A Deep Case Study of Escalation: France and Greece from 1980-1995Based off escalation data from European Protest and Coercion Kristen Anderson
France 3 general trends upward: 1981, 1986, and 1995 Number of protest/coercive events Year
Demographics and other Contributions • Economic growth began to decline in the 1980s. • Fertility rate increased in 1990s. • Its population growth rate began significantly diminishing in 1975, thought it was the 5th most populous country in Europe at this time. • Immigration policies were considerably tightened, starting with the Pasqua laws in 1986 and 1993. New immigrants were only accepted through family reunification. Demographics of France. https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Demographics_of_France.html
1981 Upward Trend:Anti-Nuclear Protests • Anti-nuclear protests spread around Europe quickly after the World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs. • In France, between 1975 and 1977, some 175,000 people protested against nuclear power in 10 demonstrations. (1) 1) Herbert P. Kitschelt. Political Opportunity and Political Protest: Anti-Nuclear Movements in Four Democracies. (British Journal of Political Science, Vol. 16, 1986.)
1986 Upward Trend:Mass Student and Worker Strikes • Students protested reforms which would have • raised tuition fees to about $125 a year • allowed universities to admit students selectively • abolished state diplomas, which give graduates equal qualifications regardless of where they studied. (1) • Dec. 4, 1986, Symbolic, Student Protestor, “student climbs Eiffel tower against education reform bill.” (2) 1) Julian Nundy. France Drops University Reforms. (The Chicago Tribune. Dec. 09, 1986.) 2) European Protest and Coercion. Staterepression.com
General Confederation of Labor involved many in demands for higher wages, shorter working hours, and/or better working conditions. European Protest and Coercion. Staterepression.com
An English-written account of the climate in France FRANCE GOES OFF THE RAILS The movements in France, November 1986 - January 1987. NOVEMBER 1986, PARIS: “TheState's anti-terrorist strategy means that almost every time you go out in the evening you're virtually sure that you'll get searched by the cops...Over the previous months, two drivers have been killed by the cops for going the wrong way down a one-way street...Even jumping the Metro ticket barriers have the cops pulling out the shooters...Paranoia...suspicion..."Two years minimum before anything could come to life" ....Hell.” (1) 1) http://libcom.org/library/france-goes-rails
1995 Upward Trend:Welfare Strikes • May 1995, the conservative Jacques Chirac was elected president. • New Prime Minister Alain Juppe proposed an extensive program of welfare cutbacks in order to decrease the national deficit.
A pay freeze on state employees sparked a series of strikes supported by all major trade unions. • Women also believed their right to abortion would be diminished by the new conservative regime. • Deemed the largest social movement since 1968 (1), which was the largest general strike in France with 22% of the population participating (2). 1) JosetteTrat. Autumn 1995: A Social Storm Blows Over France. Trans. Sonya Michel. (University of Illinois, 1996.) 2) The Beginning of an Era. Trans. Ken Knabb. (Situationist International No. 12, 1969).
Escalations due to: Political Objectives • France’s escalations from 1980-1995 can be attributed to political objective and the population’s protest responses to policies the government was trying to enact. • Many instances of Arab-Israeli conflict motivated events, as well as racial demonstrations against state profiling.
Same general upward trend as France, with 3 main rises in the years 1984, 1987, and 1990, as well as alternating increases and decreases. However, one of the only 13 European countries whose frequency trends began declining at the end of the data set in 1995, in contrast to France. Greece Number of protest/coercive events Year
In comparison Greece France
Demographics and other Contributions • Its population is around 10 million, and virtually stagnant. • Problems with illegal immigration since the 1990s mainly from Turkey, which is directly west.
1984 Upward Trend: Albanian and U.S. Relations • Second longest series of protests in this year was an anti-U.S. campaign. European Protest and Coercion. Staterepression.com
“Feb. 5, 1984. Hunger Strike. Greek Albanian protesting against Albania at the embassy. Hunger Strike outside Albanian embassy; demands families join them.” http://www.nytimes.com/1984/10/14/world/albania-moving-to-improve-relations-with-greece-and-italy.html
1987 Upward Trend: Labor force protesting socialist policies • Protest wage constraints of socialist practices. • Public transportation and industrial production came to a halt. http://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/16/world/widespread-strike-in-greece-protests-official-wage-curbs.html
1990 Upward Trend: Against Austerity Programs • Workers protested against the government’s plan to slash benefits (just as we saw in France in 1995) during Andreas Papandreous’ time as Prime Minister. • Papandreous is known for being one of the most important Prime Ministers of all time (says 48% of Greeks polled) who implemented many beneficial worker policies.
Divergence in 1994:De-escalation. Why? • European Parliament Elections • Papandreous(running with the Panhellic Socialist Movement) came in first place and remained President until 1996 • Since workers were satisfied with his policies, maybe now they felt secure in the direction national politics were going, and felt no need to strike. • DE-ESCALATION ATTRIBUTED TO INTERMISSION? • Greece was also a competitor in the 1994 World Cup George Mavrogordatos. Greece. European Journal of Political Research, 1995