IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

What Lies Beneath the Surface? A Case Study of Citizens' Moral Reasoning with Regard to Biodiversity


  • Maria Ojala
  • Rolf Lidskog


This paper focuses on a Swedish case where a biological insecticide has been used to fight mosquitoes in order to reduce the nuisance to humans. The case concerns conflicting values regarding environmental protection. People's quality of life in the summers is placed in opposition to long-term risks to biodiversity. On the surface, the affected lay-population is one-sidedly positive about the intervention. However, interviews with citizens revealed a more complex picture, where the majority also touched upon value conflicts. At the same time, different psychological mechanisms for handling these dilemmas hindered more critical and doubtful views from being included in societal deliberations concerning the intervention. By way of conclusion, we argue that it is important to create deliberative arrangements that acknowledge the emotional and contradictory side of human nature and that encourage people to dare to voice standpoints that may be seen as uncomfortable or inconsistent.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Ojala & Rolf Lidskog, 2011. "What Lies Beneath the Surface? A Case Study of Citizens' Moral Reasoning with Regard to Biodiversity," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 20(2), pages 217-237, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev20:ev2011

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: downloads of articles require payment or registration of paid subscription

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leskinen, Leena A., 2004. "Purposes and challenges of public participation in regional and local forestry in Finland," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(6), pages 605-618, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. McComas, Katherine A. & Schuldt, Jonathon P. & Burge, Colleen A. & Roh, Sungjong, 2015. "Communicating about marine disease: The effects of message frames on policy support," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 45-52.

    More about this item


    Insecticide; value conflicts; ambivalence; coping mechanisms; deliberation;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev20:ev2011. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Andrew Johnson). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.