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A threefold ideological analysis of Die Gru¨nen: from ecologized socialism to political liberalism?

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This article analyses the transformation of the political ideology of the German Greens in light of the publication in April 2002 of the new fundamental programme replacing the basic programme of 1980--Die Gru¨nen's principal ideological document for two decades. The discussion has two major aims: first, to expose, and explain, the curious ideological shift of the Greens from profound ecosocialist, or New Politics, worldview to classical political liberalism. The latter maintains the private/public separation and is based on individual rights. The former challenges this view and advocates the politicization of the private, communal and cultural spheres, based on collective rights. One major argument put forward is that the Greens' ideological project is in great part an attempt to establish a collective political identity in post-war Germany, hence the centrality of reclaiming classical political liberalism. However, the very impetus of the New Politics--second-wave feminism, New Left and the New Social Movements--is thereby sacrificed. Thus, the private/public dichotomy, rejected by 'the personal is the political', is being reinstated: the concept of civil society becomes a core concept while the economy and the role of the state, which characterized the Greens' political worldview, are reduced to a peripheral conceptual role. The second aim is to advocate an integrative methodological approach to the study of political ideology, by performing three kinds of analysis--diachronic, discursive and conceptual--integrated into a synthetic approach. The methodological claim is that fundamental aspects of political phenomena are revealed through using mixed-qualitative approaches to the study of ideology, thus exposing crucial, often concealed, dimensions of the political process.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Politics, The Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel 91905

Publication date: 01 June 2003

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