Venstre’s Political Climate-change Communication 1997-2019: A Thesis about the Construction of a Green Climate Discourse

Mads Ankær Egelund Britbo & Christoffer Rysgaard Jensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Drawing on a poststructuralist approach this master’s thesis focuses on how Venstre - The Liberal Party of Denmark is creating a political climate-change discourse, furthermore how the discourse has developed over time. The thesis will therefore examine the development of Venstre’s political climate-change communication and its related discourse. On the theoretic basis of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe's theory of discourse, the thesis will show how Venstre’s attribution is made through a series of dislocations, which have enabled Venstre to re-articulate their political climate-change communication in new ways. By fixing their communication via nodal points and a constitutive ‘out-side’, thus changing their understanding of climate-change policy continuously evolving the discourse.
In demonstrating the development, the analysis will contain of two parts: 1) one retrospective, and 2) one contemporary analysis. The first part explores and observes how Venstre’s first construction of a climate discourse can be seen as a result of the discursive process where the term ‘climate’ in 1997 is separated from the former environmental discourse and articulated via - the logic of difference - as an independent discourse. Subsequently the following second contemporary part of the analysis will demonstrate how Venstre’s political communication can be characterized by a high degree of populism made possible by- inter alia - the construction of an antagonistic frontier.
We thus elucidate how Venstre have gone through and shifted their focus in their climate-political communication and thus gone from using the logic of difference to using the logic of equivalence, to which we have shown that the equivalence logic intensified through the analysis. Which Venstre bases on an antagonization, that creates a stronger us/them image. The thesis’ also presents how Venstre use a populist approach in their climate-political communication, to which we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this particular approach. As well as how Venstre might use an anti-populist populism in their communication about climate change.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages111
SupervisorsEmil Husted