Climate Change Litigation: A Social Movement Perspective

16 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2010

See all articles by Chris Hilson

Chris Hilson

University of Reading - School of Law

Date Written: April 2010


Climate change litigation has been the subject of intense academic debate in recent years, but there has been little research carried out on it in the UK or from a social movement perspective. The aim of this article is to use developing UK litigation associated, in particular, with coal fired power stations and airport expansion as case studies for examining the way in which the climate change movement and the state authorities and media have engaged in a subtle ‘framing’ war. The article sets out the idea of soft versus hard frames and argues that the movement’s attempt to employ soft frames in relation to coal and airports has often faced hard counter-framing from its adversaries.

Keywords: Climate change, litigation, social movements, framing, protest, UK

JEL Classification: K32, K42

Suggested Citation

Hilson, Christopher James, Climate Change Litigation: A Social Movement Perspective (April 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Christopher James Hilson (Contact Author)

University of Reading - School of Law ( email )

Reading, RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

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