‘Stoottroepen’ van maatschappelijke veranderingen | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 131, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



In this article we reveal traces of national and international political engagement among Dutch Catholic students in the post-war period. Our point of departure is the reputation of Catholic students of the late 1960s as idealistic revolutionaries in the vanguard of political turmoil. In our view the roots of their political activism can be found in the 1950s. In literature student life in the 1950s is presented as apolitical. In this article, however, we claim that already in those days Catholic student associations were anything but apolitical. Two coordinating student bodies, the national Union of (Roman) Catholic Student Associations and Pax Romana, the international movement of Catholic students, offered a platform for and even stimulated political discussion. Our research shows that these bodies had an important role in fuelling the political and social engagement of Catholic students.


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