Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Carl G. Herndl, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Cheryl Hall, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Meredith Johnson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Diane Price-Herndl, Ph.D.


feminist theory; political theory; critical discourse analysis; environmental rhetoric


The problem of climate change is not simply scientific or technical, but also political and social. This dissertation analyzes both the role and the ethical foundations of citizenship and citizen engagement in the political and social aspects of climate change communication and policy-making. Using a critical discourse analysis of a policy recommendations drafted by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, I demonstrate how climate change policy documentation naturalizes a particular version of citizenship I call “climate citizenship.” Based on environmental critiques of liberal and civic republican citizenship, I show how this “climate citizenship” would be more productive and ethical if based on theories of environmental citizenship rooted in an ecological feminist ethic of flourishing. This critique of current representations of citizenship in climate change policy offers a theoretically sound basis for future engaged work in rhetoric of science focused on policy-making.