Post-Political Communication and Sustainability

Book chapter


Hammond, P. (2020). Post-Political Communication and Sustainability. in: Weder, F., Krainer, L. and Karmasin, M. (ed.) The Sustainability Communication Reader Dordrecht Springer.
AuthorsHammond, P.
EditorsWeder, F., Krainer, L. and Karmasin, M.
Abstract

This chapter places the concept of sustainability in the context of recent discussions about the environment, particularly climate change, as a ‘post-political’ issue. For many years it was taken for granted that the aim of environmental campaigning was to build consensus (in terms of both scientific understanding and policy responses), but by the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century some critics had started to argue that this approach was mistaken. The attempt to put the issue of climate change ‘above’ or ‘beyond’ politics began to look strangely self-defeating. Instead of producing decisive action and political engagement, the consensus-building strategy had resulted in a closing down of democratic debate and in political demobilisation (Machin 2013: 5). Although this problem was often seen in terms of particular communications strategies and campaigning approaches to the specific issue of climate change, it was also usually understood in the context of broader developments – as the ‘emblematic case’ of a more general post-political malaise (Swyngedouw 2013: 3). The mainstreaming and de-politicisation of climate change could be seen both as symptomatic of, and as reinforcing or even helping to cause, a more general hollowing out of politics and public life since the 1990s.

Keywordsclimate change; sustainability; media; journalism; news; post-politics
Year2020
Book titleThe Sustainability Communication Reader
PublisherSpringer
Place of publicationDordrecht
ISBN978-3-658-31882-6
Publication dates
Print09 Dec 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted01 Sep 2020
Deposited10 Sep 2020
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
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