The Shifting Role of Climate Change in the 2021 Bundestag Election

in German Politics and Society
Carol Hager Environmental Studies and Political Science, Bryn Mawr College

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The climate crisis unfolded in real time during the 2021 Bundestag campaign, as western Germany experienced sudden, catastrophic flooding. The climate issue presented a varying and at times unexpected array of challenges and opportunities to the German political parties. In this article I will analyze the shifting role of climate change as it played out during the campaign, in the coalition discussions that followed, and in the first nine months of the new traffic light coalition government.

Contributor Notes

Carol Hager is a Professor of Environmental Studies and Political Science at Bryn Mawr College. Her research focuses on citizen participation in energy and land use politics. She is the author of Technological Democracy: Bureaucracy and Citizenry in the German Energy Debate (1995) and co-editor of NIMBY Is Beautiful: Cases of Local Activism and Environmental Innovation around the World (2015), Germany's Energy Transition: A Comparative Perspective (2016), and Becoming TransGerman: Cultural Identity Beyond Geography (2019).

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