The International Handbook of Environmental Sociology
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The International Handbook of Environmental Sociology

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Edited by Michael R. Redclift and Graham Woodgate

The International Handbook of Environmental Sociology is a major interdisciplinary reference work on the developing field of environmental sociology. It consists of over 30 specially commissioned essays by leading scholars from around the world. These original essays examine a wide range of environmental issues in the developed and developing world as well as formerly centrally planned countries to present a truly international perspective. Together they analyse theory and concepts, philosophical and empirical issues as well as offering practical policy advice.
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Chapter 22: Environmental movements and green parties in western and eastern Europe

Christopher A. Rootes


Christopher A. Rootes INTRODUCTION What is an environmental movement? A vast range of phenomena have at one time or another been referred to as environmental movements or as part of the environmental movement. This imprecision reflects a general difficulty in the study of social movements; as well as collective mobilization, ‘social movement’ is a term which has been applied to phenomena as diverse as climates of opinion at one extreme to formally organized pressure groups and political parties at the other. Most attempts to impose restrictive definitions have, as we shall see, unfortunate consequences, but common sense dictates that limits must be set somewhere. For reasons which I hope will become clear, I am disinclined to include as social movements ‘climates of opinion’ where these are not accompanied by actual mobilization, but I include as part of the environmental movement a wide variety of organizations of varying degrees of formality as well as the ‘movement parties’ which have emerged fkom or accompanied the development of less formally organized environmental collective action. Consistent with this rather catholic approach, this chapter will, at least when considering the experience of a single country, avoid referring to competing environmental movements and instead refer to the environmental movement as a syndrome of movement activity embracing a wide range of often apparently disconnected forms of collective action focused upon environmental issues.’ This chapter considers the nature and forms of environmental concern, its cross-national distribution, its relationship to the mobilization of environmental protest, the forms of collective...

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