Over the past 10 years, successive waves of protests have swept across Europe’s many cities, regions, and nations, providing definitive proof that civil disobedience and mass protests remain key forms of political mobilisation. Whether pushing for political change, social justice, or environmental action, these movements often spanned generations and cut across traditional social divisions. They also often showed the inspiring and contagious power that local struggles could wield.

In parallel with the Journal’s ’10 Years of Change’ event series, we’re looking back through our archives at some of the ideas and perspectives that can help us make sense of the political developments taking place today. This reading list takes us back to some of the key protests that emerged in Europe over the past decade and reminds us of some of the insights and reflections that can continue to inform our understanding of these movements, what they mean for our politics, and what they tell us about our democracy.

Articles in this focus

The Global Reach of the Religious Right

Polish activist Klementyna Suchanow traces the funding and politics of religious organisations to Russia.

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A Shapeshifting Movement

Ne davimo Beograd was born in the streets of the Serbian capital but hopes to win over voters across the country in the future.

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The Romanian Protest Wave: A Path to a New Political Era?

The actions of citizens taking to the streets to call for political change have had a defining impact on Romania’s recent history and continue to shape its politics.

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Backs Against the Wall: Bringing the Fight Back

Ece Temelkuran warns of the signs of creeping authoritarianism.

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Black Lives Matter in Brexit Britain

Riding on a wave of nostalgia and amnesia, Britain set on a course to leave the EU. Disparities of the pandemic and the anti-racist movement brought home how the imperial past haunts today.

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Belarus’s Struggle for Democracy

Pavel Latushka, a key figure in Belarus’s opposition, discusses the movement for democracy with Roderick Kefferpütz.

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Generation Climate Speaks: Politics for a Warming World

The Green European Journal turned to young activists to ask how they envisage political change in this time of climate crisis.

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Politics for Change: Black Lives Matter in Europe

We spoke to the Swedish MEP about democracy, representation and what the wave of protests mean for Europe.

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