The Socio-Political Construction of Climate Change: Looking for Paths to Sustainability and Gender Justice


Fosado Centeno, Ericka. 2020. "The Socio-Political Construction of Climate Change: Looking for Paths to Sustainability and Gender Justice." Sustainability 12 (8).

Author: Ericka Fosado Centeno


With the purpose of getting to know the cultural and socio-political mechanisms that shape the climate agenda, this study follows a discourse analysis method and a gender perspective, for which an analytical basis is proposed to identify the cognitive, normative, and symbolic components that give meaning and substance to climate policy. Examining the productions of international organizations responsible for generating climate policy, a corpus consisting of 47 documents (reports, communications, programs, and legal framework) was analyzed, spanning from 1994 to 2015, to identify the trend of climate agenda prior to the Paris Agreement. The results indicate that the terms in which climate change is placed as a public issue contribute to reproducing a social order based on an anthropocentric, utilitarian, virtualized, and mercantilist vision of socio-environmental relations. Control mechanisms of peripheral countries and groups whose rights have been breached by discriminatory practices can emerge in this process, with women being especially affected. Based on empirical findings that follow the first two decades of climate policy, the logic underlying the climate discourse is shown, and the challenges it poses to reach more fair and sustainable agreements are discussed. Finally, some proposals are outlined to help guide the climate agenda in that direction.

Keywords: climate change, discourse analysis, gender analysis, justice, sustainability

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, International Organizations

Year: 2020

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