(NB Central/Eastern Europe and the USSR until 1989-91 come under Section C, whilst Central/Eastern Europe since 1990 and the states of the former Soviet Union have been listed under Section D.)
After the end of the Second World War, Western Europe was generally seen as a bulwark of liberal democracy. There were, however, three notable exceptions: Spain, Portugal and Greece which did not achieve stable parliamentary regimes until the 1970s, and which are sometimes classified as part of the ‘third wave of democracy’. France, racked by the wars in Indochina and Algeria, acquired the semi-authoritarian regime headed by General de Gaulle in 1958 and was threatened with a coup by mutinous generals in Algeria in 1961 (see Section A.4a). The student ferment of 1968 also came closer in France than in any other West European country to turning into a genuine revolution and almost toppled De Gaulle (see references in first edition of bibliography, Section G..2. The New Left, online at http://civilresistance.info). But it does not qualify for this section. The major popular protests in Britain and the Eurozone since 2011 against the role of the banks, corporate tax evasion and irresponsibility, and especially harsh austerity measures imposed on the majority to reduce national debt will also be covered in Volume II.
Both Spain and Portugal were ruled by military dictatorships established in the 1930s. Spain moved peacefully towards parliamentary democracy after Franco’s death in 1975, but there had been significant dissent and protest since the 1940s, mostly (with the exception of the Basque guerrilla movement) using essentially nonviolent methods. Portugal, on the other hand, achieved a parliamentary system after a period of revolutionary turmoil in 1974-75, precipitated by a popular military coup. Despite the role of the military in Portugal, there was also widespread popular protest and unrest, which makes it a partial example of civil resistance.
Greece, which from 1946 to 1949, suffered a bitter civil war between the Communists and the right wing, then moved from right wing authoritarianism under the monarchy, to temporary liberal government (1963-65), to harsh military rule from 1967-1974.