Nature and Nationalism: Right-wing Ecology and the Politics of Identity in Contemporary Germany

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St. Martin's Press, 1999 - Political Science - 198 pages
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Across Europe, parties of the Radical Right are moving environmental themes to the center of their political programs. Perhaps nowhere is this more visible than among Germany's numerous Far Right parties and groups. Jonathan Olsen explores this "right-wing" ecology in Germany, its ideological underpinings, historical evolution, and relationship to more mainstream political-environmental discourse. Arguing that radical environmentalism is not exclusively a domain of the left, Olsen shows how many of Germany's Radical Right parties ground their environmental ideology in an anti-universalist anthropology which sees human beings as naturally "rooted" in specific nations and cultural traditions. "Pollution" in this discourse signifies not only the disruption of the natural world, but the social world as well, thus providing an "environmental" justification for an anti-immigrant politics which finds resonance outside the specific milieu of the Far Right. A rigorously theoretical book, Nature and Nationalism challenges our understanding of the deeply ambiguous ways in which "nature" functions to legitimate a wide variety of political ideas.

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About the author (1999)

Jonathan Olsen is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

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