Contested Spaces: The Environment and Environmental Dissidence in the German Democratic Republic, 1980-1990 Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Ault, Julia Elizabeth
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
Abstract
  • This thesis examines the role of environmental activism and dissidence in the last decade of communism in the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany). It contends that rise of discontent over ecological conditions and the regime's corresponding yet insufficient response played a more central role in the revolution of 1989-1990 than has been previously acknowledged. Though environmental groups first coalesced under the aegis of the Protestant Church, concern for the natural environment resonated more broadly within the population. These environmental activists` organizations, protesting primarily local conditions, represented a growing subpublic which both directly and indirectly threatened the authority of the state and its ability to provide for its citizens. Particularly after the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, Ukraine in 1986, environmental issues challenged the legitimacy of the communist regime in East Germany, ultimately taking a more central role in the dissolution of the communist regime in 1989 than has been previously acknowledged.
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  • In Copyright
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  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of History."
Advisor
  • Jarausch, Konrad Hugo
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Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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  • Open access
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