Social movements take shape in relation to the kind of state they face, while over time states are transformed by the movements that they both incorporate and resist. This is a comparative study of the environmental movement's successes and failures in four very different states: the USA, UK, Germany and Norway. The history covers the entire sweep of the modern environmental era that began in 1970. The end in view is a green transformation of the state and society on a par with earlier transformations that gave us first the liberal capitalist state and then the welfare state. The authors explain why such a transformation is now most likely in Germany, and why it is least likely in the United States, which has lost the status of environmental pioneer that it gained in the early 1970s. Their comparative analysis also explains the role played by social movements in making modern societies more deeply democratic, and yields insights into the strategic choices of environmental movements as they decide on what terms to engage, enter or resist the state.