Redefining Red and Green

Ideology and Strategy in European Political Ecology

By Tad Shull

Subjects: Political Parties, Environmental Studies, Environmental Politics
Series: SUNY series in International Environmental Policy and Theory
Paperback : 9780791440421, 186 pages, January 1999
Hardcover : 9780791440414, 186 pages, January 1999

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents




Chapter One

Introduction: Competition and Change in Progressive Parties

Chapter Two

The Greens in Comparative Historical Perspective: From Social Democracy to Ecology

Chapter Three

Theoretical Considerations: Ideology and Strategy in Contemporary Party Competition

Chapter Four

Ideology and Competition Inside Ecology Parties: Reexamining Herbert Kitschelt's "Logics of Party Formation"

Chapter Five

Contrasting Images of Ecological Politics: The Programs of the Verts and Grünen in Comparative Perspective

Chapter Six

Entering the Political Arena: Strategic Cues and False Starts

Chapter Seven

Defining Moments: Finding a Niche in the Party System

Chapter Eight

Consolidation-and New Tensions

Chapter Nine

Cataclysm and Renewal

Chapter Ten



Selected Bibliography


Examines the strategic impact of two European ecology parties on the recomposition of left-wing politics in their countries.


Redefining Red and Green explores the political strategies of two European ecology parties, the socialist German Grünen and the radically democratic French Les Verts. The strategies represent typical choices—and dilemmas—of progressive politics, with far-reaching implications. Once proud of their "anti-political" stance, the ideas of these former militant outsiders have been integrated into mainstream political discourse. Now green parties are a recognized political force in their respective countries. In this book, Shull examines the full range of strategic choices made by the parties and probes the limits and tradeoffs involved in each choice, and in any strategy for progressive reform.

The growth and transformation of the Grünen and Les Verts is of universal importance. Reader's sympathetic to the environmental movement will want to explore the different paths the Greens have taken in Europe. Those concerned about the future of the Left in the United States and Europe will be interested in the dialogue between ecologists and specialists on the subject. Scholars and students of social movements, parties, or contemporary political thought will find a fresh comparison and an original theoretical synthesis.

Tad Shull works as an independent research consultant in New York City. He has taught at Fordham and Long Island Universities and has written several articles on the European ecologists.


"The puzzle that Tad Shull seeks to explain in this stimulating and informative study is the dramatic contrast between the Green parties of France and Germany. Although the German Grünen receive more scholarly attention, the little-studied French Verts have arguably had a greater impact on their country's politics. Explaining the two parties' different trajectories, Dr. Shull focuses on structural opportunities and constraints, highlighting the importance of Green Party strategy and the relationship to the larger, established center-left party. This book will be of great value to students of political parties and party systems, Green movements and West European politics. " — Mark Kesselman, Columbia University

"Professor Shull's book provides scholars a fresh view of ecological parties in Europe. It is extremely well written and it breaks new ground on this topic. " — Sheldon Kamieniecki, University of Southern California

"Tad Shull has provided a thoughtful, informative, and compelling account of Green parties and their role in European party systems. Redefining Red and Green is an important contribution to our understanding of emergent center-left politics, all the more timely with the formation of a governing Red-Green coalition in Germany. " — Joel Krieger, Wellesley College