Spreading rebellion?: The rise of Extinction Rebellion chapters across the world Peter Gardner, Department of Sociology
York Sociology Seminars
This talk offers an analysis of social movement transnationalisation, using Extinction Rebellion as its case study. In order to investigate the temporal and geographical dynamics of Extinction Rebellion’s transnational diffusion, and the interaction of these dynamics with protest events, we draw on two primary datasets: one describing where and when all 1265 of the movement’s local groups emerged globally, the other containing all major protest events with which it is associated. We contend that although Extinction Rebellion has been impressively international from its early stages, the highest density of local groups – or “chapters” – is found in Western Europe and the Anglosphere. Drawing on della Porta’s theory of “eventful protest”, we argue that peaks in the creation of new local groups across the world followed major protest events. Hence, we argue that Extinction Rebellion protests were instrumental in the movement’s own transnational diffusion. The data also reveal that the period from early 2020 to June 2021 (the time of data collection) represented a nadir in new chapter creation, indicating a possible COVID-19 effect in the movement’s diffusion. The findings from the analysis of these datasets are considered in conjunction with early findings from our ongoing interview research with Extinction Rebellion activists around the world.
Snacks and drinks will be provided based on Bring Your Own Cup policy.