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Fighting with and Against the Time: The Japanese Environmental Movement's Queering of Time as Resistance

Journal article
Authors Mona Lilja
Mikael Baaz
Stellan Vinthagen
Published in Journal of Civil Society
Volume 11
Issue 4
Pages 408–423
ISSN 1744-8689
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Law
School of Global Studies
Pages 408–423
Language en
Keywords Resistance, temporality, Japan, environmental movements,civil society, affects
Subject categories Law and Society


This article aims to add to the discussion on civil society, resistance, and environmental politics by departing from the concepts of affects, time, and temporality. In essence, the article suggests two things. Firstly, when theorizing civil society, we argue that we should depart from the idea that the present is not a singular, linear moment, but comprises affective relations to other times and people situated within these times. To support the argument, we will display how the ‘doing’ of various civil societies is performed in relation to people of the past as well as the future—that is, how already deceased people of the past or not-yet-born people of the future contribute to the creation of the present in various ways. Secondly, we will show how civil society actors are carrying out various forms of resistance against global warming by suggesting multiple temporalities that are operating simultaneously. By reviewing interviews with local representatives of the environmental movement in Tokyo, the promotion of another temporality prevails as a form of resistance, or as a means to resist, in order to negotiate current discourses and future prospects. To further understand this embracing of time, the article is inspired by affective theory and takes temporality in queer studies as a starting point to examine different strategies of resistance. Overall, the article highlights the importance of adding the affects/time nexus to the analysis of national and transnational civil societies.

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