De lange jaren zeventig | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 123, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163


In this article Duco Hellema presents an overview of recent publications about the 1970s. He distinguishes three images of this decade. The first is that of a period of necessary neoliberal reorientation, temporarily hindered by social democratic and union stubbornness. The second is that of a decade of social malaise, individualism, and religiouslyinspired conservatism, tendencies that reacted against the progressive rationality and consensus of the previous period. The third is that of an era of leftism, socialdemocratic dominance, and of a reform-oriented spirit in general. Synthesizing the three images, the ‘long seventies’ emerge as a period of radical changes, that started in the years 1966-67. From the early 1970s conservative counter-movements began to grow and gained strength under the conditions of economic recession and social malaise. The second half of the 1970s was characterized by a political standstill, a deadlock between reform-oriented and conservative tendencies. At the start of the 1980s, the ‘long seventies’ came to an end, as neo-liberalism triumphed in most western countries. These changes had a remarkable global character and could be observed – be it in different forms – all over the world. Therefore, Hellema argues, it is necessary to develop a more global perspective on the seventies.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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