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Reading: Climate Discourse and the Ontology of the Citizen


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Climate Discourse and the Ontology of the Citizen


Jaycob Izsó

Portland State University, US
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Deliberative mechanisms surrounding climate change politics in advanced democracies have, for some time, been at the mercy of ideological and political economic commitments. One need only to look at the banning of protests and marches during the 2015 COP21 international climate talks in Paris, or the historical risk assessments of violent international conflict linked to climate concerns by Germany and the US to see that the political institutionalization of climate change is pervasive. On the other hand, the discursive demarcation by climate science has consistently taken up two arguments in opposition to climate politics: (a) the view that political discourses on climate variability should rest on climatological models and the research of climate experts, and (b) that the climatological data itself serves as the impartial intermediary through which we can provide an empirical refutation to ideological rhetoric and economic influences on climate change politics. I contend that in the attempt to bridge the political and scientific camps we transpose a central feature in democratic climate deliberation—namely, the ontology of the citizen; who in the discursive bridge is relegated to a medium of exchange for both camps, rather than a commensurate party in the climatological discussion.

How to Cite: Izsó, J., 2016. Climate Discourse and the Ontology of the Citizen. International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, 8(2), pp.13 (121–131). DOI:
Published on 24 Jun 2016.
Peer Reviewed


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