Représentations et raisons d'action d'anciens responsables politiques concernant les changements climatiques

Authors: Pigeon, Michel
Advisor: Guay, Louis
Abstract: The most important environmental challenges, particularly climate change, are much more social than technical, because it is mainly our way of life that is at the heart of the question. Can we make the necessary changes? What are the main difficulties to overcome? How should governments act? To help answer these questions, we chose to interview twelve former ministers responsible for environmental issues in order to understand the reasons for their actions, as well as the representations that underlie them. In both France and Quebec, a minister must take into account the perceptions and representations of citizens and those of the various groups with which he or she is in contact (lobby groups, media, local elected representatives, etc.), as well as the objectives of the government and those of his or her political party. The room for maneuver is narrow, which explains in large part why the ministers we interviewed all acted a little in the same way. They have all tried to do their best to protect the environment and the welfare of their fellow citizens, but without significantly affecting their way of life or the established order, while being generally aware that the challenges ahead will very soon require much more difficult decisions. Political sociology explains that political decisions in our democratic societies are collective constructions of actors in interaction, and thus confirms the results of our analysis. The political actions of former ministers can also be interpreted in the light of the three logics of action described by François Dubet. Moreover, from an interactionist point of view, where the meaning of objects is created by interaction, action is difficult when this meaning is not the same for different actors; this is what we have observed for long-term environmental issues that are perceived very differently by citizens and ministers.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2017
Open Access Date: 24 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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