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Climate change and citizens' environmental engagement in a world of increasing nationalism

Research project The aim of the project is to increase knowledge about citizens’ environmental engagement by investigating how nationalistic tendencies—among individuals and in society—influence public beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors in relation to climate change.

While climate change constitutes a serious threat to human societies, the international community has failed to implement binding international agreements that would substantially curb greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, many western democracies have recently experienced a rise in rightwing populism with a predominately nationalistic rhetoric. As nationalist and rightwing populist politicians often cast doubt on the reality of climate change and oppose climate policies, increasing nationalism and rightwing populism very likely add to the existing difficulties to mitigate climate change. This project investigates the influence of nationalism and rightwing populism on citizens’ environmental engagement.

Head of project

Joakim Kulin
Research fellow
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2019-01-01 2021-12-31

Funding

The Swedish Research Council

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Sociology

Research subject

Sociology

Project description

Based on previous research about political ideology and political elite framing, we focus on how the salience of nationalist and rightwing populist parties, as well as the prevalence of nationalistic sentiments among the population, influence public beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors related to climate change. The project primarily uses survey data from several large international surveys, such as the European Social Survey and the International Social Survey Programme.