Panel 10. The role of SMT in building partnership between states and public

Taking into the consideration the immense power that governments possess today their influence on issues such as climate change cannot be neglected. Existing literature proves that policymakers can decisively promote the idea of climate change within society. But, governments tend to ignore or sidestep the problems such as climate change which would hinder their profit maximization goal, as long as there is no outside pressure such as public or media attention and criticism. In this sense, we will analyze how to build a partnership between the state and public/civil society to the prioritise climate change issues from social movement theory’s point of view which aims to fight against some perceived injustices especially in energy, transport, or food systems. Being consisted of civil society organizations, public and private sectors, SMT supporters exert pressure on existing regimes through protest marches, blockades, strikes, boycotts, petitions which results in (most of the time) regime decline or withdrawal. Additionally, social movements can change public opinion, consumer preferences, everyday practices and draw more attention to environment related issues. However, the literature review has proved to be scarce on issues such as how and under what conditions social movements can foster the partnership and collaboration between political powers and public on pressing issues such as climate change? Also, it has been overtly expressed that success of social movements is largely dependent on the political configuration of the country (level of democracy, the role of judiciary, rule, and law) and this claim makes the SMT if not totally but to a larger extent irrelevant for authoritarian countries and opens up an opportunity for further study.