This article narrates the development of the antinuclear movement from the bottom up, showing how local protests initiated changes in Germans' ideas about democracy and public participation, precipitating the Green Party's emergence. The narrative begins with the pre-history of the 1975 occupation of the Wyhl reactor site in Southern Baden. It shows that vintners' concerns about the future of their livelihoods underpinned protests at Wyhl, but argues that the anti-reactor coalition grew in breadth after government officials' perceived misconduct caused local people to connect their agricultural concerns with democracy matters. It then explains how local protests like the Wyhl occupation influenced the formation of the German Green Party in the late 1970s, showing how the sorts of convergences that occurred amidst “single issue” protests like the anti-Wyhl struggle enabled a wide variety of activists to come together in the new party. Thus, the article argues that particular, local concerns initiated a rethinking of participation in electoral politics. Far from fracturing society, these local concerns promoted diverse new coalitions and shaped an inclusive approach to electoral politics.
Between Grassroots Protest and Green Politics: The Democratic Potential of the 1970s Antinuclear Activisim
The Energiewende, a German Success Story?
Wolfgang Gründinger, Drivers of Energy Transition: How Interest Groups Influenced Energy Politics in Germany (Wiesbaden: Springer vs, 2017).
Thomas Unnerstall, The German Energy Transition: Design, Implementation, Cost and Lessons (Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2017).
Renewing Democracy: The Rise of Green Politics in West Germany
Stephen Milder and Konrad H. Jarausch
The September 2013 Bundestag election, which reelected Angela Merkel
as chancellor, was a clear defeat for the Green Party. Alliance 90/The
Greens (henceforth the Greens) fared far better than the Free Democratic
Party (FDP), which failed even to score the five percent of the vote required
for representation in parliament, but still fell from 10.7 percent to 8.4 percent,
losing five of their sixty-eight seats in parliament. Since in March of
that same year, surveys had shown their support at 17 percent, this disappointing
result forced Jürgen Trittin, the leader of the parliamentary delegation
to step down.1 In many ways, this perceived electoral debacle marked
the end of an era. The former Federal Minister of the Envi ron ment, who
had originally joined the party in 1980, told reporters that “a new generation” would have to step forward and lead the party into the 2017
campaign. This statement suggested not only that the Greens’ rebellious
founding impulse was spent, but also that they had become part of the
establishment in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), now requiring a
reinvigoration of their own. Since the Greens were once expected to be little
more than a short-lived byproduct of the social conflicts of the 1970s, a
closer look at the party’s founding moment at the beginning of the 1980s
might shed new light on its current predicament.
Stephen Milder, Adam R. Seipp, Jeffrey Luppes, Matthias Dilling, Lotte Houwink ten Cate, and Randall Newnham
Jennifer Allen, Sustainable Utopias: The Art and Politics of Hope in Germany (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2022)
Kevin T. Hall, Terror Flyers: The Lynching of American Airmen in Nazi Germany (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2021)
Michael Hughes, The Anarchy of Nazi Memorabilia: From Things of Tyranny to Troubled Treasure (London: Routledge, 2022)
Mark Edward Ruff and Thomas Großbölting, eds., Germany and the Confessional Divide: Religious Tensions and Political Culture, 1871–1989 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2022)
Christoph Lorke, Liebe verwalten: “Ausländerehen” in Deutschland 1870–1945 [Managing love: “Foreign marriages” in Germany 1870–1945] (Paderborn: Brill | Schöningh, 2020)
John P. Miglietta, Hitler's Allies: The Ramifications of Nazi Alliance Politics in World War II (London: Routledge, 2022)
Myra Marx Ferree, Hanno Balz, John Bendix, Meredith Heiser-Duron, Jeffrey Luppes, Stephen Milder, and Randall Newnham
Joyce Marie Mushaben, Shelley Baranowski, Trevor J. Allen, Sabine von Mering, Stephen Milder, Volker Prott, and Peter C. Pfeiffer
Louise K. Davidson-Schmich, Matthew Hines, Thomas Klikauer, Norman Simms, Jeffrey Luppes, Stephen Milder, Robert Nyenhuis, and Randall Newnham
John Kampfner, Why the Germans Do it Better: Notes from a Grown-Up Country (London: Atlantic Books, 2020).
Karen Hagemann, Donna Harsch, and Friederike Brühöfener, eds., Gendering Post-1945 German History: Entanglements (New York: Berghahn Books, 2019).
Daniel Marwecki, Germany and Israel: Whitewashing and Statebuilding (London: C. Hurst & Co., 2020).
Robert Gellately, Hitler's True Believers: How Ordinary People Became Nazis (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020).
Thomas Fleischman, Communist Pigs: An Animal History of East Germany's Rise and Fall (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2020).
Joanne Miyang Cho, ed., Transnational Encounters between Germany and East Asia since 1900 (New York: Routledge, 2018).
Andrew Nagorski, 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2019).