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On the durability of Green politics : Evidence from the 1989 European election study

Franklin, M.N. and Rudig, Wolfgang (1995) On the durability of Green politics : Evidence from the 1989 European election study. Comparative Political Studies, 28 (3). pp. 409-439.

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Abstract

Green parties have been seen by some scholars as expressing a new cleavage that should give them the same sort of permanence as was once enjoyed by traditional cleavage-based parties, but other scholars suggest that support for Green parties will prove more ephemeral if Green issues are eventually taken up by older parties. In this article, we study the prospects for Green party durability from several perspectives using data from the 1989 European Election Study. We conclude that while Green parties are unlikely to demonstrate extreme volatility, neither do they have any guarantee of long-term support. In reaching this conclusion, we assess postmaterialist and other theoretical perspectives on Green voting, none of which account satisfactorily for observed phenomena. The ubiquitous importance of environmental concern, however, suggests the possibility of an ecological cleavage underlying the support for Green parties.