This thesis analyzes the impact of sustainable strategies on local politics in Germany. Making use of structuration theory and different approaches in organization theory, the dissertation argues that it would be very difficult to increase the ecological effectiveness of local government using the idea of sustainable development. The essential aspects of the theoretical assumptions are confirmed by evaluating a wide range of empirical studies on Local Agenda 21, the Environmental Management and Audit Scheme and environmental impact assessment. It can be shown that the ecological effects of local sustainability are limited. Bureaucratization and the growing dominance of economic principles determine the logic of sustainability on the local level. Drawing on the theoretical considerations discussed here, the author concludes by suggesting ways in which the ecological effectiveness of local government can be strengthened.