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

By Martin Klimke | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION

IN A 1968 SPEECH on worldwide student unrest, the Executive Secretary of the Inter-Agency Youth Committee, Robert Cross, interpreted the youth of the 1960s as the “first truly international generation.” For Cross, this was not the result of tight organizational networks. In his view, students in many countries shared similar political and philosophical problems and looked to their peers to solve them. This created “a great crossfertilization, a very rapid and effective student grape-vine.” As Cross summed it up, “What happens in New York is known overnight in Paris and Manila. The speeches of Rudi Dutschke are in the hands of Mark Rudd faster than you can seem to get your mail delivered.”1

The global consciousness and interconnectedness exhibited by student activists was certainly not invented in the 1960s. The gradual evolution of an internationalism set apart from military power and national considerations can be observed throughout the twentieth century. Its various brands include economic, legal, and socialist forms of internationalism, and a cultural internationalism that was associated with the creation of a just and peaceful world order (embodied in Wilsonian concepts of international order, as in the League of Nations or the United Nations). The young generation of the 1960s and their protest were both a product and a further catalyst of this internationalism, which was perpetuated by a host of inter- and non-governmental organizations and fostered by the achievements in communication technology after the Second World War. The global dimension of their protest was thus a profound response to the cold war.2 Through their transnational affiliations and cross-cultural borrowings, the protesting students of the 1960s were able to envision a new, albeit very vague, global order outside the constraints of cold war conformity. This alternative vision and opening of the transnational sphere contributed to the dramatic growth of INGOs (such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch) concerned with the preservation of fundamental human rights, nuclear disarmament or environmental issues, which emerged during the second half of the decade and has continued ever since.3 As Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink have observed, “The new networks have depended on the creation of a new kind of global public (or civil society), which grew as a cultural legacy of the 1960s. Both the activism that swept Western Europe, the United States, and many parts of the world during that decade, and the vastly increased opportunities for international con-

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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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