School strikes for climate

This project studies school strikes for climate - Who are the participants in these strikes, do they represent the general population? What motives are driving them and what solutions do they propose? What drives this popular mobilization and how this changes over time? How long will the strikes continue?

With her school strike on August 20 2018, Swedish school pupil Greta Thunberg initiated an event which has developed into a global climate campaign among schoolchildren. On March 15, 2019, the campaign arguably organized the largest globally coordinated youth protest in history- the event took place in nearly 2000 locations all over the world. This phenomenon raises many questions about popular engagement for a sustainable society: how were the participants mobilized, what motivated them to participate, who are they, and in what other ways do they engage with the issue of climate change? Some interpret the protests as an expression of a generational conflict between children and adults, where the former are regarded as having a stronger self-interest insubstantial societal change to mitigate global warming. The fact that children as a group have a comparatively limited voice in public discourse underlines the importance of learning more about these protest participants as a group, beyond statements by individual interpreters and spokespersons. The project builds on a coordinated survey of participants in climate protests on March 15 in 10 European countries. Our aim is to put together and analyze the collected surveys from school strikes for climate and provide crucial insights about the development and diffusion of this Swedish and international climate movement while it is still active. Only by reacting now can we observe the full development of this youth engagement.

Principal Investigator: Katrin Uba (Department of Government) 

Period: 1 May–31 December 2019

Funding: 1 057 615 kr from Formas     

Katrin Uba

Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor at Department of Government, Faculty

+4618-471 3302

Research team

Katrin Uba, Department of Government, Uppsala University and Tartu University

Joost de Moor, Department of Political Science, Stockholm University

Mattias Wahlström, Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg 

Magnus Wennerhag, Department of Sociology, Södertörn University

Last modified: 2022-11-23