The past decade has seen many twists and turns in terms of the electoral fortunes of Green parties. If the overall trend has been one of establishing Greens as firm fixture in the political landscape, the picture across Europe is highly uneven. For the Green pioneer Petra Kelly – as a political force Green parties should be an “anti-party”. Seeking power without sacrificing principles, being “in” the institutions but not “of” them, remaining a party of the people at heart, and serving as a counterweight to mainstream political parties which lack the courage to adopt radical solutions.
When it comes to being in power – the challenges of maintaining this radicality are thrown into sharp relief. Have the Green parties in power over the past decade succeeded in maintaining the defining features of their emergence? Are Greens in government about system change or becoming part of the system?
In parallel with the Journal’s Ten Years of Change event series, we’re looking back through our archives at some of the ideas and perspectives that can help us make sense of the political developments taking place today. This reading list brings together analysis of some of the key electoral moments, milestones, and breakthroughs for Green parties over the past decade. Taken together, these pieces can help us see beyond the wins and losses at specific elections, to grasp the broader trends at work and identify the ways in which the democratic presence and participation of Green forces has influenced or reshaped the institutions, practices, and cultures of political power.
Articles in this focus
Time is running out, but political ecology has the answers. A different world, a good life for all.Read more
As some Green parties move closer to entering government, looking to paths already trodden by Greens in Sweden and Finland proves illuminating.Read more
We asked Mohssin El Ghabri how ECOLO is navigating the current Belgian context and the party’s political ambitions.Read more
Studies uncover surprising lessons for Greens grappling with questions about the electoral costs of taking power.Read more
MP Sigrid Maurer explains the realities of being in coalition with the Conservatives and what lies ahead for the Austrian Green Party.Read more
Modern states were not built to protect the environment but today are essential institutions for building a sustainable future.Read more
With the Greens polling at a record high while the traditional parties seemingly run out of road, what are the factors underpinning the recent success of political ecology in Germany?Read more
How can the Irish Greens maintain connections with grassroots activists outside of party politics whilst in government?Read more