Prof. Dr. Sebastian Haunss
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Phone: +49 421 218-58572
Fridays for Future was successfull where environmental NGOs and climate protests in the 20 years before failed. They have succeeded to alter the issue of climate change from a relatively abstract topic that is negotiated at international conferences to one that mobilizes tens of thousands of people to protest on the streets. In the six months before the Corona pandemic, according to opinion polls, climate change had become the top most important issue in Germany. With Fridays for Future, climate protests have gained unprecedented popular support and political attention.
But who actually participates in this social movement? What motivates people to protest and what are the attitudes and convictions of the protesters? Sebastian Haunss (head of the working group Social Conflicts at SOCIUM) and Moritz Sommer (Institute for Research on Social Movements and Protest) have published the first comprehensive scientific study on this new wave of climat protests. Several surveys among protesters from 2019 create the starting point for the analyses in the book »Fridays for Future – Die Jugend gegen den Klimawandel. Konturen der weltweiten Protestbewegung«.
In twelve chapters, the 28 authors of the book provide insights into decision-making and mobilization structures of local Fridays for Future groups, analyze reactions to the protests in the media, politics and society, and examine the attitudes of adolescents and young adults to climate change issues. The individual chapters offer a broad audience access to the first research findings on Fridays for Future. The book is available in print in bookstores and online as an open access version (https://www.transcript-verlag.de/978-3-8376-5347-2).
The German Research Foundation has granted Sebastian Haunss a research project within the Priority Programme "Robust Argumentation Machines (RATIO)" (SPP 1999). Under the heading »Modeling ARgumentation DYnamics in Political Discourse (MARDY)« the project aims to develop a framework for data-driven modeling of key aspects of argumentation dynamics in policy debates.
Within the next three years Sebastian Haunss will cooperate with the two computer scientists and computer linguists Jonas Kuhn and Sebastian Padó from the Institut für Maschinelle Sprachverarbeitung at the University of Stuttgart.
Further Information about the project:
Modeling ARgumentation DYnamics in Political Discourse (MARDY)