States of just transition: Realising climate justice through and against the state

Paul Routledge, Andrew Cumbers, Kate Driscoll Derickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Possibilities for engendering sustainable and just futures are foundering in part because key resources are managed by elites through ‘top down’ environmental governance and management, and knowledge production regimes, largely committed to retaining the status quo, fail to pursue new ways of managing resource consumption and distribution. In this paper, we argue for an alternative climate justice agenda that is enabled through grassroots mobilisation in collaboration with state action. To do this we consider the state as a continued terrain of possibility for positive social, economic and environmental change, noting the imperative of historically attentive state-enabled redistribution along persistent axes of difference. In articulating an alternative understanding of the state, we emphasise the importance of social movements capable of cultivating networked militant particularisms that can be channeled through and beyond state governance processes. In order to ground these ideas, we provide two brief case studies, tracking food sovereignty and energy remunicipalization initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-86
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


  • Climate justice
  • Food sovereignty
  • Remunicipalisation
  • State theory


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