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Ludwig Klages, Deep Ecology and the Concept of Friluftsliv in Nordic Countries
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

Ludwig Klages, Deep Ecology and the Concept of Friluftsliv in Nordic Countries

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2023-1-27-44
© Nikita E. BELUKHIN, 2022
Received 18.01.2023.
Revised 09.02.2023.
Accepted 22.05.2023.
Nikita E. BELUKHIN(, ORCID: 0000-0001-7505-2356,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation.
The article provides a brief overview of the views of philosophers Ludvig Klages, Arne Næss and Villy Sørensen, whose works revolved around the relationship between man and the environment. The article then proceeds to compare their philosophical ideas with the popular concept of friluftsliv which closely intertwines with the lifestyle as well as regional and national identity of Nordic countries. It is revealed that the common ground of both the philosophical constructions of deep ecology and the practice of friluftsliv is the close emotional connection between humanity and nature as its original environment. The analysis of development strategies of friluftsliv in Denmark, Norway and Sweden highlights the potential of friluftsliv phenomenon to be a conduit for fostering wide public solidarity on the ‘green’ agenda and promoting ecological consciousness and eco-citizenship in Nordic countries, which also corresponds to the idea of aesthetic, beautiful actions as formulated by Arne Næss. The conclusion is made that the systematically implemented practice of friluftsliv in Northern Europe can serve as an example of overcoming the conflict between radical environmental alarmism and skepticism and of making environmental care a part of everyday life and national consciousness. The article also notes the threat of right-wing radicalism and right-wing extremism employing the environmental rhetoric in order to increase their popularity among the younger generation. Despite local environmental initiatives conducted under the auspices of such organizations, their ‘green’ rhetoric primarily serves to reinforce their more traditional agenda of restricting immigration and eliminating ‘foreign and hostile’ elements from Nordic society. The conclusion emphasizes the broad potential for the study of national ecological cultures and identities, which could complement and broaden the existing research on the ‘green’ parties and mass environmental movements. 


About the author: Nikita E. BELUKHIN, Postgraduate, Junior Researcher, Sector for Regional Issues and Conflicts, Department for European Political Studies.
Competing interests: no potential competing financial or non-financial interest was reported by the author.

For citation:

Belukhin N. Ludwig Klages, Deep Ecology and the Concept of Friluftsliv in Nordic Countries. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2023, no 1, pp. 27-44.

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