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Local Environmental Groups, the Creation of Social Capital, and Environmental Policy: Evidence from Vermont

  • Christopher McGrory Klyza
  • Andrew Savage
  • Jonathan Isham

    ()

Many scholars have documented the important role of national environmental groups in affecting environmental policies in the United States. The role of local environmental groups, however, has not been thoroughly documented. Using data from a complete census of all environmental groups in two Vermont counties, we :(1) offer a set of conceptual categories for local environmental groups; (2) analyze how civic engagement in these groups is creating different forms of social capital through stewardship activities, education and communication, partnerships with other organizations, and alliances with public agencies; and (3) explore how these groups are affecting the policy process, illustrated with two case studies. We argue that the prevalence and contribution of local environmental groups, particularly local autonomous groups, has been underappreciated. We conclude that the greeining of social capital is significantly affecting environmental outcomes in the United States.

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File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0407.pdf
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Paper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 0407.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0407
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  1. Jonathan Isham & Jeff Polubinski, 2002. "Killington Mountain Resort: A Case Study of 'Green' Expansion in Vermont," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0208, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  2. Andrew Savage & Christopher McGrory Klyza & Jonathan Isham, 2004. "The Greening of Social Capital: An Examination of Land-Based Groups in Two Vermont Counties," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0306r, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  3. Ganz, Marshall Louis & Skocpol, Theda & Munson, Ziad, 2000. "A Nation of Organizers: The Institutional Origins of Civic Voluntarism in the United States," Scholarly Articles 12641806, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
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