Environmentalists, Nuclear Waste, and the Politics of Passive Exclusion in Germany

in German Politics and Society
View More View Less
  • 1 Drexel University
Restricted access

In this essay I examine the dispute between the German Green

Party and some of the country’s environmental nongovernmental

organizations (NGOs) over the March 2001 renewal of rail shipments

of highly radioactive wastes to Gorleben. My purpose in

doing so is to test John Dryzek’s 1996 claim that environmentalists

ought to beware of what they wish for concerning inclusion in the

liberal democratic state. Inclusion on the wrong terms, argues

Dryzek, may prove detrimental to the goals of greening and democratizing

public policy because such inclusion may compromise the

survival of a green public sphere that is vital to both. Prospects for

ecological democracy, understood in terms of strong ecological

modernization here, depend on historically conditioned relationships

between the state and the environmental movement that foster

the emergence and persistence over time of such a public sphere.