Gender Politics in Green Parties

Authored by: Stewart Jackson

Routledge Handbook of Gender and Environment

Print publication date:  June  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415707749
eBook ISBN: 9781315886572
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315886572.ch20

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Abstract

Green parties are a political phenomenon of the late twentieth century. Growing out of the dissatisfaction of youth in the post-war economic boom period, and harnessing a burgeoning interest in the environment, Green parties have surfed on the wave of post-material expansion. They have participated in government across Europe, including the core democracies of France and Germany, and have helped shape politics into the twenty-first century. Yet beneath this rosy picture, Green parties have struggled with sometimes bitter internal debates, at times not dissimilar to those in more traditional parties on the left and right. From the beginning, the Green party philosophy has been an uneasy amalgam of competing foci; the parties themselves often an uneasy alliance of different social and political movements – and too often being seen as ‘just’ representing the environment. While prominent early members could claim long histories in social movements, especially the peace and women’s movements, those movement ties have weakened over the years. A signal moment came in 1998 when then leader of Die Grünen (the German Greens) and German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fisher, pushed the Greens to agree to German involvement in North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) intervention into Kosovo, against the cries of internal critics and external peace activists. At that time the question could be asked whether the Greens had betrayed their movement origins or had simply matured.

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