GMU 2006
By Michael Shank

Abstract: Over seven-hundred U.S. mayors are signatories to the Mayors Climate Protect Agreement, which commits each signatory’s city to aggressive emissions reduction standards. The seven-hundred-plus signatories represent a social movement that is unparalleled in the U.S.; no other public or private organization is exhibiting this kind of leadership on climate change. In response, this research attempts to do two things: 1) elucidate the specific factors motivating the mayors to sign the agreement and 2) delve into an analysis of social movements and collective action, specifically the prevalence of action by local and state elected officials when federal action is deemed insufficient.