”Hope Dies – Action Begins”

Civil olydnad och fredlig direkt aktion inom svensk klimataktivism – exemplet Extinction Rebellion



Klimataktivism, Extinction Rebellion, Civil olydnad, Icke-våldsam, direkt aktion


The article explores the use of civil disobedience and non-violent direct action (NVDA) as a strategy and method in climate activism in Sweden, with a particular focus on the group Extinction Rebellion (XR). The article describes and analyzes a number of XR actions carried out in 2019-2022, with a focus on meaning-making practices. The uses of civil disobedience and NVDA are presented within a historical, cultural and social context; the question of the role and legitimacy of civil disobedience in democratic societies is discussed.

XR has civil disobedience and NVDA as central strategy and in this way the group has put these protest methods in focus, and after each major action there is a need to both explain and justify their use. This is more noticeable in a Swedish cultural context that is characterized by consensus and a stigmatization of disobedience. This relationship in turn affects the planning and execution of disobedient and disruptive protest actions in Sweden. The article explores how activists in XR Sweden relate to this specific cultural context and how they try to influence it; hence XR Sweden works not only to influence those in power and public opinion regarding the climate crisis, but also on the possibilities and forms of civil political protests.

The article is based on participant observation. These began in the spring of 2019 and are still ongoing. The study has an anthropological perspective, with an emphasis on semiotics and hermeneutics.


Leif Dahlberg, Kungliga tekniska högskolan

Professor i kommunikation
Kungliga tekniska högskolan, Stockholm


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Dahlberg, L. (2023). ”Hope Dies – Action Begins”: Civil olydnad och fredlig direkt aktion inom svensk klimataktivism – exemplet Extinction Rebellion. K&K - Kultur Og Klasse, 51(134-135), 129–158. Hentet fra https://tidsskrift.dk/kok/article/view/137182