Why Do Populists Neglect Climate Change? A Behavioural Approach

Lorenza Alexandra Lorenzetti*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Working paper


This paper analyses the reasons why most populist parties and movements either deny the existence of the climate change (CC) issue or openly oppose the policies for tackling it. Since this denialism may appear irrational, the analysis applies the heuristics and bias literature developed by cognitive psychologists and behavioural economists. Moreover, it uses findings from behavioural development economics, as well as insights from the literature on social dilemmas and collective action, to understand the attitudes of those that are inclined to vote for populist parties, also stressing the analogies between populists’ opposition to the policies for mitigating the effects of CC and their hostility to the policies for tackling the effects of the recent Covid-19 pandemic. The conclusions of the paper may help restyling the habitual framing of the CC issue and revising the policies towards it, so as to make them more appealing to those attracted by populist parties.
Lingua originaleEnglish
EditoreVita e Pensiero
Numero di pagine21
ISBN (stampa)978-88-343-4483-5
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020


  • climate change, populism, cognitive biases, social dilemmas


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