Youth Climate and Environmental Mobilisation in Swedish Politics

Sign about the climate in a protest

Despite limitations in democratic processes due to their minority status, children and young people actively participate in various arenas to influence decisions made regarding climate and sustainability issues. This research project examines this mobilisation.[No text in field]

Recent years have seen an upsurge of climate and environmental mobilisation by children and youth globally and in Sweden. Yet, while children and youth activists have become the front figures of environmental action, their participation in democratic decision-making on environmental governance is severely restricted because they are under the age of majority. Therefore, children and youth are venturing into different democratic arenas to push for more forceful climate change mitigation and protection of ecosystems.

By analysing children and youth mobilisation in three such arenas in Sweden—the public sphere, the courts, and the political institutions—this project seeks to examine the institutional conditions, the actions and strategies, and the effects of children and youth’s exercise of their right to democratic participation in Swedish environmental politics.

Methodologically, the project combines document analysis with qualitative interviews, participant observations, and digital ethnography to explore practical and formal barriers as well as possibilities of the children and youth to take environmental action.

The project contributes knowledge on the effects of youth climate mobilisation: how the mobilisation forms the children and youth’s understanding of democratic citizenship, how mobilisation is shaped by, and shapes, the democratic arenas in which they take place as well as what impacts the mobilisation has on Swedish environmental politics.