ASTK18415U What comes after denial? Climate, fascism, and democracy

Volume 2022/2023

MSc in Political Science

MSc in Social Science

MSc in Security Risk Management

Bachelor in Political Science


Environmentalism is oftentimes depicted as a revolutionary ally of the left pushing towards social and environmental justice, while climate change denial is associated with reactionary positions that have halted and distorted environmental politics for decades. But thanks to recent years of extreme weathers and to the successes of climate movements in raising alarm, we are beginning to see the end of denial. Thus, in 2021, renowned climate journalist, David Wallace-Wells, concluded that “the war on climate denial had been won.” But what comes after denial? Does the end of denial necessarily lead to climate justice? Or does the move from denial towards realism about climate change steer new forms of fascisms?  


What comes after denial? Climate, fascism, and democracy is a political theory course that engages with the above questions. It takes seriously the emergence of new ecofascist tendencies as complex phenomena to be critically studied, analyzed, and contested. The course is divided into three parts: (1) we explore different conceptualizations of fascism and climate change generally (2) we analyze the tendency from climate change denial towards realism about (anthropogenic) climate change and the forms of fascism that may follow from it (3) we discuss democratic responses to the emerging phenomena. 


The course draws on political theories concerning climate change, democracy, and fascism. During the course students will be presented to ecofascist, neo-Malthusian, petromasculinist and collapsologist movements that in some cases convey racist, misogynic, and homophobic ideas. We critically discuss them within materialist, new materialist, and critical theoretical frameworks.

Learning Outcome


  • Describe the studied theoretical approaches 



  • Present and analyze the arguments behind each of the theoretical approaches studied.
  • Apply the theories to discussions about climate, fascism, and democracy



  • Combine and synthesize the ways in which each theoretical approach understands fascism and envisions a democratic response
  • Evaluate the validity of the various theoretical arguments

Preliminary reading list:

Anker, Elizabeth. 2022. Ugly Freedoms

Bendell, Jem. 2020. Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy

Bonneuil, Christophe and Jean-Baptiste Fressoz. 2016. The Shock of the Anthropocene. The Earth, History, and Us

Braidotti, Rosi. 2019. Affirmative Ethics and Generative Life.  Deleuze and Guattari Studies vol. 13(4)

Connolly, William. 2017. Aspirational Fascism. The Struggle for Multifaceted Democracy under Trumpism

Connolly, William. 2017. Facing the Planetary. Entangled Humanism and the Politics of Swarming

Connolly, William. 2019. Climate Machines, Fascist Drives and Truth

Darwish, Maria. Nature, Masculinities, Care, and the Far-Right In: Men, Masculinities, and Earth

Daggett, Cara. 2018. Petro-masculinity: Fossil Fuels and Authoritarian Desire. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, vol. 47(1)

Griffin, Roger. 2018. Fascism. Key Concepts in Political Theory

Haraway, Donna. 2016. Staying with the Trouble. Making Kin in the Chtulucene

Hardin, Garrett. 1974. Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping the Poor.

Katz-Rosene, Ryan and Julia Szwarc. 2022. Preparing for Collapse: The Concerning Rise of “Eco-Survivalism”, Capitalism Nature Socialism, vol. 33(1

Klein, Naomi. 2014. Changes Everything. Capitalism Vs. the Climate

Klein, Naomi. 2019. On Fire. The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal

Latour, Bruno. 2017. Down to Earth. Politics in the New Climatic Regime

Lubarda, Balša. 2020. Beyond Ecofascism? Far-Right Ecologism (FRE) as a Framework for Future Inquiries. Environmental Values, vol. 29(6)

Ma, Mike. 2019. Harassment Architecture

Malm, Andreas. 2021. How to Blow up a Pipeline

Malm, Andreas and the Zetkin Collective. 2021. White Skin, Black Fuel. On the Danger of Fossil Fascism

Malm, Andreas. 2021. Corona, Climate and Chronic Emergency

Mbembe, Achille. 2019. Necropolitics,

Moore, Jason. 2017. The Capitalocene, Part I: on the nature and origins of our ecological crisis. The Journal of Peasant Studies, vol.44(3)

Parr, Adrian. 2015. Green Scare. Philosophy Today, vol. 59 (4)

Rife, Tyler. 2020. Scaling the Necropolitical Anthropocene. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, vol.9 (4)

Shaw, Amanda and Kalpana Wilson. 2020. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the necro-populationism of ‘climate-smart’ agriculture, Gender, Place & Culture, vol.27(3)

Schultz, Susanne. 2021. The Neo-Malthusian Reflex in Climate Politics: Technocratic, Right Wing and Feminist References. Australian Feminist Studies, vol. 36(110)

Wallace-Wells, David. 2021. After Alarmism. The War on climate denial has been won. And that’s not the only good news.

Wainwright, Joel and Geoff Mann. 2013. Climate Leviathan. Antipode, vol.45 (1)

Zetkin, Clara. 1923. Fascism 

The course will have a seminar format with small lectures, group work and presentations. Requires active participation.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Total
  • 28
Continuous feedback during the course
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Type of assessment details
Portfolio exam
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

- In the semester where the course takes place: Free written assignment

- In subsequent semesters: Free written assignment

Criteria for exam assesment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner