The West German Green party had an ironic relationship to the West German Federal Republic. While the self-styled “anti-party party” found its identity in all-out opposition to the established forces and institutions of the Bonn republic, it was also a distinctive creation of that regime. Above all, it mirrored the sheltered prosperity, political provincialism, and postnationalism that future historians will recognize as the signature of the Bonn republic. For its part, that state had in many ways become a Green republic.
Domestically, economic growth and social peace allowed the green topics of ecology, risk and participation to become key public policy issues of the day. In foreign policy, the “Genscherist” advocacy of peace, dialogue, and nonaggression was likewise couched in greenish colors. But the Greens’ greatest legacy has been in environmental policy. As a direct consequence of the Greens’ engagement, the Federal Republic developed the strictest environmental protection laws anywhere in the world....
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