Theory Euphoria through Crisis (Part II): On the Theory of Organization and Social Movement in the Context of Crisis

Saskia Richter



"In 'Theory Euphoria through Crisis (Part I)' we have learned a lot about how economists love crises and handle them. I can reassure you that social scientists and historians love crises as well. An essential element of social science’s research topics are social crisis, political crisis, and ecological crisis, all of which are often connected to collective, individual or personal crises. A few ongoing examples are the decline in the birth rate and the demographic changes in western societies, the population growth in developing countries, the energy and water crisis, the food crisis – with bird flu and EHEC [E. Coli] – now also in European societies, and the crisis of the welfare state, especially in European societies, unemployment in Spain and Portugal as well as the depth crisis in Greece since 2008. I would like to focus on the 1970s as perhaps the most changing decade for many of the present crises and certainly for the development of theories about crisis.

So what actually happened around 1973 in social science research? I would like to introduce three publications, which had a fundamental impact on social science research and the public sphere during the 1970s and the early 1980s:

(1) The Limits to Growth, a study published by the Club of Rome in 1972,

(2) The Silent Revolution: Changing Values and Political Styles among Western Publics, a study published by the political scientist Roland F. Inglehart in 1977, and

(3) Protest: System Theory and Social Movement, several essays published by Niklas Luhmann between 1985 and 1995."

Texto completo:



BRAND, Karl-Werner. Neue soziale Bewegungen in West Europa und den USA. Ein internationaler Vergleich, Frankfurt/Main, 1985.

Club of Rome. The Limits to Growth, New York, 1972.

INGLEHART, Ronald F. The Silent Revolution. Changing Values and Political Styles among Western Publics, Princeton, 1977.

LUHMANN, Niklas. Protest: Systems Theory and Social Movements, Frankfurt am Main, 1985-1995.

MÜLLER-ROMMEL, Ferdinand. Social Movements and the Greens. New Internal Politics in Germany, in: European Journal of Political Research 13, 1, S. 53-67, 1985.

MÜLLER-ROMMEL, Ferdinand (Ed.) New Politics in Western Europe. The Rise and Success of Green Parties and Alternatives Lists, Boulder u.a., 1989.

RICHTER, Saskia. Die Aktivistin. Das Leben der Petra Kelly, München, 2010.



Qualis (CAPES): B1 (Quadriênio 2013-2016)



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