Title: Making the case for self-organisation: understanding how communities make sense of sustainability and climate change through collective action

Authors: Rob Atkinson; Thomas Dörfler; Mustafa Hasanov; Eberhard Rothfuß; Ian Smith

Addresses: Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK ' Department of Geography, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany ' Department of Planning, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands ' Department of Geography, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany ' Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK

Abstract: Understanding how community groups take on the challenge of climate change is key to understanding the capacity of society as a whole to adapt in the face of climate change in ways that acknowledge a broader need for a sustainable societal transition. In order to show this it is important to identify what distinguishes self-organised responses to the climate change challenge from other responses. Through critically evaluating the existing literature on self-organisation and on locally based responses to climate change, the paper clarifies what we mean by self-organised response and then demonstrates how the concept would enhance the scope of research about local-level responses to enhance societal sustainability. Furthermore, the article presents an agenda for identifying self-organised responses to climate change and distinguishing self-organised responses from other forms of 'community-led' response.

Keywords: self-organisation; climate change; civil society; sustainability; collective action; communities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2017.088300

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2017 Vol.9 No.3, pp.193 - 209

Available online: 22 Nov 2017

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