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Sincerity as Strategy: Green Movements and the Problem of Reconciling Deliberative and Instrumental Action
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2019 (English)In: Environmental Politics, ISSN 0964-4016, E-ISSN 1743-8934, Vol. 28, no 4, p. 595-614Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Social movements seek to influence views on environmental issues and put pressure on policy-makers in a range of related areas. But alongside their specific goals, they also often strive to create space for genuine deliberation about the need for societal transformation. This 'dual orientation' places them theoretically between social movement studies' focus on strategic considerations and the 'sincere' (truthful) communication envisioned by democratic theorists to be a condition for 'authentic' deliberation, in which actors genuinely seek to understand each other's views. Engaging with both fields of theory, a framework is developed for separating actions that are strategic, sincere and employ sincerity as strategy. Actors choose sincerity as a strategy when they practice truthful reasoning as a means to advance their interests in the public sphere. As illustrated by green movements, the concept captures how activists may handle three risks in public discourse: commercialization, politicization and idealization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 28, no 4, p. 595-614
Keywords [en]
Environment, social movements, Habermas, sincerity, contentious politics, deliberative democracy
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-383496DOI: 10.1080/09644016.2018.1457294ISI: 000466367400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-383496DiVA, id: diva2:1316448
Available from: 2019-05-17 Created: 2019-05-17 Last updated: 2019-05-17Bibliographically approved

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