I’m Valerie, author of The Green Left Hand blog. At the moment, I’m based in Heidelberg, Germany, where I work in adult education, translation and editing. Increasingly, though, my main focus is on research and writing. Parallel to work, I completed my PhD ‘Understanding the performance of the Left Party (Die Linke) in western Germany: a comparative analysis of Cartel and Social Cleavage theories as explanatory frameworks’. So as you might gather from that catchy title, I’m fascinated by German politics and the Left Party in particular. Undeterred by the long and often trying PhD experience, I’m delving deeper into some of my research interests, such as Left Party campaign strategy and policy, social class and democratic representation. I’m also keen to discover more about socialist and green parties/movements, and to explore political themes outside Germany, for instance in the UK (there’s plenty going on, after all) and in Canada, where Greens are gaining influence. It’s also a country I love to visit.
Whenever work permits, I’m at home in Barnet, North London. Personal interests include left-wing, green and local politics (a special shout out to Barnet Green Party), animal rights (after 30+ years of vegetarianism I’m finally becoming dairy-free) and experiencing the joy of live music. I’m also an avid reader (from Murakami and Yehoshua to LeCarré and Kutscher). As for political issues close to my heart — these haven’t really changed. One of the first demos I took part in as a teenager was with CND at the Aldermaston nuclear weapons base. Over thirty years later, anti-nuclear campaigning is one activity I really look forward to giving up. Sadly, that’s not possible yet. I’m also resolutely pro choice. And it looks like there are plenty of battles ahead on that issue too.
If you’d like to get in touch about something posted on the blog or about my research, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m also on Twitter: @GreenLeftHand1.