This research examines what made civil society in Aotearoa New Zealand successful between the mid-1960s and 1980s with a particular focus on their action repertoire through a goal-oriented approach. This study highlights the importance of civil society engagement in activism while identifying the relationship between maximized tactics, strategies and political environment in the anti-nuclear struggle in New Zealand. – Temocin, 2021
In 1984 the New Zealand government banned nuclear-armed and powered ships from entering the country’s territorial waters with the nuclear ban later extended to cover land and airspace. Overcoming external and internal pressure to remain a part of the US nuclear warfighting machine required decades of social movement activity.
In a 2021 article published in Interface: a journal for and about social movements and entitled ‘From protest to politics: the effectiveness of civil society in shaping the nuclear-free policy in Aotearoa New Zealand’, Pinar Temocin provides a detailed case study outlining how strategies of participation and engagement were successfully combined. The article discusses previous publications and histories and outlines the domestic and international context in which activists operated. Temocin analyses how strategies and tactics aimed at both public protest and engagement with political parties took advantage of existing opportunities and created new ones.
Although there was a political blockage due to the reign of the National Party and France’s nuclear testing persistence, the policy goal was clearly defined and prioritized. All the actions toward nuclear tension were formulated, solidified, disseminated, justified, and backed by the people inside and outside of politics. It resulted in the victory with the legislation that pleased the majority. -Temocin, 2021
Anti-nuclear civil society activism starting with peace advocacy is considered to be a process consisting of strategic actions and civic engagement in the decision-making process. This research examines what made civil society in Aotearoa New Zealand successful between the mid-1960s and 1980s with a particular focus on their action repertoire through a goal-oriented approach. This study highlights the importance of civil society engagement in activism while identifying the relationship between maximized tactics, strategies and political environment in the anti-nuclear struggle in New Zealand.
To gain an accurate analysis of success in New Zealand’s anti-nuclear debate, this research focuses on the extent to which anti-nuclear actors have been able to achieve their objectives and the degree to which influential activities have effectively been involved in the process. The results reveal that the political actors and civil society actively participating in the policy-shaping process and their involvement signified strong anti-nuclear advocacy under the peace and security narratives.
About the author
Ms. Pinar Temocin was trained in Philosophy in Turkey and Germany and Comparative Politics and Public Policy in France. She was a visiting research student at Seoul National University, and a graduate fellow of The Nuclear Nonproliferation Education Research Center, The Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea. She did research at The Peace Foundation, Aotearoa/New Zealand, while studying at the University of Auckland as an exchange student in 2018. She interned and carried out projects in several research institutes and non-profit organizations across the globe on international politics, sustainable community development, and nuclear-free advocacy. She is currently a doctoral student at Hiroshima University, Japan, majoring in Peace Studies and Development Science. For her doctoral studies, she focuses on the environmental civil society organizations in post-Fukushima Japan.
- Activism - New Zealand
- Civil society
- Movements_Campaigns - Anti nuclear_Uranium
- Movements_Campaigns - Anti nuclear_Uranium - New Zealand / Aotearoa