chapter  9
29 Pages

Non-constitutional political change

Green direct action, civil disobedience and symbolic activity
With Franks Benjamin , Hanscomb Stuart , Johnston Sean F.

The previous chapter concentrates on a standard but rather minimal account of politics (macropolitics), which focuses on statecraft. It examined how winning and controlling the state could advance green behavioural change. Using this state-centred politics as a focus, more micro-forms of politics – the way in which decisions are made in everyday activities or the ways people interpret the world around them – are marginalised or only become significant when they impact on state power. The previous chapter, as a result, explored the role of Green constitutional parties in influencing state institutions and the policy-making process. It examined some of the different policy instruments available, including prohibition and financial incentives. It explored arguments in favour of behavioural change being initiated through the constitutional process and some of the criticisms raised by conservative and radical critics. This chapter, by contrast, classifies and assesses environmental tactics that are non-constitutional; that is to say operating outside the familiar mechanisms of standing for election, supporting candidates, starting new or assisting existing electoral parties, voting, or seeking to influence elected representatives through existing lawful means, such as petitions and letter-writing campaigns. It identifies the distinctive place of ecological values in unconventional green political tactics and considers the moral arguments for and against these micropolitical methods.