Imagining future worlds alongside young climate activists: a new framework for research



Young people’s climate activism must stand as one of the most remarkable and important mass movements of our age. At levels of organization from the local to the global, young climate activists are coming together in massive mobilizations, and particularly school strikes, under the names of Fridays For Future, #FridaysForFuture, Youth for Climate, Youth Strike for (or 4) Climate and School Strike for (or 4) Climate. This article responds to the most extensive study of young people’s climate action published to date, entitled ‘Protest for a Future: Composition, Mobilization and Motives of the Participants in Fridays For Future Climate Protests on 15 March, 2019 in 13 European Cities’. In this significant and provocative article, an analysis is provided of the potential – and the need – for empirical work at local and international levels concerning youth climate activism that recognizes the often complex, liminal nature of young political agency and the diverse, intersecting motives that lead young people to demonstrate for action on climate change. Through this analysis, this article contributes to theoretical innovation to get beyond rigid, top-down understandings of young people’s political engagement, and instead build theory from young people’s visions of social, economic and political change in response to climate emergency. 

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How to Cite

Bowman, B. (2019). Imagining future worlds alongside young climate activists: a new framework for research. Fennia - International Journal of Geography, 197(2), 295–305.