The historical development of West Germany’s new left from a politico-theoretical perspective with particular emphasis on the Marxistische Gruppe and Maoist K-Gruppen

Dapprich, Matthias (2013) The historical development of West Germany’s new left from a politico-theoretical perspective with particular emphasis on the Marxistische Gruppe and Maoist K-Gruppen. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

There is a gap in the existing literature as to why the New Left in West Germany entered a phase of rapid decline by the end of the 1970s. The overarching aim of this thesis is to offer a politico-theoretical explanation for the historical development of the New Left and why the ‘red decade’ between 1967 and 1976/7 ended so abruptly. Within this context, the thesis will focus on the Maoist K-Gruppen and particular emphasis will be placed on the Marxistische Gruppe, which defied the general decline of West Germany’s New Left and developed into its largest organisation during the 1980s. Furthermore, the Red Cells movement will be analysed from which both currents emerged in the wake of the student movement. Key works of the Marxistische Gruppe will be analysed with particular emphasis on politico-theoretical aspects. The analysis of the group’s theoretical work will provide a better understanding of the New Left’s historical developments against the background of the changing political environment. This thesis will conclude with reflections on developments of the radical left after the collapse of the New Left in 1989/91 and how the red decade’s legacy is still prominent in the work of the Gegenstandpunkt publishing house (the Marxistische Gruppe’s ideological successor). In conclusion, this thesis will reveal that the influence of politico-theoretical aspects on the historical development of the New Left has been given too little consideration and that the New Left’s fate cannot be adequately explained by external factors, but demands the consideration of the very development of theories and the practical conclusions organisations reached regarding their social, economic and cultural circumstances. This work will be the first to provide an insight into the potential of such a theoretical explanation for an understanding of the specific developments of the post-1968 West German New Left.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: New Left, Marxism, Marxistische Gruppe, K-Gruppen, West German Student movement
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > DD Germany
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Bracke, Dr. Maud
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Matthias Dapprich
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4692
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2013 08:35
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2014 10:18
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/4692

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