Active Greens: An Analysis of the Determinants of Green Party Members' Activism in Environmental Movements

  • Botetzagias I
  • van Schuur W
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Abstract

This article investigates green party members' activism in the environmental movement and tests how a number of predictors, theoretically suggested in the past yet rarely empirically tested, can account for it. The authors' analysis is based on an extensive data set of members of 15 green parties in 12 European countries (N = 6,639). This article finds that members' activism can be accounted for largely by network and identity variables, as suggested by social movements' scholars, whereas "new social movements" theories did not adequately explain environmental activism. Thus, network or identity variables, such as past activism, membership in environmental organizations, and activism in other social movements, are significant in the multivariate model. A number of alternative models are significant alone but not when network or identity variables are added to the model: postmaterialism, a "new environmental paradigm" worldview, and political attitudes. Although age, rational choice considerations, and new middle-class placement remain statistically significant, yet--for the latter case--its effect is negative. Macro-level variables, such as the green party's governmental experience, the country's quality of natural environment as well as environmental policies, were also found to have statistically significant effects on activism.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Europe
  • environmental activism
  • green parties
  • party members
  • transnational comparison

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