschichte, 11.06.2012


Artikelbild: 1968. Transnational and Global Perspectives

Demonstration gegen den Vietnamkrieg, Kurfürstendamm in Berlin-Charlottenburg am 18. Februar 1968. Foto: Bert Saß, ©Landesarchiv Berlin.

Timothy S. Brown highlights in his article that the year „1968” must be conceived as a cipher for the political and social change in the second half of the 20th century. He inquires the generational connection and the transnational entanglement of the “Global Sixties”. Despite the numerous research in the course of the 50th anniversary of “1968” remains the subject fruitful: Brown points out the potential of interdisciplinary studies, which give more weight to the cultural aspects of “1968” and the new kinds of the political, focus on the analysis of reactions of the states and their elites as well as on the changes in gender relations and in general on the long-term effects of this “epoch-making” year.
1968. Transnational and Global Perspectives

by Timothy S. Brown

The term "1968" refers to a cluster of events and processes that began in the early 1960s (with roots stretching back into the 1950s), reaching an initial highpoint (in some but not all national settings) around the calendar year 1968, and then splintering off into a number of different directions over the next decades. These directions included a radicalized countercultural scene, sectarian Communist groupings, the New Social Movements – including the women's, environmental, gay, and other identity-based movements – and (in some cases) armed guerilla struggle. The activism of "1968" was marked by a number of factors which include, but are not necessarily limited to: a) humanistic engagement with the problems of war and neo-colonialism; b) a new style of politics marked by playful and ironic forms of direct action, and the fusion of neo-Marxist radicalism with forms and concepts drawn from popular culture; c) radical egalitarianism and valorization of rank and file democracy; d) the breaking down of boundaries between formerly separate areas of concern (e.g. between the public and the private, between art and politics); e) a focus on democratization of cultural expression; f) a struggle over representation, linked to a focus on media democracy; g) new action forms, including: self-organization from below; decentralized direct action; the development of new kinds of cultural practice (D.I.Y. or "do it yourself"), including, especially, the creation of alternative media; and finally, in a way dependent on the differing historical trajectories of respective national settings, h) attempts to come to terms with outstanding social questions (e.g., in West Germany, the National Socialist past, in the U.S.A., race relations, in various "Third World" settings, the persistence of neo-colonial dominance, and so on).

From "1968" to the "Global 1960s": The Problem of Historical Periodization

The recent fortieth-year anniversary of 1968 brought with it a major wave of scholarly publications.[1] But as important as "1968" is as a symbol of the world-historical revolt of the late-1960s, the year 1968 can function only very imperfectly as a temporal marker. Associated with a worldwide "meta-event" comprising a series of individual national moments, the date attains its interpretive valence from the fact that a preponderance of the major incidents of protest activity in the late 1960s took place in that year; yet obviously, the peaks and valleys of the respective national trajectories mean that 1968 functions more as a symbolic stand-in for a linked set of national event clusters of multi-year duration than as a meaningful marker of historical periodization. To be sure, the dramatic weight of the events actually occurring in the calendar year 1968 – in France, the so-called "French May" (perhaps the paradigmatic event of "1968"); in Czechoslovakia, the Warsaw Pact invasion to crush the "Prague Spring;" in the United States, the (police) riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the occupations at Columbia University; in West Germany, the riots surrounding (among other things) the assassination attempt against the student leader Rudi Dutschke; in Mexico, the "Tlatelolco massacre" of protesting students; in Japan, Great Britain, Italy, and across Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, protests and student strikes leading to fierce battles with police; in Eastern Europe, stillborn but nevertheless readily discernible attempts to challenge the Stalinist status quo; and in China, the on-going Cultural Revolution (an event that, for reasons of its genesis in the strategizing of an authoritarian Communist Party chairman – whatever the aspirations of its student protagonists – sits uneasily among other protest events of an emancipatory-democratic character) – has lent a certain interpretive weight to the notion of the year 1968 as a pole around which the events of a decade or more swing, even if focus on the year as opposed to the decade-plus period it symbolizes has fueled, at the less scholarly end of the spectrum, a tendency toward year-in-review approaches that substitute synchronic narrative for analytic insight.[2]

The salience of the year 1968 cannot obscure the fact that many key events associated with the 1960s moment took place either earlier or later. In West Germany, to cite a well-known example, the watershed moment came in the summer of 1967, with the police shooting of the student Benno Ohnesorg; it was that event, and not the events of 1968, that was commemorated ten years later as the real year of import in the genesis of the protest wave in West Germany. Only later was 1967 "geared in" to the larger historical conjuncture, the gravitational pull of world events pulling West Germany's key date into the orbit of the "global 1968". Such an example reinforces the point that 1968 has functioned for the most part more as an interpretive trope than a date per se.[3]

More important, there has been, in the study of the protest wave of the late 1960s, a tension between event and process. The use of the date 1968 as a stand-in for a world-historical protest moment has stood very much in line with a focus on big events: protests, battles, assassinations, and massacres. One obvious shortcoming of this approach is that the focus on confrontational events – events falling very much within the ambit of ”politics" as traditionally understood – obscure radical-democratic and anti-authoritarian innovations in the sphere of culture (e.g., in the counterculture and the arts) that were equally if not more salient in their effect on society. But a more fundamental problem is that the notion of a "watershed year of 1968" obscures the long-term processes that made the protest explosion possible. A wave of scholarship in the last decade or so has increasingly emphasized the importance played, in the youth explosion of the 1960s, of long-term processes of cultural liberalization – beginning as early as the 1950s and lasting into the 1970s – in which the radicalism of "1968" becomes as much a product of changing patterns of youth consumption as of neo-Marxist theory and student activism.[4]

At one end of the spectrum, the focus on cultural change has threatened to fully de-politicize – and thereby de-historicize – the 1960s. In the British historian Arthur Marwick's landmark study of the 1960s in Britain, France, Italy and the United States, a cross-generational "cultural revolution" marked by changing patterns of consumption and shifting social mores plays a much greater role than the ideology and activism of student and labor activists.[5] A number of German and German-American scholars – Detlef Siegfried, Axel Schildt, Wilfried Mausbach, and Uta Poiger among them – have, while acknowledging the political nature of the 1960s, nevertheless highlighted the role played by long-term social change in general and by changing patterns of consumption in particular.[6] So far has the weight shifted in the recent historiography in this direction that the American historian Geoff Eley has lamented the loss of focus on the "big eventedness" of 1968, which he links with a loss of focus on the ideological content of student activism.[7]

The question of periodization is closely linked to evaluations of the relative weight to be placed on the intentions of revolutionary protagonists – e.g., student radicals – as opposed to the process of social evolution that made their activism possible. Whereas a focus on events leads inevitably to a focus on their protagonists, and thereby a valorization of agency, the focus on process tends to downplay both the intentions and actions of protagonists.

Whatever the focus of individual scholars, there has been a wide recognition that the year 1968 is an inadequate marker for the longer anti-authoritarian (or simply liberalizing cultural revolutionary) moment of the 1960s and 1970s. Arthur Marwick's influential notion of a "long 1960s" (roughly from 1958 to 1974) is keyed to the rise and fall of a period of economic stability and optimism which, he argues, made the cultural revolution of the 1960s possible. Gerd-Rainer Horn, by contrast, has attempted to correct the picture of a largely depoliticized 1960s, calling attention to the neglected history of labor and student activism in Northern, Western, and Southern Europe.[8] Like Marwick, Horn adopts a longer periodization, beginning his study in 1956 with the twin crises of Suez and Hungary, and ending it in 1976 with the apogee of workers' control in Italy and the winding-down of the revolution in Portugal. Unlike Marwick, Horn's periodization rests on more purely political, as opposed to economic, pillars. The adoption of a longer periodization, whatever its justification, has become dominant in historiography, with the term "global 1960s" increasingly winning pride of place over the temporally imprecise "1968".

A "Generation of 1968"?

Like the concept of a "long sixties", the notion of a "68er generation" encodes its own interpretations. The facile linkage between a few prominent SDS "68ers" and the mass movement of which they are supposedly representative – in some of the scholarship on West Germany, for example – too often makes interpretation of 1968 and its meaning rise and fall on the vagaries of personal biography.[9] As Kristin Ross has observed in her work on France, the prominence of activist notables, either as exclusive historiographical focus or, in the role of commentator or historian, as holders of the "truth" about 1968, contributes to the "erasure" of 1968 as a political-revolutionary moment.[10] This danger comes to particular expression in the literature produced by disillusioned former activists with political axes to grind, a literature in which the voices of male former student activists (and in Germany in particular, of former members of the authoritarian Maoist and Marxist-Leninist cadre parties: "K-Gruppen") drown out other voices with less of an interest in closing down the meaning of "1968" for good.[11]

Thankfully, new approaches are helping to lend more analytic rigor to the concept of "generation" around 1968. The term "68er generation" has been used to denote young people born roughly between the years 1941 and 1955; but as a number of the contributions to the recent volume edited by Anna von der Goltz show, "generation" was as much a social construction as a social fact.[12] Holger Nehring suggests that in West Germany, Italy, and France, generation functioned above all as a "political argument" directed at asserting the right of young people to "intervene in social struggles as one of the main 'revolutionary subjects.' "[13] Albrecht von Lucke has shown, in a somewhat similar vein, that the creation of a "68er Generation" in West Germany was primarily a product of a post-68 attempt to come to grips with the terrorist wave of 1977.[14] Other scholars have emphasized the extent to which "1968" was an intergenerational phenomenon. Christina von Hodenberg, Dirk Moses and others have shown that members of the previous generation, the "45ers" (born roughly between 1920 and 1930), shared many of the 68ers' concerns and often acted as their allies in the push to overcome the vestiges of authoritarianism in Germany.[15] Moreover, as Mia Lee argues, the activism of the artistic and political avant-gardes ("Subversive Aktion" et al.) who helped launch the anti-authoritarian revolt in West Germany was characterized by intergenerational friendships between older and younger radicals, both at the political and at the artistic-cultural end of the spectrum.

Normative Models and Geographic Scope

The problem of periodization takes on another layer when the lens is widened to encompass regions outside Europe and North America. Study of the global 1960s has, until very recently, been hampered by the use of Europe (especially France) and the United States as normative models. Focus on slogans of the French May such as "All Power to the Imagination" helped to suggest a view of "1968" as an ephemeral outbreak of youthful rebellion more philosophical and aesthetic than seriously political, one possible only in the industrialized capitals of the West where all serious problems had already been decided and all that remained was to solve the problem of "boredom" produced by rising prosperity in a technocratic society. Yet if, as Horn in particular has shown, such an analysis is mistaken even with respect to the Western Europe it purports to describe, it is all the more mistaken with respect to the countries of the "Third World" – more commonly referred to today as the "Global South" – where student activism frequently ran up against very serious repression in societies where basic problems of political access, democratization and so on were very far from having been solved.[16] Not at all grouped closely around the year 1968, the events of the global sixties in the Third World unfolded over a disparate set of timelines.[17]

Recognition of the importance of the Third World to student radicals as an inspirational model and source of revolutionary strategy, and – more recently – acknowledgement of the importance of the Third World as a site of anti-authoritarian activism in its own right, informs much of the new and cutting-edge scholarship on the global 1960s. The cult of Chairman Mao in the West is treated in Richard Wolin's recent study of the reception of Maoism in France, as well as in Zachary Scarlett's work on connections between the Cultural Revolution and Black and Asian American Activism on the West Coast of the United States.[18] Rich and diverse treatments of Third World activism itself – previously thin on the ground – appear in the collection edited by Samantha Christiansen and Zachary Scarlett, The Third World in the Global 1960s. Bringing together for the first time a collection of essays dealing with individual Third World "1968s" in their respective settings – essays on little-studied cases like the Congo, the Philippines, Jamaica, South Africa, Zimbabwe and India – the volume emphasizes the importance of treating the Third World in "1968" not as a projection screen for the fantasies of Western radicals, but as a site of anti-authoritarian activism that must be understood on its own terms.[19]

A third trend in scholarship on the global 1960s involving the Third World deals with First World-Third World connections, and in particular the presence of Third World radicals in the European metropole. Rather than simply serving as an inspiration for student radicals in the West, or as a source of revolutionary tactics and strategy, the Third World, as scholars like Quinn Slobodian have shown, operated as a living presence in the European metropole, helping to synergize student protest there.[20] Radical networks spanning the First and Third Worlds also play a major role in this area of scholarship, with Burleigh Hendrickson's work on France, Senegal, and Tunisia offering an important case in point.[21]

Until recently, the Communist Eastern bloc was largely missing from accounts of "1968". This was due to the fact that the allegedly paradigmatic expressions of "1968" – post-materialist youth enacting an inchoate rebellion against social norms in societies in which basic democratic rights were already on offer – fit poorly with the picture of youth resistance in closed societies in which democratic rights had yet to be won. This perspective was linked with a notion, more often implicit than openly expressed, that because "1968" involved protest by youth motivated in many cases by neo-Marxist analysis – and in some cases, sympathetic to Eastern bloc Communism, even if only as a means of resisting hard and fast Cold War boundaries imposed by the West's official anti-Communism – it could not have taken place in societies where Marxism was already the dominant official ideology. This was linked with the mistaken idea that students (e.g., in Western and Central Europe) were blind to repression in the Eastern bloc, so motivated were they by allegedly parochial concerns.[22] While it is true that, in West Germany, for example, portions of the student movement – early on, the so-called "Traditionalists" in SDS, and later, those students attracted to the Communist Party (DKP) refounded in 1968 – held sympathies with Eastern bloc Communism, the "68er" movement as a whole was opposed to both Communism and Capitalism as twin expressions of a bureaucratic system characterized by hard-and-fast conceptual categories. If it was aimed against anything, "1968" was aimed against the Cold War bloc system itself.

A more concrete reason for the relative lack of work on 1968 in Eastern Europe was that sufficient research had yet to be done to reveal the little-known episodes of revolt in countries like East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and so on. This situation has, thankfully, begun to change, with the publication of a host of new essays and edited collections showing that "1968" – as a humanistic, anti-authoritarian, radical democratic upsurge of youth – took place on both sides of the Iron Curtain. The recently published collection edited by Martin Klimke, Jacco Pekelder and Joachim Scharloth – Between Prague Spring and French May. Opposition and Revolt in Europe, 1960-1980 – contains essays highlighting the multisided connections linking protest movements across the Cold War divide.[23] Alongside well-covered countries like France, Italy, and West Germany, there are essays on little-explored cases like Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Czechoslovakia, as well as largely neglected cases like Denmark, Yugoslavia, Norway, Romania, Denmark, and East Germany.[24] A prime focus of the emerging scholarship represented in this volume is the role played by transnational and trans-bloc connections which are increasingly understood to have characterized "1968" interchange between the capitalist West and the Communist East, both at the official level and at the activist level, and were far more intensive than previously thought.

1968 between the Transnational and the Global

The primacy of connectivity – of networks of various kinds – is clearly evident in the recent scholarship on "1968". The emerging focus on connections, indeed, represents one of the most important current innovations in the research agenda on the global 1960s. In broad terms, the status of "1968" as a world-historical event has been under-theorized, its "global" character assumed rather than analyzed in depth. The use of the term "1968" is, of course, bound up with the idea that something of worldwide scope occurred in the late-1960s; it is the status of 1968 as a global event that organizes and confers meaning on the individual national events. Where 1968 is concerned, the "global" cannot be seen to inhere simply in the multiplication of national cases; rather, it must be traced out through connections between different spatial locations and teased out of various types of imagined community. This involves the transnational, obviously, and a lot of recent work has emphasized the importance of transnational connections. But it is not possible simply to eliminate the global in favor of the transnational, because the very idea of "1968" is a response to the putative globality of a series of individual national revolts occurring around the world at the same time.

Four possible meanings or forms of the "global" can readily be identified: 1) the global as a conjunctural fact – that is, the global as the sum total of individual (national) cases; this definition (the least useful for analytic purposes) tends to underpin those studies focusing literally on the year 1968;[25] 2) the "global" as a metaphor for a set of commitments (to struggles around the world in other locations – in particular to the Third World liberation struggles – including a strong interest in theory drawn from Third World sources); this definition is closely linked to a third: 3) the "global" as an imaginary, a whole of which actors imagine themselves to be a part; this is one of the most useful meanings of the "global" – as a term to suggest the importance of a whole set of affiliations which may be grouped under the term "global imagined community"; 4) the "global" (in particular as it is used in cultural, media, and globalization studies) as half of a global/local antinomy; this definition is useful to scholars concerned with understanding the local effects of events and processes occurring or generated elsewhere; this is the meaning of the global as movement, which pertains to global/local interactions.

The latter definition of the global touches most closely upon the term "transnational", which has taken on an increasing importance in the study of "1968". At the most basic level, the term "transnational" has been used to capture the importance of phenomena that flow across the borders of the nation-state, phenomena for which the concept "nation-state" can be more of a hindrance than a help: e.g., phenomena related to the environment, to migration, epidemiology, and so on. For purposes of studying "1968," it is possible to think of the transnational in terms of connections that create events, or synergies; lines of influence that fall across terrains, giving rise to global/local interactions. Transnational analysis can in this respect be broken into two parts: that concerned with the identification of vectors (what are the movements of peoples, goods, and ideas that constitute the transnational?), and that concerned with identifying the local effects of these vectors (what are the synergies created by transnational influences/networks? what are the local uses to which global influences are put?).

Some of the most important recent scholarship emphasizes the transnational linkages that fueled the activism of the global 1960s. Martin Klimke's The Other Alliance examines the transatlantic connections that synergized student protest in West Germany.[26] Emphasizing personal connections between activists of the American Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the West German Socialist German Students' League (SDS), Klimke shows that, far from being a discrete national phenomenon, the West German student movement was heavily shaped by foreign contacts fueled in no small part by student-exchange travel from one side of the Atlantic to the other. Klimke shows how West German understandings of distinctly American phenomena like Black Power shaped West German activism, thus demonstrating the importance not only of radical networks as such, but of the local reception of imported forms of radicalism.

From Student Politics to Popular Culture, Counterculture, and Beyond

If student politics have figured heavily in analyses of "1968," for obvious reasons, the importance of the realm of popular and underground culture – the counterculture, subcultural groupings, popular music, the arts, DIY production – is only more slowly coming into focus.[27] This situation has had to do not only with the salience of student protest in the contest of power with the authorities, but also with the fact that scholarship on the global 1960s has until very recently been dominated by former members of the student movement. The transnational element comes into play with special clarity in the attempt to analyze the spread and effects of popular culture, which has involved active concepts of cultural reception influenced by fields like Media and Cultural Studies.[28] The activism of the global sixties is notable in particular for the way in which protagonists adopted popular culture for political ends: popular culture was important as a source of images and ideas loaded or ascribed with oppositional content; as a site of conflict over "recuperation" (the process by which capitalism consolidates its control over potential challenges in the sphere of culture); and as a site where capitalism – including the "hip capitalism" of the protagonists themselves – helped to reproduce the cultural revolution associated with "1968". Popular culture was also one of the places where the active face of the transnational was most apparent. Cultural transfer occurred not just "from above" – through the mechanisms of consumer capitalism – but also "from below," through the activities of (sub)cultural activists themselves.[29]

The "subcultural turn" in the study of the global 1960s depends on, and is helping to drive, a focus on new, non-student actors: young workers, artists, drop-outs, etc.[30] Alongside the growing emphasis on culture as a field of activism in its own right, specific attention has been given to the role of popular music, both as a vehicle for new ways of life and expressive codes, and as a field of DIY activism. Of particular importance in this regard has been the work of the German scholar Detlef Siegfried, who has published widely not only on the role of popular culture and consumption in the genesis of 1968 (primarily in West Germany) in general, but on the role of popular music in particular.[31] Also important has been the work of Michael Rauhut on popular music and oppositional culture in East Germany, and the work of Uta Poiger on the reception of American culture in both Germanys.[32] The role of popular music in the shaping of youth identity – and the relationship of the popular arts to official state-building ideology – has also been emphasized to good effect by Eric Zolov in Refried Elvis, a study using music and counterculture to emphasize the effects of the transnational in 1960s Mexico.[33]

The role of the popular arts – and in particular, the culture of the "underground" – in the upheavals of the 1960s should be a major focus of future research. Also of recent and current importance is the focus on avant-garde groups standing at the intersection of popular culture and the art world. Situationism was, of course, a major influence on European (and, to a lesser extent, North American) cultural-political activists, and recent work has highlighted the role of activists influenced by Situationism, Surrealism, Beat culture, and so on.[34] In addition to this body of work is newer work of the "spatial turn" emphasizing the role of the spaces of the city, both in new forms of activism arising from the occupation of space, and in the attempts of authorities to control or channel that activism through the policing of space.[35] Focus on the concrete spaces in which activism or new life-forms took place – the city, the university, the street – can help lend specificity to overgeneralized accounts of "1968", while calling attention to the fact that the "local" in the "global/local" does not necessarily represent only the nation state.


The growing focus in the literature on new actors and venues of activism outside the realm of student organizations and universities suggests the importance of a broader conception of politics in the upheavals of the 1960s. As much as it was about protests against the initiatives of state power, 1968 was also about creative acts – artistic, cultural-productive, self-organizational – undertaken both from below and in cooperation with liberalizing elites. These acts – independent cultural initiatives, interventions in the social struggles of daily life – shading off as they did toward the manifold concrete projects of the Alternative and New Social Movements, were political in their own right; but they also achieved a political valence through the context in which they took place, and the networks of affinity of which they were a part. Opposition to the Vietnam War, for example, or the notion of an "international counterculture" to which theoretically anyone could belong, helped forge new identities set up in opposition to reigning Cold War orthodoxies. Both expressions of a global set of commitments produced local effects that intensified political conflicts within respective national settings. Equally important, youth protests in the capitals of the West took place in the context of the national liberation struggles of the Third World. The fact that revolutionary aspirations in Europe and North America unfolded against actual revolutions elsewhere, not to mention against a Manichean struggle between competing Cold War systems and ideologies, raised the stakes of political protest, while lending a strongly political edge even to the cultural manifestations of "1968".

The importance of culture, avant-garde art theory, the role of artists, the popular arts, urban topography, and so on, emphasizes the need for the interdisciplinary approach which has characterized recent work on the global 1960s. The interdisciplinary thrust of this scholarship has likewise been applied to attempts to trace the connections between the global 1960s and the activism of more recent decades. This work may be seen as an extension of the focus, in the recent scholarship on the global 1960s, on the longue durée of the events of "1968". Not only is work beginning to be done on the women's, peace, anti-nuclear and Green movements of the 1970s and 80s, but the evolution of "68er type" politics, especially in the realm of decentralized, direct-democratic network politics, is beginning to be explored.[36] At the same time, new attention is being given to the legacy of 1968, both in terms of the way 1968 has been written about, and more generally in terms of the production of cultural memory.[37] The role of women, the response of the state and elites, and the long-term effects of "1968" are all areas that should figure heavily in future research.

Recommended Reading

Frei, Norbert, 1968: Jugendrevolte und globaler Protest, München 2008: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag
Horn, Gerd-Rainer, The spirit of '68: rebellion in Western Europe and North America, 1956-1976, Oxford ; New York 2006: Oxford University Press
Klimke, Martin / Scharloth, Joachim (Hrsg.), 1968 in Europe: a history of protest and activism, 1956-1977, New York 2008: Palgrave Macmillan
Marwick, Arthur, The sixties: cultural revolution in Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, c. 1958-c. 1974, Oxford [England] ; New York 1998: Oxford University Press
Schildt, Axel / Siegfried, Detlef (Hrsg.), Between Marx and Coca-Cola: youth cultures in changing European societies, 1960 - 1980, New York 2006: Berghahn Books
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    1. See Ingrid Gilcher-Holtey (ed.), 1968. Vom Ereignis zum Mythos, Frankfurt am Main 2008. Ingrid Gilcher-Holtey, 1968. Eine Zeitreise, Frankfurt am Main 2008; Ingrid Gilcher-Holtey, Die 68er Bewegung. Deutschland - Westeuropa - USA, Munich 2001, 4th printing 2008; Philipp Gassert, Das kurze „1968“ zwischen Geschichtswissenschaft und Erinnerungskultur: Neuere Forschungen zur Protestgeschichte der 1960er-Jahre, in: H-Soz-u-Kult, April 30, 2010, see online; Manfred Lauermann, Vierzig Jahre 1968. Ein Literaturüberblick, in: Berliner Debatte Initial 20, 1 (2009), pp. 111-149. (Expanded version as a special electronic rerprint: Berliner Debatte Initial, elektronische Sonderausgabe 20, 1 (2009), pp. 111-151, online at; Detlef Siegfried, Furor und Wissenschaft. Vierzig Jahre nach „1968“, in: Zeithistorische Forschungen/Studies in Contemporary History 5 (2008), pp. 130-141, see online
    2. E.g., Mark Kurlansky, 1968. The Year That Rocked the World, New York/London 2004. Such approaches inevitably entail the inclusion of events – the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the Tet Offensive in Vietnam – that have little to do with the protest activity of the student movement and the politicization of private life through the counterculture that make up the real focus of “1968.”
    3. See Wolfgang Kraushaar, 1968 als Mythos, Chiffre und Zäsur, Hamburg 2000. See also Martin Sabrow (ed.), Mythos „1968“ (=Helmstedter Colloquien, 11), Leipzig 2009.
    4. See Axel Schildt/Detlef Siegfried/Karl Christian Lammers (eds.), Dynamische Zeiten. Die 60er Jahre in den beiden deutschen Gesellschaften, Hamburg 2000.
    5. Arthur Marwick, The Sixties. Cultural Revolution in Britain, France, Italy, and the United States 1958-1974, New York 1998.
    6. See Uta Poiger, Generations. The ‘Revolutions’ of the 1960s, in: Helmut Walser Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History, New York (in press); see also the essays in Axel Schildt/Detlef Siegfried (eds.), Between Marx and Coca-Cola. Youth Cultures in Changing European Societies, New York/Oxford 2006.
    7. Geoff Eley, Telling Stories about Sixty-Eight. Troublemaking, Political Passions, and the Enabling of Democracy, talk given at the annual meeting of the German Studies Association in St. Paul, Minnesota, October 4, 2008.
    8. Gerd-Rainer Horn, The Spirit of '68. Rebellion in Western Europe and North America, 1956-1976, Oxford 2006.
    9. See for example Hans Kundnani, Utopia or Auschwitz. Germany’s 1968 Generation and the Holocaust, London 2009.
    10. Kristin Ross, May ’68 and Its Afterlives, Chicago 2002.
    11. See for example Gerd Koenen, Das rote Jahrzehnt. Unsere kleine deutsche Kulturrevolution 1967-1977, Cologne 2001; Götz Aly, Unser Kampf. 1968, Frankfurt am Main 2008. 
    12. Anna von der Goltz (ed.), “Talkin’ ’bout my generation”. Conflicts of generation building and Europe's 1968, Göttingen 2011.
    13. Holger Nehring, “Generation”, Modernity and the Making of Contemporary History: Responses in West European Protest Movements around “1968,” in: von der Goltz (ed.), “Talkin’ ‘bout my generation”, pp. 71-94, here p. 73.
    14. Albrecht von Lucke, 68 oder neues Biedermeier. Der Kampf um die Deutungsmacht, Berlin 2008.
    15. Christina von Hodenberg, Konsens und Krise: Eine Geschichte der westdeutschen Medienöffentlichkeit, 1945 bis 1973, Göttingen 2006; Dirk Moses, German Intellectuals and the Nazi Past, New York 2007.
    16. Gerd-Rainer Horn, The Spirit of '68. Rebellion in Western Europe and North America, 1956-1976, Oxford 2006
    17. See the essays in Samantha Christiansen/Zachary Scarlett, The Third World in the Global 1960s, New York/Oxford 2012 (in press).
    18. Richard Wolin, The Wind from the East: May ’68, French Intellectuals, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Princeton 2010.
    19. Christiansen/Scarlett (eds.), The Third World in the Global 1960s. See also Andy Stafford, Tricontinentalism in Recent Moroccan Intellectual History. The Case of Souffles, Journal of Transatlantic Studies 7, 3 (2009), pp. 218-32; Andy Stafford, Senegal. May 1968, Africa’s Revolt, in: Philipp Gassert/Martin Klimke, 1968. Memories and Legacies of a Global Revolt (Bulletin of the German Historical Institute; Supplement 6), Washington, D.C. 2009, pp. 129-135, see online; Matthew Swagler, African Youth Radicalism and the Global History of Revolt in 1968; Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University (forthcoming); Françoise Blum is organizing the workshop series “Mouvements sociaux dans l’Afrique des ‘années 68’. Circulations, transfers et cultures d’opposition” (“Social Movements in Africa in the ‘long 1960s’: Circulation, Transfer and Cultures of Opposition”) in 2011-12.
    20. Quinn Slobodian, Foreign Front. Third World Politics in Sixties West Germany, Durham, NC 2012; see also Timothy S. Brown, 1968 East and West. Divided Germany as a Case Study in Transnational History, in: American Historical Review, 114 (February 2009), AHR forum on the “International 1968.
    21. Burleigh Hendrickson, Decolonizing 1968(s). Between Imperial Fragmentation and Enduring Connectivity, Ph.D. dissertation, Northeastern University (forthcoming).
    22. The late Tony Judt was a primary proponent of this idea; see Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945, New York 2005, p. 421.
    23. Martin Klimke/Jacco Pekelder/Joachim Scharloth (eds.), Between Prague Spring and French May. Opposition and Revolt in Europe, 1960-1980, New York/Oxford 2011. See also Stefan Karner/Natalja Tomlina/Alexander Tschubarjan et al., Prager Frühling. Das internationale Krisenjahr 1968, 2 volumes, Cologne/Weimar/Vienna 2008; Jürgen Danyel/Jennifer Schevardo/Stephan Kruhl (eds.), Transit 68/89. Deutsch-tschechische Kulturgeschichten, Berlin 2009; Jürgen Danyel, Das andere “1968” des Ostens. Prag und Ostberlin, in: Sabrow (ed.), Mythos “1968”, pp. 75-94.
    24. On the latter see also Brown, 1968 East and West; Timothy S. Brown, 1968 in the German Democratic Republic, in: Martin Klimke/Joachim Scharloth (eds.), 1968 in Europe. A Handbook on National Perspectives and Transnational Dimensions of 1960/70s European Protest Movements (Transnational History Series), New York/London 2008, pp. 189-197; Timothy S. Brown, A Tale of two Communes: The Private and the Political in Divided Berlin, 1967-1973, in: Klimke et al. (eds.), Between Prague Spring and French May, pp. 132-140; Stefan Wolle, Der Traum von der Revolte. Die DDR 1968, Berlin 2008; Stefan Wolle, Die versäumte Revolte: Die DDR und das Jahr 1968, see online,2,0,Die_vers%E4umte_Revolte%3A_Die_DDR_und_das_Jahr_1968.html.
    25. See for example Robert Daniel, Year of the Heroic Guerilla. World Revolution and Counterrevolution in 1968, Boston 1996.
    26. Martin Klimke, The “Other” Alliance. Student Protest in West Germany and the United States in the Global Sixties, Princeton, NJ 2010.
    27. Sven Reichardt/Detlef Siegfried (eds.), Das Alternative Milieu. Antibürgerliche Lebensstil und linke Politik in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und Europa 1968-1983, Göttingen 2010.
    28. Martin Klimke/Joachim Scharloth (eds.), 1968. Handbuch zur Kultur- und Mediengeschichte der Studentenbewegung, Weimar 2007.
    29. On the active reception of popular and underground culture see Timothy S. Brown, West Germany in the World: The Federal Republic in the Global 1968 (forthcoming).
    30. See Reichardt/ Siegfried (eds.), Das Alternative Milieu.
    31. See Detlef Siegfried, Time is on My Side. Konsum und Politik in der westdeutschen Jugendkultur der 60er Jahre, Göttingen 2006; see also Siegfried’s concise essay in Klimke/ Scharloth (eds.), 1968 in Europe; see also Timothy S. Brown, Music as a Weapon? Ton Steine Scherben and the Politics of Rock in Cold War Berlin, German Studies Review 32, 1 (2009), pp. 1-22.
    32. See Michael Rauhut, Beat in der Grauzone. DDR-Rock 1964 bis 1972. Politik und Alltag, Berlin 1993; Uta Poiger, Jazz, Rock, and Rebels. Cold War Politics and American Culture in a Divided Germany, Berkeley 2000.
    33. Eric Zolov, Refried Elvis. The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture, Berkeley, CA. 1999.
    34. See Thomas Hecken, Gegenkultur und Avantgarde: Situationisten, Beatniks, 68er, Tübingen 2006.
    35. See the essays in Axel Schildt/Detlef Siegfried (eds.), European Cities, Youth and the Public Sphere in the Twentieth Century, 2005. See also Carla MacDougall, In the Shadow of the Wall. Urban Space and Everyday Life in Kreuzberg, in: Timothy S. Brown/Lorena Anton (eds.), Between the Avantgarde and the Everyday. Subversive Politics in Europe, 1957 to the Present, New York/Oxford 2011; Frank Mort, Cultures of Consumption. Masculinities and Social Space in Late-Twentieth Century Britain, London 1996; David Scobey, Empire City. The Making and Meaning of the New York City Landscape, Philadelphia 2002; Belinda Davis, The City as Theater of Protest. West Berlin and West Germany, 1962-1983, in: Gyan Prakash/Kevin M. Kruse (eds.), The Spaces of the Modern City. Imaginaries, Politics and Everyday Life, Princeton 2008, pp. 247-74; Julia Sloan, Revolution on the National Stage. Mexico, the PRI, and the Student Movement in 1968, in: Christiansen/Scarlett, The Third World in the Global 1960s, New York/Oxford (forthcoming).
    36. See the essays in Brown/Anton (eds.), Between the Avantgarde and the Everyday.
    37. See the essays in Ingo Cornils/Sarah Waters (eds.), Memories of ’68, Frankfurt am Main 2010; see also Kristin Ross, May ’68 and its Afterlives, Chicago 2002; Julian Bourg, From Revolution to Ethics: May 1968 and Contemporary French Thought, Montreal 2007.