Understanding the Organization of Green Activism: Sociological and Economic Perspectives

Anthony Heyes*, Brayden King

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Environmental activists are an important voice in public and private politics, urging governmental and corporate responses and solutions to ongoing environmental damage. Scholars have become increasingly interested in understanding environmental movements and the influence of environmental activist organizations. This article describes two literatures that have analyzed the dynamics and outcomes of activism, one based in a sociological examination of social movements and the other in economic analysis of activist nongovernmental organizations. Although the literatures sometimes use different language and methods, they have much in common. We highlight the consistent themes—in particular the shared respect for the rational actor model—the particular strengths of each tradition, and directions for future research where synergies between the disciplines could be more fully exploited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-30
Number of pages24
JournalOrganization and Environment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • activist NGOs
  • community environmental pressure
  • comparative analysis
  • corporate sustainability
  • private politics
  • social movement organizations
  • sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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