Sustainable or sustaining status quo? A critical analysis on depoliticization and the European Green Deal
Abstract: Green New Deals is a relatively new phenomenon in environmental policy which takes a holistic approach and aims to bridge ecological sustainability and social justice. In 2019, the European Union became the first major economy to adopt and implement such a policy agenda. While being praised as Europe’s ‘man on the moon’-moment, critical scholars have indicated that it may reinforce the depoliticized framing of the socio-environmental problematique as technical and external, ultimately sustaining status quo power structures. Drawing on Poststructuralist Discourse Theory and Logics of Critical Explanation and human geography scholarship on depoliticization, this thesis aims to, through a discourse analysis, explain and potentially criticize (de)politicization dynamics present in the European Green Deal and how it shapes the debate on societal transformation and what constructions of futures are possible. The findings of this thesis show how the European Green Deal indeed frames the socio-environmental problematique and climate change specifically as a non-political issue that marginalizes perspectives questioning the status quo from the public scene. However, it also discusses how its integration of justice and inclusiveness may provide a small window for politicization depending on how these ideas will be implemented.
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