Constructing Climate Change as the Enemy of the State and l’État c’est moi. A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Contemporary Environmental Policies in China
AuthorAaskjær Braathen, Vemund
In this thesis, I am critically assessing contemporary environmental discourse at the governmental level in China. Taking the perspective of the Copenhagen School’s securitization theory, this thesis dwells on the question of how the Chinese government might attempt to use discourse in official policies in order to securitize the question of climate change. To answer this question, I have collected policy documents from three parts of the central government – the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the State Council, and the National Development and Reform Commission as well as speeches from President Xi Jinping. In this thesis I seek not only to discover how climate change is represented by the Chinese government, but also who or what they believe the referent object ought to be. This thesis also aims at critically describing, interpreting, and explaining the ways in which these discourses might construct, maintain, and legitimize social inequalities. The findings imply that the government has attempted to securitize the issue of climate change for controlling the Chinese society and further consolidating their power. The Communist Party of China (CPC) utilized security speech acts which represented climate change as a threat to natural resources, the environment, and human health which served as proxies for the de facto referent object – which was interpreted to be the development process and the legitimacy of the CPC.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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Copyright 2020 The Author(s)
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