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Political History

The Green Breakthrough of 1989:

meaning, significance, legacy

Edited by James McKay and Jean-Francois Mouhot

Published by ICBH, 2012

This witness seminar was co-convened by the NGOs in Britain project, University of Birmingham, and the Institute of Contemporary British History. It took place on Thursday 14th October, 2010 at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. The convenors of this seminar would like to thank the Leverhulme Trust, for their financial support.

Witnesses included:

Robin Grove-White (Director, 1981–87 of Campaign to Protect Rural England, Chairman of Greenpeace UK 1997–2003)
Julia Hailes (Co-editor, Green Consumer Guide, 1988)
Stephen Joseph (Executive Director, Campaign for Better Transport/Transport 2000, 1988 on)
George Medley (Director WWF-UK, 1978-93)
Peter Melchett (Executive Director, Greenpeace, 1989-2000)
Sara Parkin (Speaker, Green Party, 1989-1992)
Nicholas Schoon (Environment correspondent, The Independent, 1990-1998)
Charles Secrett (Director, Friends of the Earth, 1993-2002)
Roger Geffen (London Cycling Campaign, Reclaim the Streets, anti-road protester, 1989-)

The full transcript of the seminar is now available, with background paper, chronology and annotations. The witnesses discuss the remarkable growth of the environmental movement in the late 1980s, how far NGOs were masters of their own destiny, or simply beneficiaries of a unique confluence of trends and circumstances, and why the breakthrough wasn't sustained into the 1990s.

Click here to download the seminar as a pdf:
The Green Breakthrough of 1989: meaning, significance, legacy  (opens in a new window)

Or go to the NGO-UK site to see the video of the seminar.

If you would like to purchase a hard copy, please email Virginia Preston. Hard copies cost £12 including postage.

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