Connecting with political power: social movement activism and environmental law

Hutton, Drew and Connors, Libby (1999) Connecting with political power: social movement activism and environmental law. Griffith Law Review, 8 (2). pp. 227-234. ISSN 1038-3441


What can historians of the environment movement offer those
interested in environmental law? The two fields are so disparate that we thought we should provide a brief outline of the nature of social movements before discussing interconnections and the common interest in aspects of law reform. Social movements are notoriously unstable and fluid phenomena and their history and influence can only be understood in the light of this temperament. Yet they aim to extend the limits of the social system, which brings them directly into the legal arena. This article briefly outlines the nature of the environment movement and its need to connect with political power. It then discusses some of the environment movement's recent struggles in Queensland in order to highlight the many obstacles that social movements face in their interactions with political power. Even when successful, environmental victories can be undermined by public servants who fail to enforce new environmental laws and standards. We conclude that the environment movement has to fight not only for environmental reform, but also for increased accountability measures.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 13968
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Humanities and International Studies
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2007 11:47
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2018 01:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: activism; obstruction; Queensland; environmental law reform; enforcement
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160507 Environment Policy
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180111 Environmental and Natural Resources Law
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160605 Environmental Politics
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only