Making the case for self-organisation: understanding how communities make sense of sustainability and climate change through collective action

Understanding how community groups take on the challenge of climate change is key to unders tanding the capacity of society as a whole to adapt in the face of climate change in wa ys that acknowledge a broader need for a sustainable societal transition. In order to show this it is important to identify what distinguishes self-organised responses to the cli mate change challenge from other responses. Through critically evaluating t he existing literature on self-organisation and on locally based responses to climate change, the paper clarifies what we mean by self-organised response and then demonstrates how the concept woul d enhance the scope of researc h about local-level responses to enhan ce societal sustainability. Furth ermore, the article presents an agenda for identif ying self-organised responses to climate change and distinguishing self-organised responses from other f orms of ‘community-led’ response.