European Journal of Political Research

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 187–218

Place, post-industrial change and the new left

  • Jefferey M. Sellers


This article argues for the importance of place and policies addressed to it in recent post-industrial political transformations. My analysis focuses on the performance of Left parties in French and German cities with universities since the 1960s. Despite similar shifts in the occupational and sectoral bases of politics in the cities of both countries, these transformations followed divergent trajectories. In Germany decentralized policymaking, physical legacies of previous urban planning, and mobilization around land use and related issues gave rise to the most solid local strongholds of the Greens. In mid-sized and smaller cities, local constraints on growth itself resulted. In France centrally led expansion, less developed local policies and less planned urban structures contributed to emergent Socialist majorities and weaker, more contingent local Green performance. In both countries the environmental concerns and consumption interests linked to spatial amenities have given a new, altered significance to the geographic determinants of politics.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jefferey M. Sellers
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for European StudiesHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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