Environmentalism and Social Change in Iran
This chapter traces the emergence and evolution of the environmental movement in Iran from the launch of the nationwide reform movement, which began in the 1990s and generated unprecedented civil society mobilisations. It shows how the movement has changed in relation to its actors, strategies, objectives and targets, charting the trajectory of the environmental movement through two stages. What the author calls the ‘first wave environmentalism’ of the late 1990s and the early 2000s centred on claim-making within the organised sphere of civil society, while the second wave in the late 2000s changed its focus to individual lifestyle practices. This chapter critically examines this shift and its consequences for objectives, strategies and targets within the context in which the movement emerged and evolved. It shows how constraints on specific spaces of environmental activism spurred this transformation and forced a range of stakeholders to produce new spaces of environmentalism.