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The withered "greening" of british politics: A study of the ecology party

Rudig, Wolfgang and Lowe, P.D. (1986) The withered "greening" of british politics: A study of the ecology party. Political Studies, 34 (2). pp. 262-284. ISSN 0032-3217

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Abstract

Britain appears to be largely removed from the new political tide of ‘green’ parties that is currently sweeping other West European countries. This article will put forward some explanations for this ‘stillborn’ character of ‘green’ party politics in Britain. A detailed scrutiny of the history of the Ecology Party will be provided. It will be argued that the relative weakness of the Party is mainly due to its’failure to attract the support of ‘new social movements’. Particular attention will be paid to the British political system’s ability to deal with middle-class protest movements by a mixture of issue suppression and group integration. This is a revised version of a paper presented at the UK Political Studies Association Conference, Southampton, 3–5 April 1984. Final amendments made in February 1985 do not take into account subsequent developments. In September 1985 the Ecology Party was re-named the Green Party.