Transitions to Democracy and the collapse of communism
o In 1968, domestic political conflict erupted in Europe, France and the
o Social and cultural revolts exploded that year seemed to pit
young people against those entrenched in power.
o They blamed them for a world that was unresponsive to
demands for social justice and political change due to the
underprivileged and the oppressed.
o Alienation and Feminism were significant undercurrents during
o Mainly a movement of middle-class intellectuals and students.
o Ended with government repression and a conservative show of force
o Conservative or centrist parties dominated governments of Britain, the
German Federal Republic, and Italy (1970s+1980s) while Socialists
held power in France between 1981 and 1995.
Mikhail Gorbachev (1931—)
o Leader of the Soviet Union
o Undertook a dramatic series of reforms in the mid-1980s that
liberalized the economy and political life in the Communist state.
o He encouraged further demands for reform and stimulated nationalist
movements in the Soviet Union’s republics.
Because of Gorbachev’s reforms in the Soviet Union, one Communist
government after another fell.
o These revolutions ranged from the “