Nature and Nationalism: "Right-Wing" Ecology and the Politics of Identity in Contemporary Germany

Dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park (1997)

Environmental ideology is usually assumed to be either an ideology of the left, or one which somehow "transcends" the traditional left-right spectrum. In contrast, this dissertation examining the "green politics" of the so-called "New Right" in Germany challenges the claim that Environmentalism can be unequivocally placed on the left side of the political spectrum. At the same time however, it rejects the view that Environmentalism is "beyond" left and right. ;This study argues that it is more correct to speak of Environmentalisms in the plural, just as there are several forms of Nationalism. As with Nationalism, Environmentalism's political diversity stems from its ability to tap into our need to identify with a concrete place or set of places. Nevertheless, the dividing line between a "right-wing" and a "left-wing" ecology, it is argued here, lies in whether our attachment to place ultimately locates itself within what can be called Enlightenment "universalism." Thus in the form of a "left-wing" ecology, human beings find their truest expression in a shared sense of humanity, a notion based on the belief that human beings can separate themselves from their national, cultural, or ecological "origins." In the form of a "right-wing" ecology however, our attachment to place is transformed into an ecological-biological determinant whereby cultural identities are transformed into "natural" differences, "peoples" are defined by the "eco-niches" in which they are said to be "rooted," and Environmentalism is made synonymous with the protection of "homeland." ;The dissertation thus demonstrates the inherent dangers of an Environmentalism loosed from the moorings of Enlightenment universalism. While feeling a sense of belonging to nature is deeply human, such feelings, when naturalized into a notion of "rootedness," quickly descend into an ecological politics of exclusion
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,566
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What is Left?Jurij Verč - unknown - Phainomena 70.
The Four Pillars of Contemporary Political Philosophy.Piotr Boltuc - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 50:55-62.
Why Wilfrid Sellars Is Right.William A. Rottschaefer - 2011 - Journal of Philosophical Research 36:291-325.
“Not-so-Strange Bedfellows”.Tomasz Sikora & Rafał Majka - 2010 - Dialogue and Universalism 20 (5-6):89-100.
The Middle Does Not Hold.William A. Rottschaefer - 2011 - Journal of Philosophical Research 36:361-369.
Ruralism or Environmentalism?Avner de-Shalit - 1996 - Environmental Values 5 (1):47 - 58.
The Politics of Ecology and Equality: Greens and the Democratic Left.Daniel Neal Graham - 1995 - Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Added to PP index

Total views

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes

Sign in to use this feature