Call for papers - DEADLINE: October 16th 2024

As climate change emerged as one of the most urgent global crises, climate issues gained significant prominence in recent years. According to the Eurobarometer data, in 2023 more than three quarters of European citizens consider climate change as a very serious issue. The European Commission introduced the European Green Deal in 2020, a comprehensive set of initiatives aimed at achieving climate neutrality by 2050. This ambitious plan also seeks to decouple economic growth from resource consumption while ensuring support and compensation for workers and households impacted by the transition. Furthermore, the global impact of climate strikes reflects the scale and urgency of the call for environmental action.

Against this backdrop, for a long time the Italian political system exhibited a notable lack of attention to climate change issues, both at the party level and within public discourse and socio-political research. However, in recent times we have witnessed signs of change, with policymakers and journalists starting to take notice of the issue. This shift gained momentum, particularly after the approval of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) and the establishment of a dedicated Ministry of Ecological Transition, which brought ecological concerns to the forefront in the country.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent energy crisis served as a stark reminder of the significance of ensuring energy supply, prompting political parties to clarify their positions on the green transition. However, these exogenous shocks, by reframing the issue, might have also posed potential obstacles to citizens' concerns and hindered the progress of adopting renewable energy sources. Moreover, in light of the floods in Emilia-Romagna in May 2023 and the several extreme weather events that hit the country during the summer, the political and media debate devoted an unprecedented level of attention to the climate change issue.

As the climate change issue gained prominence, it also brought forth the emergence of denialist positions, predominantly within right-wing factions. The question remains: Is a climate divide emerging? Is its politicization – the process through which issues are framed as controversial topics subjects of political confrontation among parties and citizens – taking place?

In this context, this special issue intends to explore how social and political scientists are approaching the politics of climate change and the green transition in Italy. We welcome theoretically-informed research papers providing empirical evidence toward (or against) the politicization of the climate change issue in Italy. Have the opinions of elites and the public become more divided over time on this issue? Has media coverage of climate change evolved over time? We also want to delve into the dynamics of new environmental social movements and activists' attitudes. Do policy proposals for a green and just transition reinforce existing divides or create new conflicts? What are the dynamics of policymaking, and how is it communicated to the public? Additionally, we are interested in understanding how the energy crisis has affected these processes by reframing the issue. Furthermore, we aim to explore how climate change interacts with other crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis.

To achieve this, we encourage the development of a research agenda that incorporates evidence from multiple actors, including public opinion, media, and political parties. An integrated approach will facilitate a deeper understanding of the phenomenon, as certain research questions can be more effectively addressed by considering multiple perspectives. In light of these considerations, we encourage contributions that cover a wide range of questions, approaches, and methods. Some potential topics for consideration include, but are not limited to:

  1. How political parties, candidates, and representatives are approaching climate change and the green transition, and whether there is a noticeable growth of political polarisation on this matter;
  2. Examining environmental social movements, their activists' attitudes, and the various action repertoires they employ to promote their causes;
  3. Investigating the relationship between political parties and environmental movements, exploring the nature of their collaboration or divergence;
  4. Understanding citizens' opinions on climate change and the green transition, and identifying the factors that influence their attitudes;
  5. Analyzing whether and to what extent the climate change issue is related to voting behavior;
  6. Analysing media coverage and the communication strategies employed by parties regarding environmental and climate change issues;
  7. Assessing the formulation and communication of public policies addressing environmental concerns;
  8. Investigating denialist opinions or positions on climate change within the Italian context;
  9. Exploring how other crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, war, and energy crisis, have impacted the discourse and actions related to climate change.

We welcome contributions that provide empirical evidence on the Italian case, even from a comparative and longitudinal perspective. Additionally, we highly value contributions that adopt an integrated approach, considering multiple actors together, such as the interactions between media and political parties, or media and public opinion. Finally, the authors should thoroughly discuss the social and political implications of their results.


The abstract – maximum 300 words – should clearly report the key research question(s), the theoretical framework and the research design, as well as its wider implications and the extent to which they are of theoretical relevance. Abstracts should be sent by October 16th 2024 to: The total length of the article should not exceed 10,000 words and should be submitted by January 8th 2024.


Detailed schedule:


- 15/09/23: launch of the IS during the SISP members' assembly

- 18/09/23: opening of the call for abstracts

- 16/10/23: closing of the call for abstracts

- 30/10/23: notification of accepted proposals

- 08/01/24: deadline for uploading manuscripts to the IPS platform and start of the refereeing process

- April 2024: SI publication