The environmental movement has taken a step further in the recent years, with the birth of new organizations using new repertoires and gathering unprecedented numbers of supporters and activists around the globe. Yet, several issues continue to divide this movement. How do contemporary climate activists position themselves vis-à-vis those debates? What values define the environmental movement and what ideological conflicts divide climate activists taking part to it? In order to answer those questions, this article starts by recollecting seven main ideological debates that have divided the environmental movement since its origins: 1. Degrowth vs. Productivism; 2. Ecocentrism vs. Anthropocentrism; 3. Democracy vs. Authoritarianism; 4. Neo-Malthusianism vs. Egalitarianism; 5. Individual responsibility vs. Governmental action; 6. Collapsology vs. Eco-optimism; 7. Technophobia vs. Techno-modernism 8. Post-colonial ecofeminism vs. Traditional Western values vs. We then assess the conflict dimensions that shape the ideological space of the climate movement, based on a multiple component analysis of a large on-line ad hoc survey of more than 10,000 respondents close to the climate movement. We show that, in a context of high consensus between respondents on most environmental issues, two main conflict dimensions shape the ideological space of French climate activism. The first and most powerful one pits “light-green” activists against more radical ones. The second conflict dimension relates to the room left for individual freedom relative to state control. Our results also confirm the growing alignment of the environmental conflict along the Left-AbstractRight divide.
“What unites and divides the environmental movement? Ideological consensus and conflict amongst French climate activists
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