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IS-BILAT-Mobilitet Norge-USA /Canada

From the New Left to the Far Left: West Germany and the United States 1967-71

Awarded: NOK 55,000

Between 1967 and 1971 most of the new left movements of the 1950s and 60s went into a period of crisis and eventual self-dissolution. This rather abrupt process in turn proved the conception of an extremist far left, which was to become the stalwart featu re of leftist political action in the 1970s. The overarching research question for this project is how and why the transition from the new left to the far left came to occur? Why did the anti-authoritarian rebels of the 1960s new left movement, which had only recently emerged from what many regarded as the shambles of the old left, end up as followers of totalitarian ideologies? This project will explore the development of the far left rebellion by focusing on complementary experiences in two countries: W est Germany and the United States. Beyond what this can reveal about the radicalism of the 1960s and 70s, it will also raise questions of enduring importance in the countries in question and elsewhere. On set of questions concerns the origins, purpose and effects of political extremism: How and why does political extremism develop from within social movements? What can states do, and what may they legitimately do, to protect themselves from the threat of political extremists? In addition, the examples of far left radicalism of the 60s and 70s pose questions for the contemporary Western left, however distant the issues and imperatives of the past may now seem: How can political and moral outrage be turned toward constructive ends? What are the possibilitie s of, and barriers to, solidarity across economic, racial and national boundaries? What limits must social justice movements observe, such that one?s actions remain consistent with one's values?

Funding scheme:

IS-BILAT-Mobilitet Norge-USA /Canada