Klimakrisen - kampen om de ideologiske fantasmer: The Politics of Climate Change - struggling with ideological fantasies

Bjarke Frydensberg & Anders Danielsen

Studenteropgave: Speciale


The dissertation examines the dominant political rationales of Danish climate politics and to what extent they are challenged by different ideas from parts of the Danish civil society that are engaged in the climate issue. The study is empirically based on a case study of the public debate over the report from the Danish government’s ‘Commission on Climate Change Policy’ and a mapping of the public climate change activities from Danish civil society organizations and networks in 2010. We argue, from a theoretical departure in the late Foucault’s governmentality study of neoliberalism and Slavoj Zizek’s examination of ideology and ideological fantasies that the dominant political rationales of Danish climate politics must be understood as grounded in a neoliberal governmentality. We furthermore show that the political rationales are structured as neoliberal ideological fantasies that prevent global warming from undermining the dominant neoliberal governmentality’s ability to deliver political solutions to the challenges climate change poses to the Danish society. By doing so the fantasies produce a post-political framework where global warming is not regarded as a challenge connected to the every day practices of citizens’ daily life or to the structural and institutional dimensions of Danish society. Climate change policy thus becomes an issue of enhancing a wide distribution of climate-friendly technology, where every political initiative must be legitimized as something that benefits the competitiveness of Danish national economy in the global competition. The policies are furthermore based on the assumption that Danish citizens engage in the climate issue from a strictly economical-rational perspective. We argue that the civil society initiatives only partly produce ideas and concepts, which challenge the dominant ideological fantasies. Some of the climate initiatives sustain and legitimize the neoliberal fantasies by reducing the climate issue to an individual ethical responsibility, where the subject can act on climate change without having to relate to the underlying social and political implications. Other civil society initiatives challenge the ideological fantasies by politicizing the climate change issue, although they do not deliver specific political alternatives. They approach climate change as a political issue where it is necessary to debate how the state governs and how people govern themselves, and they provide practices for developing alternative principles for different lifestyles and forms of organization that are less carbon intensive.

UddannelserSocialvidenskab, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato15 apr. 2011
VejledereBirgit Jæger


  • klimaforandringer
  • Zizek
  • ideologiske fantasmer
  • ideologi
  • klimapolitik
  • kritik
  • civilsamfund
  • rationalitet
  • Foucault
  • neoliberalisme