John Foran, “Climate Justice: ‘The two most important words we may have’: Finding Pathways toward a Better Future”

We invite participants to leave questions using the “Reply” function at the bottom of this page. Dr. Foran will address questions in the November 30 live Q&A session.


About the Speaker: Dr. John Foran is professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is also involved with the programs in Latin American and Iberian Studies, Global and International Studies, Environmental Studies, and the Bren School. He writes about climate justice at the Climate Justice Project and the International Institute of Climate Action and TheoryHis books include Taking Power: On the Origins of Revolutions in the Third World (Cambridge 2005), Fragile Resistance: Social Transformation in Iran from 1500 to the Revolution (Westview 1993), as well as numerous edited and co-edited volumes.


2 thoughts on “John Foran, “Climate Justice: ‘The two most important words we may have’: Finding Pathways toward a Better Future”

  1. John: you referred to the concise, simple demands of 20th-century revolutions as one of their principal virtues. However, you rightly indicated that our 21st-century social movements, particularly the movement for climate justice, must be intersectional and multidimensional. Practically speaking, I think these virtues can come into tension. It is difficult to be comprehensive and intersectional while putting forth concise, simple demands that are attractive to people with widely different politics. Do you have a sense of how we can negotiate this tension?


    1. I too see this tension CS and feel an important task for the anti-capitalist Left is to prioritize and consolidate, to marshal forces under one banner (and yes, my choice would be climate justice). How this takes place in practice is another question.

      A problem with political parties that needs to be considered, and Podemos, Syriza and Labour are perfect examples, is the ability of Capital to go on strike and undermine any re-distributive efforts through pre-meditated recession and the resulting unemployment. Those who hold the commanding heights of the economy call the shots , not politicians. Therefore, nationalization ( or at least the threat) must be part of the platform.

      I have been reading Why Aren’t We Winning by Srnicek and Williams and find their critique of “folk-politics” compelling. I too have been concerned that social movements fetishize process- horizontalism, consensus and pre-figuration- to the detriment of structure, accountability and ultimately results.

      Thanks for your continuing dedication to pushing the conversation forward John,
      In solidarity, Dave Jones AKA Troutsky


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