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Political Ambiguity in Chinese Climate Change Discourses

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China's political environment offers limited space for critical debates on domestic politics. In such a constrained environment, people tend to represent and articulate climate change issues without explicitly addressing their political aspects. The aim of this paper is to examine this political ambiguity in climate change discourses. Q methodology was employed to elicit the subjective positions of forty-five young and educated Chinese individuals. Three discourses were extracted: namely, prosaic environmentalism, co-operative economic optimism and actor scepticism. These discourses do not indicate critical intent and deep engagement in the political arguments regarding climate change. This raises concern about the growth of climate citizenship within the country.
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Keywords: China; Climate change; Q methodology; discourse; political activism; youth environmentalism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2018) of 1.933. 5 Year Impact Factor: 2.493.
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