Climate Action in a Globalizing World : Comparative Perspectives on Environmental Movements in the Global North book cover
1st Edition

Climate Action in a Globalizing World
Comparative Perspectives on Environmental Movements in the Global North

ISBN 9781138667303
Published July 7, 2017 by Routledge
278 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The existence and urgency of global climate change is a matter of scientific consensus. Yet the global politics of climate change have been anything but consensual. In this context, a wave of global climate activism has emerged in the last decade in response to the perceived failure of the political negotiations.

This book provides a unique comparative study of environmental movements in USA, Japan, Denmark and Sweden, analyzing their interaction with the international climate institutions of the United Nations, with national governments, and with currents in the global climate movement. It documents how and why the movement evolved between the Copenhagen Summit of 2009 and the Paris Summit of 2015, altering its strategies and tactics while attracting new actors to the issue area. Further, it demonstrates how the development of global environmental networks has increased contact between environmental movements in the Global North and those from the Global South, resulting in the establishment of ‘climate justice’ as a political cause and unifying frame for global climate activism.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Climate action in a globalizing world – an introduction

Part I: Global Perspectives: COP as a space for climate action

Chapter 2: Climate justice, equity and movement mobilization

Chapter 3: Governing dissent in a state of emergency: police and protester interactions in the global space of the COP

Chapter 4: Mobilizing emotions in the global sphere: global solidarity and the regime of rationality

Chapter 5: COP as a global public sphere: news media frames, movement frames and media standing of climate movement actors

Part II: National environmental movements in global context: United States, Japan, Denmark and Sweden

Chapter 6: Learning From Defeat: The Strategic Reorientation of the U.S. Climate Movement

Chapter 7: Between Government and Grassroots: Challenges to Institutionalization in the Japanese Environmental Movement

Chapter 8: Denmark – from a green economy toward a new eco-radicalism?

Chapter 9: The Swedish environmental movement: politics of responsibility between climate justice and local transition

PART III: Concluding reflections: new perspectives on climate action

Chapter 10: Hegemony and environmentalist strategy - global governance, movement mobilization, and climate justice

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Carl Cassegård is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Gothenburg. He is currently researching Japanese social movements with a focus on the precarity movement and the environmental movement.

Linda Soneryd is Lecturer and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Gothenburg. Her research currently focuses on environmental movements and climate change, transboundary governance and water management, and stakeholder involvement in spatial planning.

Håkan Thörn is Full Professor of Sociology, based at the University of Gothenburg. His research focuses social movements, globalization and power.

Åsa Wettergren is Associate Professor in Sociology, Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg. Her main research interest is in the sociology of emotions, researching a wide array of topics involving this perspective.


"At a time when the prospects of dealing with climate change have taken a drastic turn for the worse, with the election of Donald Trump as US President, this book provides a glimmer of hope with its in-depth study of climate activism throughout the world. Highly recommended!" - Andrew Jamison, Aalborg University, Denmark

"This book could not be more timely. Climate change is the most important issue facing humanity in the twenty-first century. This comparative study of climate change activism helps us understand how it might best be confronted" - Ronald Eyerman, Yale University, USA