Kampen om gaderne : Gadepolitik og rumlige krav i 1930'ernes politiske kultur
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Original versionKrautwald, C. (2021). Kampen om gaderne : Gadepolitik og rumlige krav i 1930'ernes politiske kultur [PhD. thesis]. University of Agder.
During the interwar period, political youth took to the streets with posters, leaflets, and loudspeaker vans, marches, symbols, and uniformed squads of activists. These modern forms of propaganda were utilised by political movements to mobilize voters in the age of mass politics by asserting the right to the streets – and challenging that of their opponents. Through street politics, they staged political culture as a struggle over public space and drew inspiration from transnational currents that flowed across European borders. In this thesis, I examine contentious street politics in the 1930s with Denmark as my empirical case. The Scandinavian interwar context contains an interesting and underexplored dichotomy between a seemingly consensus-oriented path through the interwar years on one hand and the adaption of transnational contentious politics which influenced the political culture on the other. The central question of the thesis is how public urban space became such an important political arena during the 1930s and what role the contention over this space played in the political culture of Denmark. The question of who is allowed to do what and where in public space has always been a key element in modern democratic society and it has often spurred conflict. That is also true for interwar Denmark, where contentious street politics became a prevalent tendency especially among political youth during the 1930s. Nevertheless, the role of street politics in interwar political culture has largely been pushed into the background in Danish and Scandinavian research by the so-called Nordic Sonderweg thesis and its explanatory focus on the peaceful, consensus-oriented political development in Scandinavia. For the same reason, the political confrontations that nonetheless took place have largely been ascribed to violent extremism rooted in imported, totalitarian ideologies. And this despite the fact that few have actually examined interwar contentious street politics in Scandinavia empirically. This is obviously problematic since it is an important element in understanding the interplay between parliamentary and extra-parliamentary politics, between consensus orientation and conflict in the political culture. I believe that it is also essential in terms of interpreting the interwar years when the framework of democratic political culture was challenged and expanded by street politics. Not only in Europe, but also in Denmark.
Available from 01/06/2026.