Environmental Protest in New Zealand (1997-2010)

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Protest actions are an important indicator of public concern, raising awareness and highlighting perceived failings in administrative practices. With increasing prominence of environmental challenges there has been a move for states to incorporate stakeholders, potentially reducing the need for such confrontational actions. This article uses protest event analysis and case comparison to examine the scale and character of environmental protest actions in New Zealand from 1997–2010. This period was one of relative socio‐economic stability, coupled with growing awareness of environmental challenges. The article considers the relative level of action of grassroots groups and more formalized NGOs, asking which issues generated protest actions and which factors contributed to environmental campaign outcomes. The findings suggest that, although protest actions can strengthen campaigns, the outcomes ultimately remain heavily dependent on the priorities of the state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-661
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2012

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© London School of Economics and Political Science 2012. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • New Zealand
  • Protest Event Analysis
  • Environmental Movement
  • Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Forestry
  • Genetic Engineering

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