May 162022


Mapping the environmental field: Networks of foundations, ENGOs, and think tanks. Canadian Review of Sociology, Volume 58, Issue 3 (pages 284-305)

William K. Carroll, University of Victoria, Nicolas Graham, University of Victoria, and Mark Shakespear, University of British Columbia

This article was selected to receive the 2022 Canadian Review of Sociology Best Article Award.

Many thanks to the committee adjudicating this award: Tim Haney (Mount Royal University), Chiara Piazzesi (Université du Québec à Montréal), Karen Robson (McMaster University), Stephen Riggins (Memorial University), Frédéric Vandenberghe (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, IFCS-UFRJ), and Karen Stanbridge, (Memorial University).

Perspectives on the environment and climate change vary widely. Who decides which approaches get the most airtime and support? Carroll, Graham, and Shakespear “follow the money” through the network of Canadian charitable foundations and the environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) and think tanks that they fund. They find that, although organizations that promote conservative initiatives (conservation, “clean growth”) are better funded than those offering political-economic alternatives, the latter nevertheless “…are able to carve out a space in the field of major environmental donees,” revealing opportunities for these organizations and social movements to advance transformative goals and strategies toward recomposing the political field. Committee members agree that it is an “…important, timely, and exceptionally well-researched piece,” that is “…exemplary of the kind of detailed/granular analyses of broad socio-political trends that help to clarify otherwise opaque processes.”