Balzac-Arroyo Publishes Paper on Climate Justice

June 03, 2021

By Stephanie Rizzo ’09

Social entrepreneurship professor Josephine Balzac-Arroyo has recently published a paper on the history and effective strategies of movement law in regard to climate justice and advocacy.

Josephine Balzac-ArroyoJosephine Balzac-Arroyo
Photo by Scott Cook.

Associate Professor of Social Entrepreneurship Josephine Balzac-Arroyo published a paper in the Journal of Law and Social Deviance on climate movement lawyering, a term she defines as a “social innovation working to oppose systemic injustices surrounding climate change.“ In the paper, entitled “Movement Lawyering: A Social Innovation to Achieve Climate Justice,” Balzac-Arroyo notes that equality and justice are often predicated on social movements invoking nonviolent civil disobedience as a catalyst for change.

In the face of catastrophic changes to our natural environment, Balzac-Arroyo writes, “The threat and complexity of climate change has inspired ‘a new kind of activism’ for the climate movement, one that showcases more assertive strategies, including nonviolent civil disobedience.”

In light of the effects of climate change, civil disobedience becomes less harmful than abstaining from activism. Therefore, lawyers who choose to defend the movement and the activists involved are engaging in a form of social innovation.

Balzac-Arroyo goes on to provide a history of movement lawyering, along with examples of successful social innovations in the field. Finally, she discusses methods movement lawyering can effectively employ.

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