Socijalna ekologija. 25(1-2); str. 167 -189.

Rejecting the Post-Political Response to Climate Change: Introducing the European Egalitarian Environmentalist

Kruger, Oscar, Domazet, Mladen and Dolenec, Danijela

The phenomenon of climate change calls for a response and those who claim to be committed to creating such a response are known as environmentalists. In social research, much effort is spent in search for these environmentalists, and in trying to understand why they are found in certain geographical and social locations rather than others. One of the dominant views in environmental sociology holds environmentalism to be a position of the affluent.This paper delivers a threefold provocation – conceptual, empirical and political – with the aim of shifting future research in another direction. Conceptually, it insists on the need to distinguish between post-political and political environmentalism, which is exemplified by the social movement called degrowth. Empirically, it is shown that the research which paints environmentalism as a position of the affluent relies on a post-political construal of what it means to be an environmentalist. It then shows how defining environmental value orientations more in lines with those of degrowth gives a very different map of environmentalism in Europe. Politically, this challenges established conceptions of what is realistic policy both for this continent and beyond. We conclude with a brief suggestion for the kind of politics that might be both politically feasible and capable of articulating an appropriate response to the challenge of climate change.

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© Danijela Dolenec 2023
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