Canadian Political Discourse and Social Change: A Case of Climate Justice

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Søren Würtz Bredahl
4. semester, Udviklingsstudier, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This thesis studies the Canadian political discourse and its effect on social change and mobilization in Climate Justice (CJ) new social movements. The thesis identifies four main themes within the Climate Justice literature: An Unequal Burden, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Practices and materiality in local everyday life and Climate Change, Risks and Responsibility. This thesis has selected relevant political discourse of Stephen Harper’s Conservative Government from 2011-2015, and Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government from 2015-2019 on the four main Climate Justice themes to assess. The methodological approach of this thesis is based on Norman Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis framework. Fairclough’s three conceptual levels are used thesis explores the textual, discursive practice and sociocultural practice of the political discourse, and its effect on social change. Georg Lakoff’s framing concepts are applied together with Agenda-Setting and New Social Movement Theory. Together, these theories constitute the analytical framework and method of analysis of this thesis. This analysis, via selected relevant empirical data, representative of the Canadian governments’ political discourse on the identified themes, acknowledges several areas of incongruence and congruency between the political discourse and CJ discourse. These findings indicate that CJ discourse is more likely to be prevalent within Liberal discourse. However, on issues of high contention, there is little consolidation, and thus little influence from one party onto another. There seem to be lesser degree of CJ influence of policy agenda-setting for the Conservative Government compared to the Liberal Government. The thesis explores the identity-formations around key CJ issues by the two governments and concludes that both conservative and liberal construct identities that are congruent with CJ values, however Liberal identity-formations are more frequently in line with the values of CJ.
Udgivelsesdato29 maj 2020
Antal sider84
ID: 333224011