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The necessary and the possible: How social movements articulate, convey and negotiate visions of a fossil free and just future

Social movements have historically been central drivers of societies’ progressive changes, including the advancement of democracy, gender equality, and the welfare state. Today, Swedish society may once again need the creative input of social movements to realize its ambitious climate goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2045; movements like Fridays for Future are forcefully claiming that role. At the same, it is not yet clear whether and how climate movements will actually have an impact. Our aim is to show how social movements promote visions for a fossil-free welfare society, and move beyond a binary notion of accepting or rejecting these visions by unpacking at each stage of the diffusion process why activists, citizens or politicians end up in favour or against certain visions. First, we analyze which visions movements rally around while they reject others, and how they promote them. Second, we investigate how promoted visions are received by the general public and political elites, or opposed by counter movements; thereby assessing how visions travel throughout the Swedish society.Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, we analyse which values, interests, concerns, and trade-offs shape the collective negotiation process over different visions. The results are crucial for identifying potential opportunities for reconciliation and thus progress toward a fossil-free welfare society.

The necessary and the possible: How social movements articulate, convey and negotiate visions of a fossil free and just future


Project leader: Mattias Wahlström, mattias.wahlstrom@gu.se

Sidansvarig: Paulin Nande|Sidan uppdaterades: 2020-01-03
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