Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862



The relationship between time and politics is complex and multilayered, especially in issues such as global warming. This facilitates political playing with and about time; political actors use and frame time in various ways. Drawing upon the work of Reinhart Koselleck, this article examines temporal statements about the environment and the climate in Swedish election campaigns 1988 to 2018 and shows how political rhetoric has been constituted by several competing modalities of time. However, these modalities can become problematic for political thinking about the future. To resolve the climate crisis, we need a politics that acknowledges both historical and political contingency. Engaging with the past, without seeking to extrapolate a unified narrative of historical progress, explores the past from various perspectives and shows how the present is contingent. This could enable a renegotiation of possible futures and a politics for the future that facilitates both understanding and action.

Available under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): climate; democracy; environmental politics; Sweden; temporal comparisons; temporality
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