Climate emergency and securitization politics: Towards a climate politics of the extraordinary

Michael Albert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

There is an ongoing debate among climate activists and scholars on the merits of ‘climate emergency’ frames, which mirrors debates in critical security studies on the benefits and risks of ‘securitization’. Climate emergency advocates demonstrate that rapid transformative action beyond ‘normal’ politics is needed to meet the Paris agreement targets. Critics, on the other hand, highlight the risks of deploying emergency frames to galvanize climate action, which may simply result in failed securitizations or even in emergency suspensions of democratic norms that advance climate action at the expense of climate justice. This paper will engage this debate by exploring the question: could climate emergency mobilizations be compatible with climate justice? I will argue, following Andreas Kalyvas, that the climate emergency can be framed as an opportunity for an ‘extraordinary politics’ of democratic constituent power, though this would involve risks and trade-offs that must be negotiated in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Early online date4 Sept 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Sept 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • climate change
  • securitization theory
  • emergency
  • sustainability transitions


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