Cover image for Protest Politics in Germany: Movements on the Left and Right Since the 1960s By Roger Karapin

Protest Politics in Germany

Movements on the Left and Right Since the 1960s

Roger Karapin


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Protest Politics in Germany

Movements on the Left and Right Since the 1960s

Roger Karapin

“Providing detailed analysis of several recent social movements in Germany, Roger Karapin explains the development of social movement campaigns, with particular concern for activists’ tactical and strategic choices. By comparing similarly situated movements, Karapin shows the extent to which activists make their own fates, given the very real constraints of political contingencies, including the quality of government leadership, the effectiveness of policing, and the support of party politicians. This book is critical reading for anyone interested in social movements and in German politics more broadly.”


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Winner of the 2008 Charles Tilly Award for Best Book Published in Collective Behavior and Social Movements as sponsored by the American Sociological Association.

Social movements and the protests they spawn are widely regarded as important to the vibrancy of democracy and its ability to respond constructively to change. In the immediate postwar period, West Germany’s was a “spectator democracy,” with the citizenry largely passive and elites operating mainly through consensus. Beginning with the student demonstrations in the late 1960s, however, Germany experienced waves of left-wing protest that expanded the political agenda and broadened political participation. Later, after the unification of East and West Germany, the country was confronted by new challenges from right-wing groups, which often engaged in violence during the early 1990s.

In this book Roger Karapin carefully examines protest movements on both the left and the right in order to understand how they became large and influential and why protesters in different conflicts used quite different methods (ranging from conventional participation to nonviolent disruption to violent militancy). His study of nine cases of protest includes leftist opposition to urban-renewal and nuclear-energy policies in the 1970s and 1980s and rightist opposition to immigration policy in the 1990s. Comparisons of contrasting cases reveal the crucial role played by strategic interaction among protesters, party politicians, and government officials—rather than socioeconomic factors or political institutions—in determining the paths that the movements took.

“Providing detailed analysis of several recent social movements in Germany, Roger Karapin explains the development of social movement campaigns, with particular concern for activists’ tactical and strategic choices. By comparing similarly situated movements, Karapin shows the extent to which activists make their own fates, given the very real constraints of political contingencies, including the quality of government leadership, the effectiveness of policing, and the support of party politicians. This book is critical reading for anyone interested in social movements and in German politics more broadly.”
“Karapin’s study significantly contributes to a new trajectory in social movement theorizing, going beyond the presumption that fixed grievances, resources, and opportunities shape the choice of protest strategies. Rather, actors engage in opportunity amplification and enhancement as they interact with allies and adversaries. Both the theoretical exposition in Karapin’s study and the comparative analysis of protest episodes in Germany make this book valuable reading for anyone interested in social movement theory.”
“This book is critical reading for anyone interested in social movements and in German politics more broadly.”
“From left-wing nuclear energy protests to right-wing attacks on immigrants, from impoverished East to post-industrial West: Germany’s protest repertoire is rich and changing. In this wide-ranging study, Roger Karapin shows how the interactions among alliances, reforms, and policing produced large and influential movements—and sometimes success—in a country that has learned to civilize, and respond to, social protest. Inter alia, Karapin shows how unconventional and conventional politics mesh through the interactions among elites, activists, and institutions.”
“Based on broad and detailed empirical evidence from nine cases of conflict that include both left and right movement activities, and comparing sets of contrasting cases, this study promotes an interactive political process approach. The author convincingly demonstrates that this approach can better explain the scope and form of protest than conventional theories drawing on socioeconomic factors and political institutions. This thought-provoking and well-researched book is a must for all students of social movements and political protest.”
“Karapin’s book on protest movements in Germany provides the perfect synthesis of theory and evidence. . . . [The] arguments are supported by rich empirical evidence, an in-depth understanding of German protest politics in particular and German politics in general, and a sound knowledge of protest theory. . . . [This] book is essential reading for those interested in protest politics and social movements.”
Protest Politics in Germany provides the reader with a wide range of protest movements across a spread of geographical areas, presenting a convincing case in support of political interaction as a key element in the shaping of protest movements. . . . It is a well-written and clearly structured study, accessible to those who may be less familiar with either German political culture or social movement theories. As such, it provides important comparative material to students and scholars working in the field and is a valuable addition to the extant body of literature.”
“Perhaps it is not news that real democracy grows and deepens through protest participation, but it is a pleasure to see this argument supported in such rich and varied comparative detail here.”

Roger Karapin is Professor of Political Science at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York.


Tables and Figures

Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction: Explaining Protest Politics in Germany

1. Political Interactions and German Protest Movements Since the 1960s

2. Urban Renewal Conflicts in Hanover and West Berlin

3. Nuclear Energy Conflicts at Wyhl and Brokdorf

4. Immigration Conflicts in Munich and Rendsburg County

5. Immigration Conflicts in Hoyerswerda, Rostock, and Riesa

6. Conclusions





Explaining Protest Politics in Germany

My research for this book began with urban renewal politics in the Kreuzberg borough of Berlin, which I see as a microcosm of leftist protest politics in the Federal Republic of Germany before and after unification. In the early 1970s, officials in West Berlin, Hanover, and many other West German cities planned urban renewal projects that would demolish thousands of apartments and displace tens of thousands of people from residential neighborhoods (“clear-cut renewal”). Public housing corporations and private developers, who stood to benefit from state construction subsidies, supported the plans, and leaders in the main political parties gave their tacit consent. Small groups of long-time residents and leftist university students formed citizen initiatives to oppose clear-cut renewal. Activists met with residents to formulate demands for a halt to demolition and for more citizen participation. But officials ignored the protesters or shunted them into unproductive meetings to discuss plans that would not be altered. The protesters lacked access to top decision makers, had no organized constituency, and had little support from political parties.

Yet the small protest groups in West Berlin built a large, intense movement that successfully opposed demolition and displacement. I later found that a similar process occurred in the Linden section of Hanover, though the protests there were smaller and tamer. In both cases, small groups mobilized thousands of people to sign petitions, illegally occupy vacant apartments, or attend demonstrations. They gained publicity, negotiated with officials, won concessions, initiated a debate about the ends and means of urban renewal policy, and provoked splits within and between the political parties in parliament. In West Berlin, urban renewal protests helped drive the Social Democrats out of government in 1981, while in Hanover, urban renewal and other protest groups helped the city’s Green Party end the Social Democrats’ majority control of government that same year. Urban renewal protesters also won major policy reforms. They blocked the old policies of demolition and displacement and gained new policies of renovating apartments for existing residents. After the reforms, protest participation continued at high levels in the two cities. Thousands of residents attended tenant assemblies and neighborhood commission meetings, and nonviolently disruptive protests also continued.

Despite their similarities, these two urban renewal conflicts differed greatly in the forms of participation used by protesters. In Hanover-Linden, protesters used mainly conventional methods, such as meetings and a petition, supplemented by a small number of sporadic housing squats and other nonviolently disruptive actions by leftists and other young protesters. Militant actions, such as attacks on police or property or displays of force at demonstrations, were almost completely absent.

The Kreuzberg conflict was much more intense, as thousands of protesters engaged in illegal activity, both nonviolent and violent, and the height of conflict lasted for five years (1977–82), compared with about one year (1973) in Linden. Although citizen initiatives in Kreuzberg met and negotiated with officials, they also sparked a massive squatter movement, which involved over 160 apartment buildings and thousands of participants. Centered in Kreuzberg, the squatter movement spread to other West Berlin neighborhoods and helped generate the autonomist movement. Autonomists fundamentally opposed the West German political and economic systems and used militant methods, such as battling with police at demonstrations and violently defending squatters against eviction. Militant protests resurged in the late 1980s; and through the mid-1990s, on every May Day, Kreuzberg continued to be a site for shows of force and battles between several thousand autonomists and large contingents of riot police. At the same time, nonviolent protests continued on many issues, such as the occupation of a bridge to protest road expansion a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The Berlin-Kreuzberg conflict, it seemed to me, contradicted central claims made by theories of new politics and new social movements. Many observers saw this conflict as a major example of new social movements in West Germany. But the context was a working-class neighborhood rather than a more postmaterialist setting, the issues were largely material (low-rent housing and physical planning), and nonviolent protests were intermingled with threats and violence by protesters as well as police. Furthermore, protesters were not simply radically opposed to established parties and institutions, but rather were interdependent with them. They gained crucial support from some Social Democrats and other political elites, and they participated heavily in tenant advising and neighborhood commissions—new local institutions that protesters themselves had demanded.

These features pointed me toward political rather than socioeconomic causes of the protest. But what could explain the mix of conventional, disruptive, and militant protests? Political institutional theories offered one set of answers, but I did not find a structural explanation convincing for a movement whose protest forms changed so often and so dramatically. Hence, I developed a political process explanation of the Kreuzberg conflict. I then embarked on comparing Kreuzberg to other urban renewal conflicts, and to other policy areas, and found that those comparisons supported the process theories more than the structural theories. In the early 1990s, as I finished a comparative study of leftist movements, right-wing protest against immigration surged in newly unified Germany. The anti-immigration movement presented a completely different set of actors in a new policy area and a novel political context, including postcommunist conditions in the eastern part of the country. Nonetheless, I found that the dynamics of this movement displayed remarkable similarities to the leftist cases.

Questions and Cases

As shown by the Kreuzberg and Linden examples, protest groups in Germany sometimes have attracted large numbers of participants to their movements, have mobilized over long periods, and have influenced government policy. These examples also show that how protesters participated in politics differed across localities and regions even within the same policy area. Some conflicts were marked mainly by conventional methods, while in others, disruptive yet nonviolent methods became important. Still other conflicts were dominated by protesters’ militant threats and violence against property or people, which often intermingled with police violence against protesters.

The core questions of this book concern the size of protest movements and the diverse forms that protests take. Why did protest groups mobilize large numbers of people to oppose government policies, sometimes over periods of many years? Why did protesters in different conflicts use such different methods? To address these questions, I examine nine cases of protests in three different policy areas, with contrasting cases within each area (see Table 1). Besides the local urban renewal movements in Hanover and West Berlin, these include sustained regional movements against nuclear energy at Wyhl and Brokdorf, and brief local protest campaigns against immigration by asylum seekers in two western German localities (Munich-Südpark and Kronshagen) and three eastern German localities (Hoyerswerda, Rostock, and Riesa). I chose cases with a strong local or Land-level focus because the great majority of protests in Germany have targeted those levels of government, and because this allowed me to select comparable, largely independent cases while holding constant the many factors associated with each policy area. The cases include left-leaning movements, in urban renewal and nuclear energy, and campaigns that were part of the right-leaning movement against immigration by asylum seekers.

Protest Movements in Germany Since the 1960s

The manifold political changes in Linden and Kreuzberg illustrate many of the ways protest movements have helped shape democratic politics in Germany and other advanced industrial democracies from the 1960s to the present. In this period, movements have mobilized on a wide range of issues, beginning with the student movements that rippled through many Western countries in the 1960s. The movements’ concerns have been diverse, including war, university policies, housing, women’s rights, civil liberties, the natural environment, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, gay rights, ethnic minority rights, international economic policies, abortion rights, and immigration. The nature of the protests and their outcomes were varied and complex. Protest groups introduced new forms of political participation, raised new issues, enlivened public debates, and influenced policy reforms. Protesters also used violence, made antisystem demands, and provoked authorities to escalate their repressive responses.

Germany is an especially interesting country in which to study contemporary protest politics. Compared with other advanced industrial democracies, both leftist and rightist movements have been strong in Germany since the 1960s. Movements in Germany have also been very diverse in their goals, their methods, and the outcomes of their campaigns, representing the wide range that is found in Western democracies as a whole. Leftist movements, such as the antinuclear movement, peace movement, women’s movement, and local urban renewal movements, grew in West Germany in the 1970s and 1980s, and they remained active in the 1990s. I call them leftist or left-leaning because they drew on socialist and communist activists and tended to be allied with the center-left Social Democratic Party (spd) and with interest groups associated with that party, such as the Protestant churches and labor unions. Later, during and after the rapid, unexpected unification of West and East Germany in 1989–90, a strong national anti-immigration movement grew, including anti-foreigner violence and citizen initiatives opposed to immigration. This movement was especially strong in the eastern part of the country, a postcommunist setting where democratic institutions were new and democratic experience lacking in the early 1990s. The anti-immigration movement was a right-wing movement, since it included neo-Nazi activists and skinheads using Nazi symbols and it was supported by the nationalist wing of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU) more than by the other parliamentary parties.

Finally, protest movements in postwar Germany developed in a political system that initially lagged behind many other Western democracies. In the 1950s and 1960s, most West German citizens were relatively passive, political elites (party and interest group leaders) tended to pursue consensus, and relations between the two were marked by authority, obedience, and distance. Yet these problems were greatly ameliorated between the late 1960s and the late 1980s, as citizens became more active and politicians more responsive. Examining protest politics since the 1960s can help us understand the processes by which democracy was strengthened in West Germany, as well as the extent to which Germany’s democratic deficits have continued.

The Main Arguments of the Book

The overarching claim of this book is that protest movements are shaped more by political interactions than by social structures, socioeconomic change, or political institutions. In brief, interactions among protest groups, political elites, and public officials explain why large, successful protests develop and why protesters use different types of participation. I identify the following general mechanisms: the formation of alliances between protest groups, the protesters’ innovation of tactics, the formation of alliances between protesters and elites, reforms made by state actors in response to protests, and police responses to protest. If appropriate interactions occur and reinforce each other, then small protests grow into large, influential movements. Interactions involving alliances, reforms, and policing also explain why conventional, nonviolently disruptive, or militant kinds of participation become important in a given conflict. More specifically, I make four arguments.

The Limits of Socioeconomic and Institutional Theories

The first argument is that neither socioeconomic factors nor political institutions adequately explain the size or type of protest when one leaves the aggregate, national level and examines local and regional variations. Scholars have explained the rise of left-wing movements in terms of a shift toward postindustrial society and postmaterialist values. But large, long-lived protest movements against clear-cut renewal occurred in places where young, affluent, educated groups were either normally represented or underrepresented (Chapter 2). For their part, scholars studying anti-immigration protests, especially violent ones, have usually explained them as the result of immigration, unemployment, and socioeconomic marginalization, which lead to material competition between different ethnic groups. But the large, violent anti-immigration protests in Hoyerswerda and Rostock did not occur in the most economically distressed parts of eastern Germany, or derive from social structures where unemployment or immigration posed unusually large threats of ethnic competition. Indeed, large protests occurred in a great variety of social and political settings, in rural Länder governed by the Christian Democrats, large cities ruled by Social Democrats, and medium-sized eastern industrial areas with Grand Coalition (CDU-SPD) governments. Furthermore, pairs of cases in all three policy areas were marked by similar social structures yet very different types of protest.

Other authors have argued that political institutions are responsible for differences in movement strategies. For Germany, the argument is that policymaking institutions make political elites unresponsive to protesters, which leads protesters to adopt confrontational and violent methods, while the institutions of policy implementation are weak, leading protesters to use conventional actions. However, the paired comparisons of nuclear energy and immigration conflicts in Chapters 3 and 5 show that conflicts with very similar sets of political institutions nonetheless gave rise to movements with very different strategies—conventional or nonviolently disruptive or militant. Furthermore, the right to participate in public hearings or commissions was not a stable feature of the polity that merely conditioned movements, but rather, the pressure of protests often led authorities to expand institutional access, especially in urban renewal (Chapter 2).

It is not that socioeconomic and institutional factors are irrelevant. Social structures can help explain who took part in various kinds of protests and what interests were at stake, while political institutions provide necessary, permissive conditions for the development of movements. But in the nine cases studied here, these factors cannot explain why large protests occurred when and where they did, or why protesters in particular conflicts adopted the methods that they did. To explain these, it is necessary to turn to political interactions.

Making Opportunities

My second argument is that protest groups in Germany were able to mobilize strongly in many cases because protesters, allies, and opponents acted in mutually reinforcing ways. Protest depends on opportunities provided by institutions and powerful actors, but if institutions are sufficiently open and potential elite allies are available, then protest groups can help expand the political opportunity structure. This, in turn, makes continued and intensified protest mobilization possible. However, protesters can initiate the process of opportunity expansion only if they use bold, surprising tactics and form alliances with other protesters who use complementary strategies. When they do these things, protesters can have two kinds of opportunity-expanding effects. They can win support from party leaders or other political elites, and they can trigger mistakes by public officials in the timing of reforms and use of police.

Daring actions can attract media attention, which helps win the support of elite allies and may give protesters control of key resources, both of which increase their chances of success. Examples include housing squats in Berlin and Hanover and the attempts to occupy construction sites in the nuclear energy conflicts at Wyhl and Brokdorf. Alliances between protest groups with different, complementary strategies allow a movement to combine the respectability of moderate groups with the risk-taking of radical groups. This makes it easier to recruit elite allies and negotiate with authorities, and it helps protect protests from state repression.

When political elites give support to protest groups, they increase the chance that the protesters will attain their goals, while also reducing the risk of repression. This promotes protests because people are more likely to join movement activities if chances for success are high and the costs and risks of participation are low. In Germany, protesters in left-leaning movements, such as in urban renewal and nuclear energy, found elite allies mainly in the spd and Protestant churches, and later in the Green parties. Anti-immigration groups benefited from allies mainly in the CDU and CSU, and secondarily in the spd. Furthermore, protesters gained support from a wide range of parties and officials at the lowest levels of government (village, neighborhood, town, or borough).

Protesters benefit not only from supporters, but also from their opponents’ mistakes. Although public officials prefer to avoid opposition to their policies, protests sometimes catch them off guard, surprising them with the intensity or breadth of discontent, or by specific protest methods that give protesters control of important assets, such as the nuclear plant site at Wyhl or apartment buildings in West Berlin. In such circumstances, officials sometimes respond in ways that inadvertently provoke or facilitate protests. Officials can make four kinds of mistakes: (1) maintaining or increasing threats to residents in the face of protests; (2) overreacting to protests through overly harsh or undifferentiated repression by police and other officials; (3) creating or expanding public participation measures while refusing to make substantive policy reforms; and (4) tolerating illegal protests.

Public officials may provoke further protests if they respond by ignoring protests, trying to show unshakable resolve, or even accelerating the policies that are under attack. Local residents sometimes feel threatened or outraged by this kind of official response and increase their support for nearby protest actions. A different kind of provocation occurs when authorities meet protesters with a strong police force, arrests, and prosecution. The first attempts at repression may be overbearing and counterproductive, if police fail to differentiate between violent and nonviolent protesters or crack down in unusually harsh ways. Overreactions may increase solidarity among different protest groups and prompt elites to support the protesters, complicating later attempts at repressing militant actions.

Finally, officials can also facilitate protests, when they create or expand citizen participation measures while remaining intransigent on the substance of policy. Protesters may respond by using the new institutional access to organize residents, publicize their grievances, gain some encouraging concessions, and drive a wedge between elites. Finally, when protest groups use new kinds of illegal tactics, either nonviolent or violent, authorities sometimes respond passively, which serves as an open invitation for those groups and others to accelerate the illegal activity.

When protests win elite allies and trigger authorities’ mistakes, as they did in most of the cases in this book, protest actions, elite divisions, and authorities’ mistakes may become mutually reinforcing. During the rising phase of a protest movement, these interactions simultaneously expand the threats that protesters face, the opportunities that they perceive, and the level of protest participation that they achieve. However, this process is far from inevitable. Although protesters can help make their own opportunities in some circumstances, in others, the potential elite allies are lacking, or protest groups fail to come up with innovative tactics or to form alliances with other protesters pursuing complementary strategies. In such cases, protests remain small, brief, or both.

Interactions and the Types of Protest

The book’s third argument is that the types of participation used by protesters also depend on how protest groups, public officials, and political elites interact. Conventional participation, nonviolently disruptive protests, and militant actions are the results of choices that people make about which strategy to adopt, whether or not to publicly support a protest group using a given strategy, and whether or not to participate in particular actions. However, the leaders of protest groups and the participants in them do not choose autonomously. They respond to the opportunities and constraints presented by public officials, other protest groups, and elite allies. Therefore, political interactions strongly influence whether conventional participation, nonviolent protests, or militant actions are used by significant numbers of people over the course of conflicts, some of which may last many years. Six kinds of political interactions, relating to alliance patterns, reforms, and policing, are important here: (1) protest groups making alliances with other protest groups pursuing complementary strategies; (2) political elites supporting or discouraging specific kinds of actions; (3) authorities making procedural reforms that open routine access to officials; (4) government officials failing to adopt major substantive policy reforms that reduce the level of threat; (5) authorities making policy concessions, apparently in response to particular protests; and (6) police overreacting or underreacting to unconventional protests.

A protest group’s allies can encourage or discourage it from using particular methods. Where disruptive or militant protesters get support from a protest group with more moderate positions and milder methods, the latter lends its respectability to the riskier activities, reducing the risk of state repression. For their part, elite allies can restrain or encourage protest groups that are on the verge of shifting toward disruptive or militant activity. Elite support or opposition to particular actions affects the likelihood of repression and hence indirectly affects the kinds of actions that protesters will attempt and sustain.

In addition, the timing of policy reforms affects the kinds of actions that protesters will see as most effective for reaching their goals. When authorities refuse to adopt major policy reforms in response to initial protests, protesters often shift toward nonviolent disruption or militancy and violence. A different effect concerns the timing of reforms. When authorities make concessions in response to protests, they inadvertently encourage protesters to use the same type of protest again. In addition, authorities promote conventional protests, by directly lowering the costs of such actions, when they provide routine access to official decision makers.

Finally, authorities affect the nature of a conflict through the ways they use police to repress certain forms of political activity, since this directly affects the costs and risks of participation. Consistent, proportionate repression that distinguishes between different kinds of protest activity tends to be effective at reducing protests. When police and the public officials commanding them are passive, protesters can use the apparent weakness in state authority to pursue either disruptive or militant protests. However, overreactions by police can also indirectly promote militancy, by increasing support that protesters receive from other protest groups and elite allies.

Explaining Left and Right, East and West

My fourth argument is that the interactive processes I have described had surprisingly similar effects on the activity levels and strategies of protest groups on the left and the right, and on protesters in the western and eastern Länder. Admittedly, leftist and rightist protesters differed in their social backgrounds, ideological origins, forms of organization, participatory repertoires, and the nature of violence they threatened and engaged in. Leftists attacked mainly property and police officers who defended it, while rightist violence was mostly against relatively powerless people, especially foreigners, but also homeless people and leftists. By comparing leftist and rightist protests, and using “militant” to describe the strategies of both leftist groups (communists and autonomists) and rightist groups (neo-Nazis and skinheads), I do not mean they are similar in these or other important ways. Indeed, I will focus on explaining two major differences between leftists and rightists in Germany: rightists have been much more likely to use threats and violence, and much less likely to use nonviolently disruptive methods, than leftists have. In addition, I will explain why right-wing violence has occurred disproportionately in the East compared with the West.

Although protest politics on the left and right, and in the East and West, are usually analyzed separately, I argue that they have important commonalities in their causal dynamics. Similar cycles of opportunity expansion led to large, influential protests in both leftist and rightist conflicts, and in western and eastern cases. Where conventional, disruptive, or militant participation occurred, it was produced by similar patterns of strategic interaction, regardless of the protesters’ ideological orientation or regional location. Where right-wing skinheads and neo-Nazis undertook massive riots against foreigners in the East, the causes were similar to those that produced militant protests by leftists in the West: a combination of provocative actions by authorities, inadequate routine access to officials, support for the militants by conventional or disruptive protesters, and police passivity. As in the leftist cases, anti-immigration protests remained conventional where officials granted routine access and moderate protesters did not form alliances with disruptive or militant groups.

Moreover, the differences in types of protest used by leftists and rightists across Germany were mainly due to differences in how protesters, authorities, and potential allies interacted, as I argue in Chapters 1 and 6. For example, there was more nonviolent disruption on the left than on the right partly because leftist activists innovated disruptive methods and rightist activists did not. In addition, the Social Democrats were more supportive of disruptive protests than Christian Democrats were. There was more violence on the right than on the left partly because authorities were more tolerant of right-wing violence than left-wing violence. Anti-foreigner violence rates were higher in the East than in the West partly because the collapse of the communist system in 1989 and 1990 created several years of chaos in administration and policing. This made it more likely that local officials would house foreigners in persistently provocative ways and less likely that they would protect foreigners from attack. However, even in the East, public officials in some locations avoided provocative housing policies and used police and citizen participation effectively enough to prevent major violence against asylum seekers.

The Plan of the Book

Chapter 1 grounds this study’s questions in the democratic politics of Germany, examines the limits of socioeconomic and institutional theories of German movements, and details the interactive political process approach used here. It also discusses the reasons for choosing the policy areas and the local and Land-level cases that are included.

Comparative case studies occupy the next four chapters. Chapter 2 analyzes large, ultimately successful protest movements against government plans to demolish housing and displace residents in Hanover-Linden and Berlin-Kreuzberg from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. This chapter also compares the divergent paths taken by protests in the two cities. In Linden, authorities incorporated citizen initiatives into official decision-making, disruptive protests were limited, and militant threats or violence were absent. In Kreuzberg, although residents were also included on official bodies, the conflict was more intense, including a massive squatter movement with nonviolently disruptive and militant wings.

Chapter 3 turns to regional nuclear energy conflicts. It analyzes the development of long-lived, large-scale movements against planned nuclear energy generating plants at Wyhl and Brokdorf from the early 1970s to the mid-1980s, protests that led to the cancellation of the Wyhl plant and a national stalemate on nuclear energy policy. This chapter also contrasts the nonviolent site occupation and the negotiations between protest groups and the Land government at Wyhl with the repeated militant actions, clashes between protesters and police, and lack of effective dialogue at Brokdorf.

The next two chapters concern different aspects of the anti-immigration movement. They analyze protests by resident groups, skinheads, and neo-Nazis against foreigners in Munich neighborhoods, small towns in Schleswig-Holstein, and three localities in eastern Germany in the early 1990s. Chapter 4 concerns conflicts in Munich and Schleswig-Holstein, where resident initiatives used mostly conventional methods to protest the siting of shelters for asylum seekers. Chapter 5 explains the large anti-foreigner riots in two eastern German localities, Hoyerswerda and Rostock, through a comparison to Riesa, which had relatively little violence.

Finally, Chapter 6 examines how well the cases support the interactive political process theory. It also explains differences between the action repertoires of left-wing and right-wing movements in Germany and assesses the relative contributions of the interactive theory, structural theories, and theories of protest cycles.

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