Lea Sebastien, Jerome Pelenc & Julien Milanesi (2019) Resistance as an enlightening process: a new framework for analysis of the socio-political impacts of place-based environmental struggles, Local Environment, 24:5, 487-504, DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2019.1592133

Local Environment
The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability


One major feature of recent global environmental changes is the increasing number of local environmental conflicts throughout the world. However, there remains a lack of a comprehensive and dynamic framework to capture the socio-political transformations that place-based environmental resistance movements produce. Indeed, these conflicts are most often considered by dominant actors as a manifestation of the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) phenomenon. In order to advance a framework capable of capturing the complexity of the socio-political effects of local environmental resistance movements, the goal of this paper is to further pursue the development of the concept of “enlightened resistance”, which analyzes place-based struggles through four types of capital – social, knowledge, patrimonial and political – each with societal implications. This goal is mainly achieved through new conceptual and methodological developments in the framework which evolves towards an “enlightening resistance” framework, and through its application to three case studies from a comparative perspective. The authors develop a set of criteria in order to compare their case studies according to the four types of societal transformations that characterise the enlightening resistance framework. They argue here that this dynamic framework may be useful to the environmental justice movement to strengthen its capacity to assess the socio-political impacts of local environmental resistance movements.

Keywords: Enlightened resistance, land-use conflict, environmental justice, comparative case-study, socio-political transformation, NIMBY

Contact CERTOP : julien.milanesi@iut-tlse3.fr