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State and EnvironmentThe Comparative Study of Environmental Governance$
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Andreas Duit

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027120

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027120.001.0001

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Sustainable Citizenship: The Role of Citizens and Consumers as Agents of the Environmental State

Sustainable Citizenship: The Role of Citizens and Consumers as Agents of the Environmental State

(p.203) 8 Sustainable Citizenship: The Role of Citizens and Consumers as Agents of the Environmental State
State and Environment

Michele Micheletti

Dietlind Stolle

Daniel Berlin

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the role of citizens and consumers as agents of the environmental state. It first considers the importance of citizen awareness before turning to a discussion of the concept of sustainable citizenship and its normative responsibility claim on all societal actors and institutions. It then compares the model with other citizenship models and shows how it develops a different notion of collective action, along with its potential measurements in the European (and particularly Swedish) context. It also looks at the debate about the role of consumption in political problem solving, the real-life presence of sustainable citizenship among individuals, and some of the sociodemographic and attitudinal attributes characterizing sustainable citizens. In particular, it discusses whether sustainable citizens differ from other citizens in terms of age, gender, education, political placement, socioeconomic resources, and views of the responsibilities associated with governmental and other institutions, and whether sustainable citizens hold different general expectations about “good citizenship” and whether or not they believe that individuals can be politically efficacious and important agents of change in the field of sustainability.

Keywords:   consumers, environmental state, citizen awareness, sustainable citizenship, collective action, Europe, consumption, sustainable citizens, good citizenship, sustainability

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