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Climate Change and Social Movements is a riveting and thorough exploration of three important campaigns to influence climate change policy in the United Kingdom. The author delves deep into the campaigns and illuminates the way policymakers think about and respond to social movements.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Introduction

Abstract
Flooding of densely populated urban areas (McGranahan et al, 2007); droughts leading to widespread famine (IPCC, 2014, ch. 9); mass extinction of plant and animal species (Thomas et al, 2004); the devastation of entire nations (Barnett and Adger, 2003). This is the harrowing picture painted by the scientific community as they attempt to predict the effects of climate change. Some of these effects are already being experienced as the rates of abnormal and extreme weather events connected with climate change rise (Coumou and Rahmstorf, 2012).
Eugene Nulman

2. Brief History of Climate Change Policy and Activism

Abstract
Climate change mitigation requires an international effort. But as I will argue in this chapter, policies at the national level are an important element of international progress on climate change. Environmentalists and activists that form the climate change movement did not initially focus on national mitigation policies. Their efforts arose from a context of international negotiations that developed as scientific data on the subject increased. The climate change movement worked to influence these international negotiations, but they failed to have a significant impact as key developed countries’ national interests did not align with a strong climate treaty. Europe, however, was seen as an important force for pushing negotiations forward, and the United Kingdom in particular was looked up to as an important actor. This started with the premiership of Margaret Thatcher.
Eugene Nulman

3. Case Histories of Three Climate Campaigns

Abstract
This chapter looks at the histories of the three cases we will analyze in this book: the Big Ask campaign that called on the government to pass a law creating greenhouse gas emission reduction targets; the campaign against a third runway proposed at Heathrow Airport which, if constructed, would increase emissions from aviation; and the campaign for a green investment bank that would increase the financing for climate change mitigation efforts. Below you will find the history of each campaign, including key actors, tactics, and policy developments. These case histories will provide us with the necessary background to answer the following questions: What outcomes did the campaigns produce? When were conditions ripe for the campaigns to achieve outcomes? and How were the campaigns able to achieve these outcomes?
Eugene Nulman

4. Policy Outcomes

Abstract
To understand social movement outcomes, we investigate what those outcomes are. Saying that a campaign preceded policy change is not enough. We must show that the movement played a role in that policy change. Using the case of the climate change movement in the UK, specifically looking at the campaigns to create the Climate Change Act, stop the third runway at Heathrow, and establish the Green Investment Bank, I will explore which outcomes the campaigns were able to achieve. I do this by applying a counterfactual approach. A counterfactual approach asks ‘what if’ questions and uses data to provide a solid answer. Here we are asking the question, What would have happened to the policies if there were no social movement campaigns?
Eugene Nulman

5. Political Opportunities

Abstract
Social movements do not operate in a vacuum. Their efforts, strategies, and tactics (see Chapter 6) are not the sole determining factors in a movement’s ability to influence policymakers and create policy outcomes. Political contexts, processes, and structures all help shape the abilities of a movement to influence policy. This argument underlies the political process approach to social movement theory.
Eugene Nulman

6. Strategy, Leadership, and Outcomes

Abstract
Gamson’s classic text on social movement outcomes, The Strategy of Social Protest (1975), examines strategic variables, among others, finding that several strategic choices made by movement organizations affected outcomes. His research showed that groups that provided incentives for their members corresponded to achieving change for the group’s constituency at a greater rate than those that did not have incentives. Likewise, groups that behaved in an unruly manner, either with violence or non-violent constraints such as strikes and boycotts, were more likely to be successful, particularly under certain circumstances.
Eugene Nulman

7. Mechanisms for Policy Change

Abstract
Mechanisms represent causal processes that produce an effect (Hedström and Ylikoski, 2010). By exploring mechanisms of movement outcomes, we can develop an understanding of how social movements influence policy. While the use of particular mechanisms can be the result of strategic choices by campaigners (see Chapter 6), we are not interested in the influence a choice had on the campaign but which mechanisms the campaign used and how effective those mechanisms were in obtaining a policy outcome. This can help us understand the paths to social movements’ outcomes and the processes that facilitate policy change.
Eugene Nulman

8. Conclusion

Abstract
This book set out to better understand the role of social movements and civil society in policy change, looking in particular at a social, political, and environmental problem whose full impact we cannot predict: climate change. As social movements often seek to influence policy, it is important to investigate what specific elements of the policy process movements influence in order to develop an understanding as to where strengths and opportunities lie. Additional opportunities can be present in dynamic political processes that open and close policy windows. By exploring these political opportunities, I also sought to better understand when social movements were better able to influence policy. Policy change, even change within specific components of the policy process, can be approached in a variety of ways. Social movements can use a variety of mechanisms to attempt policy change, so it was important to understand which mechanisms were able to influence policy or, to put it simply, to investigate how social movements can change policy. Part of the answer to the how question requires an investigation into the powers of agency and the role of strategic decisions that movement leaders make. This, too, was investigated.
Eugene Nulman

Backmatter

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