Since its inception in the 1950s, consumer policy in Germany has been understood and operated primarily as a bundle of actions and measures that was primarily initiated and institutionalized by the state. Often the state issued appropriate orders and set up subsidy models, creating an appearance as if one were basically only dealing with a "consumer policy from above" imposed by macro-politics. Not that in the past few decades attempts have not been made again and again to give consumer policy impulses from the middle of civil society – often in the form of small citizens' initiatives. And in the last few years in particular, some new consumer organizations have emerged that operate much closer to the grassroots. Nevertheless, the big, government-related "players" in the field who have been in "business" for decades, not to mention internal government consumer policy, seem to have established the impression that consumer policy concerns a policy area that is essentially based on collaboration between the state on the one hand, all consumer protection organizations representing consumers equally on the other hand, while the many small consumer initiatives, not even started by individual committed consumers, regularly fall behind. This perspective largely relates to the view of and from the center of politics. This volume intends to counteract this institutionally prevailing impression that in principle there is only "consumer policy from above" that is really effective and assertive.
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