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

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Volume 21

Monographs in German History

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Environmental Organizations in Modern Germany

Hardy Survivors in the Twentieth Century and Beyond

William T. Markham

416 pages, 4 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-447-0 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (August 2008)

ISBN  978-0-85745-172-9 $39.95/£31.95 / Pb / Published (September 2011)

eISBN 978-0-85745-030-2 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook! $39.95info on epub formatRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


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

…a welcome addition to the topic of German environmentalism … [that]is well organized…[and] succeeds, in part, because of its theoretical perspective…[It] also succeeds because of meticulous research.  ·  Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d’histoire

"...a profound, comprehensive study... which is singular in its kind and is sure to become a standard reference (Standardwerk) on this subject. In many research stays in Germany, Markham acquired a profound knowledge of the history and the present characteristics of German environmental organizations, of their changing role in politics, and the strategic dilemmas they face."  ·  Nature + Culture

"The main contribution of this book lies in its thorough and informative account of the historical development of German 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

"...a well-researched and highly accessible historical-sociological investigation of German environmental organizations in the twentieth century as well as a critical assessment of the strategic dilemmas and decisions that these groups faced as they entered the twenty-first…an excellent contribution to a growing historical literatue dedicated to the ‘greening’ of German history."   ·  The American Historical Review

“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.”   ·  History: Books in Review

This study will be of interest to those concerned with German politics or comparative environmental politics, and also to readers interested in applications of organisational theory…this is a significant contribution to our understanding of environmental organisations.  ·  Environmental Politics


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.

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.

Subject: Environmental Studies (General)History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Germany


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