Eco-Movement Fridays for Future: The First Results

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-4-119-131
A. Korotkova (, 
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article is devoted to the analysis of the new youth environmental movement “Fridays For Future”, which demonstrated significant success during the past year. The history of its formation is traced, and the factors due to which it managed to get rapid development for a very short time are considered. In particular, the reasons why its leader – Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg – was widely recognized in the world and was able to convey her demands to both the general public and a high-ranking political audience are analyzed. The article summarizes the data on the movement and its leader, published mainly in the media, since the phenomenon has not yet received a deep scientific study. On the basis of media materials, conclusions are drawn about the factors that affect the positive or negative as¬sessment of the youth movement and its participants. The main reasons why the media demonstrate significant interest in this topic are listed. The reaction of “traditional” social activists, politicians and ordinary citizens to the “Fridays For Future” phenomenon is studied. Examples of condemnation and rejection, as well as individual attempts to flirt with this audience, the desire to take a new force into circulation, are tracked. The author analyzes the viewpoints of some observers who express suspicions about the artificiality of this project and selfish machinations of adults allegedly standing behind the participants of the movement. How fair these accusations can be, and how right the apologists of the school movement as an honest children’s initiative are – this is a complex question that requires the study of a huge array of information. Possibilities of influence of school strikes on the real political agenda are also considered. Some examples of initiatives, particularly in Germany, proposed under the influence of eco-activists, are provided.

Keywords: Fridays For Future, school strike for climate, Greta Thunberg, United Nations, global environmental crisis


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For citation:
Korotkova A. Eco-Movement Fridays for Future: The First Results. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 4, pp. 119-131.

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