‘Alternative facts’: a long-term analysis of the impact of myth on American environmental policy.

Project: Research

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Political Science
  • Public Administration Studies
  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

Keywords

  • Myth, environmental policy, USA, Trump

Description

Since the shift in power in January of 2017, American politics has been characterised by division and fear, creating intricate webs of (mis)understanding that take on a life of their own in the form of myths. Myths, here, are not misconceptions, but naturalised beliefs that guide and legitimise action, infusing human practices with narrative rationalisations.
Myths are a vital part of all human societies, but even more so in times of turmoil when complex questions demand simple answers. Environmental degradation, resource depletion, and, perhaps most of all, climate change force us to face some of our most vehement fears and, as a response, to develop decisive environmental policy and practice. Yet such policies risk not only halting, but reversing as mythic rationalisations offer alternative paths in line with political interests. Crucially, these myths cannot be counteracted by facts as they are impervious to rational arguments, but rather require to be met on their own, narrative, terms.
This project aims to identify and understand the myths used to drive and legitimise American environmental policy with a special focus on climate change. It includes collaborating researchers at Carleton University, Canada, and the University of Montana, USA in conducting comprehensive and long-term policy analysis framed within the approach of myth theory and critical discourse analysis.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date2018/01/012020/12/31

Collaborative partners

Participants

Related research output

Maja Essebo, 2018 Apr 15, In : Progress in Human Geography.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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