Faced with government inaction on climate change, young people are increasingly engaging in civil disobedience. For those as yet unable to vote, the act of collectively removing the French president’s portraits from town halls is strikingly symbolic. Are such interventions a youthful rejection of politics or a new form of civic engagement?
From climate change to political corruption and authoritarianism, leaders of protest movements share a common dilemma: how to achieve impact when existing parties and institutions cannot be trusted?
Overcoming fragmentation between each other and within parliamentary forces is paramount for protest movements whose ultimate goal is policy change, as Helena Marschall from Fridays for Future underlines. There is a strong European call for change: international attention helps make corrupt leaders accountable, says Romanian activist Radu Vancu.
But the question remains: how can political forces be trusted given the radical disappointment characterizing most protest movements? ‘Hope lies within thinking about society as a community’, says Hungarian civic campaigner Dóra Papp.
You can also watch the debate
Political scientist Claus Leggewie moderated a fishbowl panel about the future of protest movements with activists Dóra Papp (civic campaigner, Hungary), Radu Vancu (‘We See You’ Movement, Romania) and Helena Marschall (Fridays For Future, Germany) at the 30th European Meeting of Cultural Journals ‘Europe ‘89: The promise recalled’, 2 November 2019 in Berlin.
Read Claus Laggewie’s article ‘How to get rid of autocrats’ in Eurozine.
Published 29 January 2021
Original in English
First published by Eurozine
© Claus Leggewie / Dóra Papp / Helena Marschall / Radu Vancu / Heinrich Böll Stiftung / EurozinePDF/PRINT
Revue Projet 382 (2021)
‘Revue Projet’ asks what ecology has done to politics. Including: interview with Amy Dahan on ineffectual global governance around climate change; primer on climate activists and civil disobedience; and insider comment on what’s ailing the French government’s policy on climate.