The incidence of environmental protest in France is examined by means of an analysis of all the environmental protest events reported in Le Monde during the years 1988–97. The relatively low level of protests reported is partly explained by the systematic bias of Le Monde toward institutional politics and formal political actors, as well as by its tendency to neglect local and regional associations and events. Nevertheless, the impression remains that environmental protest in France was relatively subdued during the decade, and explanations are offered in terms of the tendency of environmentalism in France to become mobilized into formal politics via Green parties, and to have become institutionalized at local and regional levels through partnerships with decentralized governmental agencies. The disastrous defeat of the anti‐nuclear movement of the 1970s appears to have depressed levels of national environmental protest in subsequent years.
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