Tampere Summer School

The Politics of Emotions in Environmental Protection and Sustainability Actions - Tampere Summer School

Language of instruction: English

Number of ECTS: 5

Course code: HALYAS14

Discipline: Environmental Policy

Level of studies: Intermediate

Min-max number of students: 10-25



Application period



0-600 euros


This class is designed to provide students with insights into the role of different emotions in environmental politics. The class starts with a presentation of emotions and affects. It presents different ways to analyse their role in society and how they relate to power issues. In a second part, the class explores the role of different emotions related to specific environmental issues. How are these various emotions conceived of, expressed, acted upon and responded to?

The class will focus on the following emotions:

- the fear of apocalypse, as well as anxiety and anguish, related to crisis faced by environmental degradation (climate change, biodiversity and so on).
- the hope related to a broad range of solutions: economisation of nature, nanotechnologies and geo-engineering.
- the guilt and shame triggered by the difficulty to find appropriate answers to the crisis, calling for consumers’ responsibility.
- the nostalgia, sadness and love of nature experienced by nature conservationists.
- the reconciliation between humans and nature and the feeling of well-being associated to the introduction of nature in urban areas.
- the anger experienced in social movements, especially by young protesters in climate movements, and the generational basis of this emotion.
- the hate related to invasive species and environmental migrations, and how it fosters  discrimination politics.
- the surprise and uncertainty generated by the difficulty to forecast the evolution of nature at the time of the Anthropocene.

Teaching timetable. 


After completing the course students can

- understand the role of emotions in environmental politics;
- provide students with a social science understanding of emotions;
- explore different environmental issues and the solutions proposed to respond to them;
- examine how different politics gain their power/efficiency through emotions and not only through rational arguments;
- analyse who benefits/loses from the emotional framing of environmental issues.


A basis in social social is required and a familiarity with environmental issues will be an advantage, even if it is not needed. Students do not need to have followed classes on the cultural studies of affects and emotions.

Teaching material

A selected bibliography and the texts of books/papers not available in the library will be distributed to students.

Assessment methods

One to three page summaries of the selected reading provided for each class.

Additional information

In questions concerning course content, please contact teacher Lucas Brunet: brunet.lucas@gmail.com

How to apply

Application information can be found here