Climate activism research team

Background, the aim of the research team

The contemporary climate movement can be considered as a new cycle of ecological activism since the global justice movement of the 2000s. After the global financial crisis in 2008, local movements protested against austerity measures, especially in southern Europe and North America (Indignados, Occupy). Climate movements such as Fridays for Future or Extinction Rebellion mark a new epoch of ecological movement and ecological politics. Instead of local problems, the global interdependence is emphasized more clearly, in addition to sub-political solutions, established politicians and institutions are called for urgent political action. This new wave of ecological activism is also remarkable for its references to a generational political consciousness. The basic conflict is not interpreted here as ecological but also as generational. Young protesters identify themselves as victims of ecological blindness and indifference of older generations who - according to some demo margins - do not actually have to bear the consequences of climate change. In the project, we want to identify the narrative and mobilization strategies of the new climate movement in both countries, and analyze the climate issue in society in general and among young people.

Research questions

  • What is the mobilization potential of the climate movement in Austria and Hungary?
  • Is there a connection between the feeling of political disenchantment and climate awareness?
  • Which sociological factors have an effect on climate awareness and willingness to participate?
  • What are the motivations and narratives of climate activists?
  • How is ecological awareness achieved?
  • To what extent does the debate on post-factual politics influence climate awareness?

Principal investigator

Dániel Mikecz


Szabina Kerényi (CSS IS), Dániel Oross

Partner institutions

  • Andrássy Universität Budapest
  • Technische Universität Chemnitz
  • Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
  • Universität Wien


Osztrák-Magyar Akció Alapítvány


Climate Activism in Central Europe

HAS Center for Social Sciences Institute for Political Science, October 21, 2019