Title (eng)

The Climate Crisis and the Fridays for Future Movement: Causes, Responsibilities and Solutions through the Lense of Framing Theory


Clemens Bohl

Barbara Braunhuber

Antje Daniel   Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna

Denise Glässer

Otto Ilchmann

Lemonia Lange

Andreas Wingender


Institut für Internationale Entwicklung (IE)


The Fridays for Future (FFF) movement has become a significant and influential player in the environmental and climate policy debate. As part of the Austrian-wide Climate Action Week, a demonstration was held on 31st May 2019 in Vienna together with Greta Thunberg. According to the organizers, up to 35,000 people joined this protest. The Forschungswerkstatt Protest (Research Project on Protest) at the Department of Development Studies of the University of Vienna has been conducting research on the FFF protest. On the basis of qualitative and quantitative data, this working paper analyses the opinions and perspectives of the protest participants in respect of causes, responsibilities and solutions for solving the climate crisis. The analysis is carried out through the lens of framing theory. The authors conclude that the great majority of those surveyed attribute responsibility for the crisis to several different actors: Political decision-makers, the economic system, but also individual citizens, especially in their role as consumers, can be identified as the main responsible actors, but there are differences in the weighting of the responsibility of these actors. Political and economic actors are said to have a special responsibility in the face of the crisis; science as a possible driving force is given little attention. Overall, the protest participants look to the future with optimism and believe in the strength of their protest.

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Fridays for Future, Climate Crisis, Social Movement, Youth, Environmental Movement, Protest, Austria

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o:1597584 ie.WorkingPaper