Local environmental grassroots activism is robust and globally ubiquitous despite the ebbs and flows of the general environmental movement. In this review we synthesize social movement, environmental politics, and environmental psychology literatures to answer the following questions: How does the environment emerge as a topic for community action and how a particular environmental discourse (preservation, conservation, public health, Deep Ecology, justice, localism and other responses to modernization and development) becomes dominant? How does a community coalesce around the environmental issue and its particular framing? What is the relationship between local and supralocal (regional, national, global) activism? We contrast “Not in My Back Yard” (NIMBY) activism and environmental liberation and discuss the significance of local knowledge and scale, nature as an issue for activism, place attachment and its disruption, and place-based power inequalities. Environmental psychology contributions to established scholarship on environmental activism are proposed: the components of place attachment are conceptualized in novel ways and a continuous dweller and activist place attachment is elaborated.
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