Policing in an Era of Climate Change: The Challenge of ‘Eco-Dissent'

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Join us for a discussion on ‘eco-dissent’ which explores how increasingly radical forms of demonstrations are presenting new challenges to policing.

As part of RUSI’s programme exploring Climate Change, this event is the first in a three-part series exploring how the climate movement and environmental activism are reshaping perceptions of ‘eco-terrorism’ and protest.

NGOs such as Greenpeace have been campaigning on climate change since the 1980s. However, in recent years, protests by non-violent civil disobedience groups like Extinction Rebellion (XR) have risen in profile, with activities such as blocking roads and bringing cities to a standstill. The UK Government has labelled their tactics “disruptive and dangerous” and introduced legislation to fundamentally change the way protests are policed. Critics accuse the UK and other nations of attempting to criminalise and silence climate activism, just as the need for climate action becomes critical.

The webinar will bring together a panel of experts to explore the changing landscape of climate protest and assess how modern police forces respond to ‘eco-dissent'.


Chair: Lauren Young, Research Analyst, Organised Crime and Policing

Bronwyn Hayward is Professor in Political Science and International Relations, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Bronwyn was a Lead Author for the IPCC 2018 special report 1.5 Degrees, and is a coordinating lead author of the IPCC Sixth Assessment report (cities and infrastructure) and member of the IPCC core writing team.

Dr James Heydon is an Assistant Professor in Criminology at the University of Nottingham where his research focuses on environmental harm and the effectiveness of formal and informal social controls on the behaviour of individuals, states and corporate actors.

Dr Oscar Berglund is a lecturer in International Public and Social Policy at the University of Bristol. His current research explores the strategies and discourses of civil disobedience in contemporary climate change activism, particularly in relation to Extinction Rebellion.

How to Attend

To take part you must pre-register no later than 3 May using the ‘Register’ button above. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you have any questions, please email Conor O’Shea, Events Manager, at ConorO@rusi.org

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