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Return of the Revolution

Tom Postmes

In 1989, the Soviet Union collapsed and Western liberal democracy reigned victoriously for a while. Commentators spoke of "the end of history". And in Western countries, anti-government protest almost ceased to happen. But in recent years, countries around the globe have seen a sharp upswing in anti-government protests. In the past years, this global protest wave has also reached the shores of the Netherlands. What is the origin of this trend? What lies behind this newfound desire for system change? And what can we learn from protest waves of the past?

Tom Postmes is professor of Social Psychology at the University of Groningen. His research is concerned with group dynamics, crowd behavior, collective discontent and social unrest. He discussed these global trends and their origins in several reports written for the Dutch government.


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