416 pages, 4 ills
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, with an analysis of the issues and strategic decisions that confront them at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
The book describes how environmental organizations 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 it also examines their strategies for survival in periods like the current one, when environmental concerns are not at the top of the national agenda.
The book joins a growing body of literature about environmental organizations in the U.S. and the UK but is the first book in English about environmental organizations in a non-English speaking country. 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.
William T. Markham - has written a very useful historical and sociological overview of several major twentieth century German environmental organizations...augmented by a broad historical overview of twentieth century German environmentalism and a lucid, historian friendly discussion of the major theories that sociologists and political scientists have used in analyzing social movements...a fine book that should be essential reading for anyone interested in environmental organizations and how to go about studying them.A" * History: Books in Review
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