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Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 1055-1079; doi:10.3390/su2041055
Article

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

1,*  and 2
1 Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 711, SE 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden 2 Division of Political Science, Luleå University of Technology, SE 971 87 Luleå, Sweden
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 February 2010 / Revised: 12 March 2010 / Accepted: 15 April 2010 / Published: 20 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Consumption)
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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.
Keywords: ecological; citizenship; environmental; consumer; belief; value ecological; citizenship; environmental; consumer; belief; value
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jagers, S.C.; Matti, S. Ecological Citizens: Identifying Values and Beliefs that Support Individual Environmental Responsibility among Swedes. Sustainability 2010, 2, 1055-1079.

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