Is political protest in Western Europe becoming less of a prerogative of the young and of the left?

Paul Dekker, Andries Van den Broek

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

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In what seems to be a process of normalization or democratization of political protest, a shift appears to have taken place in the public that is willing to embrace political protest to further their political agendas, at least in Western Europe. After the upheaval of the 1960s and 70s, political protest was predominantly a vehicle of the young and of those wanting to change society along the lines of a progressive agenda. More recently, protest-proneness seems to have become spread more evenly over the population. Our analyses of developments in nine countries using data from the European Values Study for the period 1981-2017 show strong evidence for the growth of protest-proneness, loosening its ties with the young everywhere, but only in some countries with the political left. In all countries, protest proneness is higher in the ‘protest generation’ (born 1941-1955) than among people born before that period, but the differences compared with people born later fluctuate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReflections on European Values
Subtitle of host publicationHonouring Loek Halman's contribution to the European Values Study
EditorsRuud Luijkx, Tim Reeskens, Inge Sieben
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherOpen Press Tilburg University
ISBN (Print)9789403658773
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameEuropean Values Series


  • European Values Study
  • protest
  • generations


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