This talk introduces a book project titled Taking Power or (re)Making Power: Re-Imagining Movements for Radical Social Change and Global Justice, presenting the culminating case study — the “Global Climate Justice Movement.”

The project surveys the history of the new movements for radical social change of the 21st century, contrasting them with the great social revolutions of the 20th.  The goal is to identify patterns of success and failure, and the author’s “political cultures of opposition and of creation” are central to the analysis.

Briefly reviewing the rise of the Zapatistas, the global justice movement, Occupy, the Arab Spring, and other cases in light of this perspective, the paper considers the global climate justice movement’s impact on the complex outcome and balance sheet of the Paris Agreement –the universal climate treaty negotiated at COP 21 in December 2015, analyzing the actions and discourses of the movement in and around Paris.  It then moves into a critical discussion of the actions of the movement since Paris and its future plans.

Finally, it takes up the questions on many activists’ lips:  what is to be done about the complex of crises we call the climate crisis, and how do we do it?

BLM Changes Website Banner from Green Mountains to Big Hunk of Coal

Teaser photo credit: Greenland melting