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- any political struggle between social classes on the basis of different CLASS INTERESTS.
- an underlying conflict of interests between classes, whether or not this involves active political conflict.
One of the founders of the conflict approach, MARX, foresaw an inevitable sharpening and radicalization of conflict, culminating in a revolutionary crisis. In practice, levels of conflict have very rarely been so threatening, and, in recent times, where a fundamental crisis has developed it has not been on the basis of one class in opposition to another, but has involved alliances and coalitions of different class groupings (e.g. students and workers in France in 1968, and similarly located groups in Eastern Europe in 1989 and 1990), and on varying bases (e.g. ‘authority relations’, ‘exclusion’ or ‘inclusion’), as well as ownership and non-ownership of capital.