Climate Action Movements in Latin America: Templates for a Just Transition”. Latin American Perspectives 51(2).
One starting point for building a movement capable of unleashing multiple rounds of collective
action is an incubator campaign—a period of widespread unrest around a particular issue that
may last several months or longer. The mobilizing success of the incubator campaign provides
the resource infrastructure for subsequent episodes of related movement activity in similar
geographical locations, even years into the future. We test these assertions by examining immigrant
rights campaign activity in over 260 cities in California between 2006 and 2019. The
incubator campaign was positively associated with producing local-level collective action in a
wide range of like-minded campaigns sustaining a larger immigrant rights movement in the
state. The findings also suggest that an incubator campaign’s influence may eventually decay
over time. Still, newly infused protest campaigns can reactivate immigrant activist momentum
to counter ongoing hostile political environments faced by excluded populations.