O’Brien, K.,Selboe, E. and B.M. Hayward. (2018) Exploring youth activism on climate change: dutiful, disruptive, and dangerous dissent. Ecology and Society 23(3):42. 


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.

Key words: activism; climate change; dissent; politics; sustainability; youth