Monash University
Don McArthur 12251321 PhD with revisions 10 December 2019.pdf (14.83 MB)

Changing the political climate: the role of imagery, narrative and political theatre in the work of the Australian climate movement

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posted on 2020-04-01, 04:49 authored by DONALD CHARLES MCARTHUR
Stories, images and the ‘theatre’ of political action are central to the ways in which we understand climate change. Drawing on interviews with Australian climate campaigners, this research investigates how they figure in the work of the Australian climate movement and how ‘symbolic politics’ matters for achieving political change. This thesis argues that ‘symbolic politics’ (1) shapes the place of climate change in ‘the public imagination’, and (2) generates momentum and energy for the climate movement. Symbolic politics thereby influences the ‘climate of opinion’ and the overall ‘political climate’, creating conditions that are often essential for achieving political change.


Principal supervisor

Peter Lentini

Additional supervisor 1

James Walter

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Social Sciences (Monash Australia)


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type


Campus location



Faculty of Arts