Vectors of the Youth Network Eco-Movements Evolution

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-10-123-131
A. Korotkova,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 30.04.2022. Revised 15.05.2022. Accepted 01.08.2022.

Abstract. The article analyzes the activities of the youth environmental movement “Fridays for Future” initiated in 2018 by the Swedish student Greta Thunberg. The features of its network structure, positive and negative factors for the development of the community that arise from this structure are emphasized. The novelty of the presented work consists in the analysis of the distinguishing factors of this initiative from the youth units of traditional public associations. Firstly, officially the “Fridays” were not created by any of the previously operating “adult” organizations. Secondly, this movement of teenagers has gained mass character in many countries of the world. Thirdly, it has become a symbol of a real, almost breakthrough and widespread promotion of the climate agenda. The purpose of the article is, on the one hand, to show which features of the movement strengthen it and can sometimes serve as an example for “adult” organizations. On the other hand, it is to outline the circle of threats to its participants and to the agenda for which they are fighting with all the force of youthful maximalism. The network structure, the availability of the necessary technologies, the absence of formalism and hierarchy creates all the prerequisites for the rapid numerical growth and popularity of the “Fridays”. However, the same traits form a breeding ground for various kinds of manipulations and provocations. In order to successfully promote teenage protests, it is necessary to maintain a strict balance, which can be disrupted by manifestations of radicalism. The author emphasizes the fact that the “baggage” of social activity accumulated at such a young age will be taken by the participants of the “Fridays” into the future. Currently, they are building connections and gaining experience unthinkable for previous generations, which will affect not only the political situation down the road. The type of society formed of such elements in the future may differ significantly from the usual, traditional one.

Keywords: “Fridays for Future”, school strike for climate, Greta Thunberg, global climate crisis, environmental activists, Green Movement


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For citation:
Korotkova A. Vectors of the Youth Network Eco-Movements Evolution. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 10, pp. 123-131.

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