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Exploring youth activism on climate change: dutiful, disruptive, and dangerous dissent

Ecology and Society. 2018;23(3):42 DOI 10.5751/ES-10287-230342


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Ecology and Society

ISSN: 1708-3087 (Online)

Publisher: Resilience Alliance

LCC Subject Category: Science: Biology (General): Ecology

Country of publisher: Canada

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Karen O'Brien (Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway)

Elin Selboe (Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway)

Bronwyn M. Hayward (Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Canterbury, New Zealand)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 48 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The policies and decisions made today will influence climate and sustainability outcomes for the remainder of this century and beyond, and youth today have a large stake in this future. Many youth are expressing dissent toward economic, social, and environmental policies and practices that contribute to climate change in diverse ways, but clearly not all forms of climate activism have the same impact or repercussions. We have presented a typology for understanding youth dissent as expressed through climate activism. Recognizing the complex empirical reality of youth concerns about climate change, this typology has distinguished three types of activism as dutiful, disruptive, and dangerous dissent. By drawing attention to multiple ways for youth to express their political agency both within and outside of traditional political processes, we have highlighted and analyzed the diverse ways that youth are challenging power relationships and political interests to promote climate-resilient futures.