Environmental Organizations in Modern Germany: Hardy Surviviors in the Twentieth Century and Beyond

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Berghahn Books, Incorporated, 2011 - Business & Economics - 416 pages
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German environmental organizations have doggedly pursued environmental protection through difficult times: hyperinflation and war, National Socialist rule, postwar devastation, state socialism in the GDR, and confrontation with the authorities during the 1970s and 1980s. The author recounts the fascinating and sometimes dramatic story of these organizations from their origins at the end of the nineteenth century to the present, not only describing how they reacted to powerful social movements, including the homeland protection and socialist movements in the early years of the twentieth century, the Nazi movement, and the anti-nuclear and new social movements of the 1970s and 1980s, but also examining strategies for survival in periods like the current one, when environmental concerns are not at the top of the national agenda. Previous analyses of environmental organizations have almost invariably viewed them as parts of larger social structures, that is, as components of social movements, as interest groups within a political system, or as contributors to civil society. This book, by contrast, starts from the premise that through the use of theories developed specifically to analyze the behavior of organizations and NGOs we can gain additional insight into why environmental organizations behave as they do.

"This narrative of the rise and repeated adaptation of the German environmental movement to a variety of social and political contexts is a fascinating one... Ultimately, Markham's sociological analysis of German nature protection organizations proves readable and engaging. He makes significant efforts to write a broadly accessible work. Discussions of sociological theory are limited to a methodological chapter and part of the conclusion; otherwise, his prose is clear and highly organized. This book therefore would make an excellent introduction to the history of German environmentalism." - H-German

"The main contribution of this book lies in its thorough and informative account of the historical development of German environmentalism...an impressive work that will be of interest to researchers well beyond the boundaries of environmental sociology and politics, or European (German) studies." - American Journal of Sociology

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About the author (2011)

William T. Markham is Professor of Sociology, Chancellor's Resident Fellow in the International Honors College, and incoming Director of the Environmental Studies Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is author of two other books and numerous journal articles on environmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations and civil society, the sociology of organizations, and social inequalities, and recently coedited a book on nature protection in Western nations. He has held visiting appointments at Wellesley College, the University of Texas, Humboldt University and the University of Essen in Germany, Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and the University of Buea in Cameroon. He is the recipient of three Fulbright awards. He is currently working on a book about environmental NGOs in Cameroon.

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