Does “Fridays for Future” really matter? A Case Study about the Success of the Social Movement in Germany.

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Author: Marius Scheitle; [2020]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: This paper focussed on the study of social movements and their influence on policies. More specifically, the aim of this project was to answer the research question whether the social movement FFF was successful in influencing policies in Germany. The six levels of success of Almeida (2019, p. 126) were used to measure the success of the social movement. The case study in Germany shows that the success of FFF was only limited since it reached only level one and two, access responsiveness and agenda responsiveness, and failed to influence German policies (policy responsiveness). Most of the demands of FFF are not fulfilled in the German climate protection programme. By taking the literature on possible success factors for social movements into account, an interesting puzzle emerges. Despite most factors seem to be fulfilled by FFF leading to the prediction that the movement should be successful in influencing policy change, the real policy impact was only limited. However, the political environment in Germany did not seem to be conductive to FFF which could be one reason for the failed impact. This is problematic for FFF because the political environment is very hard to influence by the movement. Since Germany is a crucial case with technically good conditions for success of FFF, one can conclude that the general success of FFF is small so far. However, scholarly debate could benefit from more in-depth case studies about the influence of FFF in other countries. This would lead to an increased validity in the assessment whether this popular international movement is successful apart from its media attendance.

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