The growing popularity of Greta Thunberg has led an increasing number of pundits and scholars to consider her message to be an instance of ‘climate’ or ‘environmental’ populism. Following a qualitative content analysis of key speeches by the young activist, this paper challenges this view, and argues that her message is far from being a case of populism. On the contrary, it abides by a substantially different set of ideas that can be defined as technocratic ecocentrism. In particular, it is argued that rather than people-centrism, anti-elitism and vox populi, Greta Thunberg’s message is grounded on three different core ideas: ecocentrism, technocracy, and on the exaltation of the vox scientifica. However, whereas Thunberg’s technocratic ecocentrism is at odds with the foundations of the populist set of ideas, it shares a similar emphasis on monism, moralisation, a Manichean vision of the world, a critique of key features of the metapolitical status quo, and a tendency to personalisation.

Don’t Call it Climate Populism: On Greta Thunberg’s Technocratic Ecocentrism

Zulianello, Mattia;
2020-01-01

Abstract

The growing popularity of Greta Thunberg has led an increasing number of pundits and scholars to consider her message to be an instance of ‘climate’ or ‘environmental’ populism. Following a qualitative content analysis of key speeches by the young activist, this paper challenges this view, and argues that her message is far from being a case of populism. On the contrary, it abides by a substantially different set of ideas that can be defined as technocratic ecocentrism. In particular, it is argued that rather than people-centrism, anti-elitism and vox populi, Greta Thunberg’s message is grounded on three different core ideas: ecocentrism, technocracy, and on the exaltation of the vox scientifica. However, whereas Thunberg’s technocratic ecocentrism is at odds with the foundations of the populist set of ideas, it shares a similar emphasis on monism, moralisation, a Manichean vision of the world, a critique of key features of the metapolitical status quo, and a tendency to personalisation.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Zulianello & Ceccobelli - Don't call it climate populism.pdf

Accesso chiuso

Tipologia: Documento in Versione Editoriale
Licenza: Copyright Editore
Dimensione 91.5 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
91.5 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3001220
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 37
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 28
social impact