Green Governmentality, Responsibilization and the Role of International Engos

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:15
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Ylva UGGLA, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Sweden
Linda SONERYD, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
In a time with a political economy characterised by a globalization and market-based solutions and with topical issues such as climate change, questions regarding the role of the environmental movement have gained new relevance. For several reasons climate change has led environmental NGOs (ENGOs) to rethink their strategies in terms of which polities to target (international, national, regional or local). There is also a tendency that climate change leads to new forms of collaborations, or convergence, between ENGOs and businesses partly because of the perceived urgency of the problem. While nation states are still crucial actors in climate change politics, private actors and individual responsibility have been increasingly emphasized in environmental policy, which is a process of responsibilization and depolitization that has been captured by the concept of “green governmentality. The aim of this study is to examine international ENGOs’ strategies to deal with climate change and discuss how these strategies can be understood in relation to green governmentality. How do this kind of organizations communicate about climate change, its causes and solutions? How and to whom do they ascribe responsibility? The study focuses three major organizations, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and WWF, and includes an analysis of their policy documents, public communication on web sites and campaign material. On the basis of this analysis we conclude that even though we can see some of the tendencies towards responsibilization, depoliticization and convergence between ENGOs and businesses the ENGOs also express resistance as well as alternatives to green governmentality.