The Other Alliance: Student Protest in West Germany and the United States in the Global Sixties

By Martin Klimke | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
STUDENT PROTEST
AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

STUDENT PROTEST in the second half of the 1960s did not have an immediate influence on the course of U.S. foreign policy, but the efforts of activists on both sides of the Atlantic did play an important part in its institutional conceptualization. The impact of youthful dissent continued to occupy American policymakers in the Johnson and Nixon administrations, who sought to analyze this worldwide phenomenon most effectively and minimize its damage to U.S. interests. To that end, the role of the Inter-Agency Youth Committee (IAYC), which served as the center of all government efforts directed at foreign youth, had grown in significance since the mid1960s. In addition, the Department of State initiated further study groups on student unrest and implemented structural changes in the training and selection of its diplomatic personnel to make them better equipped to deal with the challenge of student protest. Other agencies, such as the CIA, conducted lengthy reviews of the international dimension of youthful unrest that even provoked heated discussions in the Johnson cabinet.

On the local level, and with respect to the Federal Republic, U.S. diplomats began to pay more attention to the concerns of foreign students and tried to integrate their interests into American cultural diplomacy efforts. To cater toward this future generation of leaders more effectively, the Department of State altered its country programming and made youth its primary target group. It also adjusted its cultural exchange programs in response to the increasing influence of youth and used former West German grantees, who had participated in transatlantic exchanges during the 1950s, to counter unfavorable opinions about the United States in the Federal Republic. Sensing a growing political alienation from the transatlantic alliance and a transformation of West German society as a possible result of the student movement, U.S. officials restructured their attempts to recapture the hearts and minds of the young on various levels.


U.S. GOVERNMENT REACTIONS TO
STUDENT UNREST AFTER THE “FRENCH MAY”

The reactions of the U.S. government to the West German student movement reflected a much larger effort to come to terms with the international

-194-

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The Other Alliance: Student Protest in West Germany and the United States in the Global Sixties
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1- SDS Meets SDS 10
  • Chapter 2- Between Berkeley and Berlin, Frankfurt and San Francisco the Networks and Nexus of Transnational Protest 40
  • Chapter 3- Building the Second Front the Transatlantic Antiwar Alliance 75
  • Chapter 4- Black and Red Panthers 108
  • Chapter 5- The Other Alliance and the Transatlantic Partnership 143
  • Chapter 6- Student Protest and International Relations 194
  • Conclusion 236
  • Notes 247
  • Sources 325
  • Index 329
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