Climate justice: Contested discourse and social transformation
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Scandrett, E. (2016) Climate justice: contested discourse and social transformation. International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, 8(4), pp. 477-487.
Purpose: This paper aims to argue that climate justice constitutes a contested discourse reflecting the material interests of social groups that contribute to its production. For climate justice to have integrity, it must be rooted in the material interests of those social groups negatively affected by, and engaged in struggles against, the hydrocarbon economy. The paper locates contestation of discourse production in an understanding of social movement processes. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is a theoretical contribution to the debate about climate justice, drawing on data (published and unpublished) from Scotland. Findings: The paper concludes that scholars engaged in climate justice work should have consideration to the material interest embedded in the discourse. The pedagogical and dialogical work of engagement with the militant particularism of local struggles against the hydrocarbon industry is an important contribution to discourse construction, and ultimately social transformation is required to achieve climate justice. Research limitations/implications: This is primarily a theoretical paper, although it draws on limited case study data from environmental conflicts in Scotland. Practical implications: The argument has practical implications for work in climate justice, including research, policy development and social movement mobilisation. Social implications: This is intended as a contribution to the social transformation required to achieve climate justice. Originality/value: The paper draws on existing theoretical frameworks, especially Marxian approaches to discourse and social movement studies, to critique and contribute to the newly developing field of climate justice.