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Ecological Citizens: Identifying Values and Beliefs that Support Individual Environmental Responsibility among Swedes

Author

Listed:
  • Sverker C. Jagers

    () (Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 711, SE 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden)

  • Simon Matti

    () (Division of Political Science, Luleå University of Technology, SE 971 87 Luleå, Sweden)

Abstract

As it has been suggested that involvement of individuals in environmental work is necessary for halting environmental degradation, one focus for contemporary environmental policy and political theory is the need for comprehensive individual lifestyle changes. Ecological Citizenship (EC) has been suggested within the field of political theory as an approach to realize personal responsibility for the environment. However, empirical research on whether EC can serve this purpose is still lacking. Based on a survey sent to 4,000 Swedish households, this paper makes the theory of EC empirically operational and explores whether, and to what extent, people in general hold values and beliefs in line with what is expected of EC, in order to shed light on the feasibility of cultivating ecological citizens in Sweden. The study concludes that a significant proportion of the respondents do demonstrate a value base consistent with EC, i.e. , non-territorial altruism and the primacy of social justice. While additional tests and studies are needed, the results support the use of EC as a theoretical model for behavioral change.

Suggested Citation

  • Sverker C. Jagers & Simon Matti, 2010. "Ecological Citizens: Identifying Values and Beliefs that Support Individual Environmental Responsibility among Swedes," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(4), pages 1-25, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:1055-1079:d:8010
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rasmus Karlsson, 2012. "Individual Guilt or Collective Progressive Action? Challenging the Strategic Potential of Environmental Citizenship Theory," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 21(4), pages 459-474, November.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:679-:d:96707 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hunter, Erik & Röös, Elin, 2016. "Fear of climate change consequences and predictors of intentions to alter meat consumption," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 151-160.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ecological; citizenship; environmental; consumer; belief; value;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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