Book Review: Protesting Culture and Economics in Western Europe: New Cleavages in Left and Right Politics by Swen Hutter.

AuthorMatingly, David A.
PositionBook review

Hutter, Swen. Protesting Culture and Economics in Western Europe: New Cleavages in Left and Right Politics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014. xxv + 220 pages. Paperback, $25.00.

In today's global society, researchers can easily focus on a single area of study and, therefore, may fail to see links and influences that would have been evident if the researcher had taken a broader view. Professor Swen Hutter, a political science researcher at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, expands on his doctoral thesis to show that concentrating political study within either the electoral or protest arena provides only a partial picture of events. Hutter points out that "social movement scholars focus on the protest arena while those who are interested in challenging cleavage structures and populist right pay attention only to the electoral arena" (p. 132). In his work, Hutter demonstrates the usefulness of studying both electoral politics and protest politics to better understand the impacts of globalization.

The period of Dr. Hutter's study stretches from the mid-1970s to the mid-2000s, and includes six Western European nations: the Netherlands, Switzerland, West Germany, Austria, France, and Great Britain. Hutter divides his study into Theoretical Framework/Context and Empirical Analysis, and concentrates on the three areas of economic, cultural, and political globalization. He uses a variety of methods including newspaper-based protest event analysis, content analysis of political party platforms, and broader meta-analysis. For example, Hutter studied the Monday edition of a national "quality" newspaper...

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