Student Revolt in 1968: France, Italy and West Germany

Author/editor: Ben Mercer
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year published: 2019

Abstract

Student Revolt in 1968

Student Revolt in 1968 examines the origins, course and dissolution of student protest at three universities in the 1960s - the Freie Universität Berlin in West Germany, the campus of Nanterre in France, and the Faculty of Sociology at Trento in Italy. It traces how student revolts over space, speech, sociology and cultural democratisation catalysed a dynamic protest movement within universities in the mid-1960s that expanded dramatically beyond the University in 1968. Differing visions of democratisation - mass access to education, the dissolution of high culture, the democratic control of the university - clashed and competed in a radical revaluation of the meaning of university education and democratic culture. The study also evaluates the most ambitious experiments in higher education in the 1960s - the 'Critical Universities' of West Berlin and Trento - which sought to establish democratic control of higher education before dissolving in the politics of social revolution, and offers a new and clear-sighted perspective on the 1960s.

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