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Book description

What is activism? The answer is, typically, that it is a form of opposition, often expressed on the streets. Skoglund and Böhm argue differently. They identify forms of 'insider activism' within corporations, state agencies and villages, showing how people seek to transform society by working within the system, rather than outright opposing it. Using extensive empirical data, Skoglund and Böhm analyze the transformation of climate activism in a rapidly changing political landscape, arguing that it is time to think beyond the tensions between activism and enterprise. They trace the everyday renewable energy actions of a growing 'epistemic community' of climate activists who are dispersed across organizational boundaries and domains. This book is testament to a new way of understanding activism as an organizational force that brings about the transition towards sustainability across business and society and is of interest to social science scholars of business, renewable energy and sustainable development.


'From youth strikes to rebellions and Blockadia, climate activism is on the rise. But this timely and important book shows that climate activism is no longer the preserve of social movements. Businesses, municipalities, citizen groups and epistemic communities are actively engaged in the pursuit of solutions to the climate crisis. Applied to concrete case studies of support to renewable energy, and drawing on insights from a range of disciplines to explain this new landscape, Climate Activism provides the reader with hope and critical resources for understanding of the world we live in.'

Peter Newell - University of Sussex, author of Power Shift: The Global Economy of Energy Transitions

‘What a fabulous book! Skoglund and Böhm show, via dense and rich analyses of initiatives in Sweden and the UK, precisely how climate activism around renewable energy is 'boundaryless', working across business, government and society in ways that reconstitute society. This a brilliant set of insights that make great strides in our understanding of how, as we address climate change, we remake society.’

Matthew Paterson - Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester

‘This new study of climate activism develops an expanded notion of boundaryless activism to include the work of activist entrepreneurs, employees and consumers in an 'activist business-state'. This book offers an important contribution to our understanding of the range of experiments with more sustainable ways of living and working.’

Iain Munro - Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle

'As an ’insider activist’ and a tempered radical on sustainability issues, I was inspired by the stories of so many others who are implementing their passion for clean energy and climate action, in their work and community settings. The book gives hope for transforming large complex organizations towards sustainability, through committed deep engagement.'

Paul Shrivastava - Sustainability Institute, The Pennsylvania State University

‘The accelerating climate crisis and decades of ‘too little, too late’ mean that the work of saving Planet Earth cannot be delegated to policy makers alone. The concept of insider activism developed in this timely book sketches a path for how all of us can become climate activists working within, and not against the social systems we are in - as citizens, as employees, as prosumers, as administrators, or as parts of a social movement. Using the case of renewable energy, the book shows how community engagement that cuts across system boundaries and hierarchies can prefigure a more sustainable future.’

Elke Schüßler - Head of the Institute of Organization Science, Johannes Kepler University Linz

‘What a wonderful and timely book! Skoglund and Böhm argue that climate activism need not only be envisioned as an us versus them phenomena but rather a force that can be employed from within which they call ‘insider activism’. Moreover, activism need not originate from outside an organization, state agency or community to have influence and impact. The authors provide wonderful examples of such activism in the renewable energy sector. The example of farmers and pensioners taking the lead to decarbonize their village when government set up a climate change challenge was inspiring. In other words, it takes a village to create change and we now have the tools to do it - let this book inspire you to create your ‘village’!’

Irene Henriques - Professor of Sustainability and Economics, Schulich School of Business, York University

‘Climate activism connects the dots among diverse renewal energy initiatives and actors to provide an analysis of how transformative change can be possible. It shows that climate activism goes beyond the usual suspects and places. It is taking place everywhere, in community halls, public offices, businesses, citizen associations and NGOs. It is a collective force without boundaries shaped by passion and collaboration between farmers, urban citizens, investors, engineers, entrepreneurs, CEOs, state officials and others. They are practical dreamers. Read this book and get inspired to take action!’

Ana Maria Peredo - Canada Research Chair of Social and Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Telfer School of Management; University of Ottawa & School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria

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