- Climate action (SDG 13)
Saef is a PhD student, with a focus on climate change communication. His role as a policy and research coordinator for the climate youth organisation, Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD), exposed him to the political and ideological challenges of addressing climate change in a developing country like Malaysia, which grapples with the conundrum of reconciling extraction and development with the principles of redistribution and climate justice.
This experience ignited his passion to pursue a career dedicated to transforming the discourse surrounding climate change in the country.
Thesis title: 'News Media as a Political Site: Understanding Hegemonic Influences on the Malaysian Climate Discourse, Depoliticisation, and the Potential for Transformation'
Saef studies the climate change discourse by engaging with articles on climate change and the journalistic framing of the topic. Using Malaysia as a case study in the Global South, Saef's research contemplates the media as an important political site that constitutes a large part of the Malaysian climate discourse.
Through a Gramscian lens, it also delineates the historical context to explain the interplay between coercive influences and social consensus that may result in the phenomenon of carbon lock-in, otherwise termed politically as ‘Petro-hegemony’.
To delve into the central and peripheral ideas proposed in addressing the crisis, the research expands on the concept of hegemony by employing Chantal Mouffe’s theory on depoliticisation. This framework helps explain the ways in which hegemony reinforces itself by naturalising mainstream ideas and solutions and marginalising alternative or radical perspectives.
In doing so, the research aims to open potential avenues towards repoliticising and subverting unproductive and hegemonic ideas that stagnate the climate discourse in Malaysia. Saef hopes that this will result in fostering inclusive and transformative visions of climate change in Malaysia.
- Principal Supervisor: James Porter