Green parties were once described as championing a “new politics” that goes against the political establishment by proposing radical political, economic, and environmental reforms (e.g., Müller-Rommel 1990 ; Poguntke 1989 ), but they have since
Daoist Political Ecology as Green Party Ideology
The Case of the Swedish Greens
Devin K. Joshi
A Brief Cosmogeny of the West German Green Party
Today's German Green Party looks much like its parliamentary counterparts. However, the long-term political experience of activists who founded the party informed flexible and open political thinking and structure, and raised questions about the nature of deep social change that are worth returning to. The Green Party in its current form is not the only possible relevant and practical manifestation of this thinking. This piece briefly traces an evolution of political thought before the emergence of the Green Party through the case of one former activist.
Germany's Energiewende at a Crossroads
Jonas Heering and Thane Gustafson
them the weakest party in the Bundestag, measured by seats. 41 However, by October 2018, amid declining support for the Christian Democrats ( cdu ) and Social Democrats ( spd ), the Green party surged in the national polls, overtaking both the Social
Green Politics, Expertise, and Democratic Discourse in the Two Germanies, 1989-2019
a direct result of the lack of citizen voice in governance. The Green Party was founded in November 1989 by 150 members of grassroots environmental groups. It was one of several environmental organizations formed in the waning days of the GDR. It was
“Thinking Green!” (and Feminist): Female Activism and the Greens from Wyhl to Bonn
Sarah E. Summers
This article explores the connections between West German autonomous women's movement and the green movement from inception of the green movement in the 1970s until its institutionalization with the Green Party in the 1980s. I argue that understanding the role of feminism in the movement and vice versa requires scholars to rethink the autonomous strategies of the New Women's Movement. In doing so, I contend that autonomous feminists understood the wider implications of the green movement beyond ecological preservation, thus aiding in the transition to political party. Entangling the two movements also highlights the limits of gender equality in the Green Party as it implemented the quota system in the 1980s, and offers lessons for the potential future success of gender parity in German politics.
Between Grassroots Protest and Green Politics: The Democratic Potential of the 1970s Antinuclear Activisim
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.
Option Grün: Alliance 90/The Greens at the Dawn of New Opportunities?
Following the end of their government coalition with the Social Democratic Party, German Green Party leaders spoke of "a dawn of new opportunities" for Alliance 90/The Greens. They wanted to capitalize on the strategic opportunities afforded by Germany's new five-party system and on the unexpected rise of climate change in public debate. Shortly before the 2009 federal election, however, the party's "new opportunities" seem rather limited. Selectively focusing on one particular explanatory factor, this article contrasts the Green's neo-radical eco-political position as it has emerged since 2005 with the ways in which environmental issues are addressed by the currently popular LOHAS (Life of Health and Sustainability) consumer movement. It suggests that the German Greens may have paid too little attention to the ongoing reframing of the environmental issue in public discourse and that this has impaired their prospects for a swift return to government office.
On the Way Back into Government? The Free Democratic Party Gearing Up for the 2009 Elections
After the first Bundestag elections in 1949, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) established itself as kingmaker either of the Christian Democrats or the Social Democrats. The entrance of the Green Party into the German Bundestag in 1983 brought about a significant change in the German political landscape, which challenged the German Liberals to redefine themselves. At present, it seems that the FDP is on its way back into the federal government after ten years of opposition, although "neoliberal" ideology is currently facing a severe international crisis. This constitutes a puzzling issue for political scientists, which is addressed in this article by analyzing the factors that can explain the German Liberal's latest success. Furthermore, the FDP's chances in comparison to the other two small parties (Left Party and Greens) are discussed. Finally, attention is focused on the characteristics of the FDP's election campaign and its coalition options for 2009 and beyond.
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.
“Enemies at the Gate:” The West German Greens and Their Arrival at the Bundestag—Between Old Ideals and New Challenges
The West German Green Party's 1983 entrance into the Bundestag marked a major break, both in the history of this young political force and the parliamentary system of the Bonn Republic. The Greens had been founded in opposition to the guiding principles of the West German postwar consensus and conceived of themselves as an “anti-parliamentary party.” Although they had gained parliamentary experience in some regional chambers, their entrance onto the national parliamentary stage juxtaposed old ideals and new challenges—for the Greens themselves as well as for German political culture. Taking this singular historic moment as a starting point, this article summarizes the formation of the Greens in the context of the changing political and ideological landscape of the 1970s. It also contrasts the party's formation with the transformations in terms of program and personnel that it undertook during the 1980s. The focus lies less on the specific activities of the green parliamentary group than on the broader developments in green politics and thinking.