Coalition building impacts of the Transition movement

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Building coalitions with local government and organisations to scale up Transition locally is an important impact of some Transition groups, and linked to their success. However, both movement and academic reports (Barnes, 2015[1]; Biddau et al., 2016[2]) evidence the tensions that arise when working with local government and businesses and maintaining a radical vision; and the differing perspectives within groups regarding involvement in existing or oppositional political processes. The Municipalities in Transition[3] project is using innovative processes to work creatively with such tensions.  

Examples of municipal action and coalition building impacts of Transition groups is also contained under the following sections: climate change; and politics.

Examples of municipal action includes building networks and coalitions, which 70% of Transition 2020 survey respondents said they were achieving some or meaningful/significant impact. These include:

Transição Portugal Hub: “in my region, the coordinated response of various movements to the implementation of a model of agricultural intensification with negative impacts at different levels should be highlighted. The existence of local collectives linked to the transition allowed a counterpoint and the deconstruction of false narratives of development, and is at the basis of the organization to stop the ongoing ecocide and provide alternative ways of seeing the rural world. See Movimento Alentejo VIVO"[4]

Transition Town Tooting, UK: “[it] feels as though we've created a successful base and track record for tackling anything we choose to. Teaming up with local XR, Black Lives Matters and mutual aid groups in addition to long term change makers (cycling groups, air pollution groups; Green New Deal/green jobs groups etc) feels latent with potential at present. Strategic overview is lacking from [the] Council who have declared a climate and ecological emergency - we are still to find the handle on creating this overview ourselves - although it is emerging in the way groups are now coming together...

Our Solar Schools project has been a great success. We facilitated a partnership between ourselves, schools, the Schools Energy Coop & the Council, also leveraging funds ... The success of this partnership approach has enhanced our credibility especially with the Council .. & given us opportunity to meaningfully engage with the Council on Climate Action locally” (Transition group, England).


  1. Barnes, P., 2015. The political economy of localization in the transition movement. Community Development Journal, 50(2), pp.312-326.
  2. Biddau, F., Armenti, A. and Cottone, P., 2016. Socio-psychological aspects of grassroots participation in the Transition Movement: An Italian case study. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, Vol. 4(1), 142–165.
  3. accessed 04/05/2021
  4. accessed 04/05/2021