In the Federal Republic of Germany, consumer politics has developed into a cross-sectional task with a broad scope in terms of content and of great vertical and horizontal complexity in terms of structure. A multitude of actors from civil society, finance and politics contributed to its emergence. This study is the first to examine their interplay using archival sources. In addition to the national and provincial governments plus ministerial bureaucracy, organisations which are still influential today, such as 'Stiftung Warentest' (an independent consumer organisation that conducts comparative product tests) and the 'Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband' (the Federal Association of Consumer Watchdogs), were among these actors. This study is the first to link their histories to the political development of West Germany's consumer society in order to enable us to understand both the proliferation of consumer policies in the 1950s and 60s and the advent of consumer-based politics in the following decade.
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