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Article

Democracy and the Environment: How Political Freedom Is Linked with Environmental Sustainability

1
School of Business, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
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Department for Higher Education Research, Danube University Krems, 3500 Krems, Austria
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Department of Political Science, University of Vienna, Universitätsstrasse 7, 1010 Vienna, Austria
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Department of Science Communication and Higher Education Research, Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria
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School of Production Engineering and Management, University Campus, Technical University of Crete, Kounoupidiana, 73100 Chania, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Marco Vivarelli and Marc A. Rosen
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5522; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105522
Received: 17 March 2021 / Revised: 8 May 2021 / Accepted: 11 May 2021 / Published: 15 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Dynamic and Innovation Performance)
This paper aims to explore a possible relationship between democracy and the environment, more specifically between freedom and environmental sustainability (environmental performance). The conceptual lenses of the Quadruple and Quintuple Innovation Helix Frameworks were used as they emphasize the importance of democracy and ecology (environmental sustainability) for knowledge and innovation and vice versa. The empirical model focused on the following research question: What is the correlation between political freedom and environmental performance? In essence, all countries in the world with a population of one million or more were included (a total of 156 countries), and the reference year was 2016. The empirical outcome of the correlation analysis was a positive Pearson correlation of about 0.56 (or 0.73 if we examine regional country groups), and, perhaps even more significantly, this correlation was significant at the 0.001 level (two-tailed). The correlation results lend themselves to the following interpretation: The higher the political freedom in a country, the more likely it is to have a higher environmental performance. Similarly, the lower the political freedom in a country, the more likely it is to have a lower environmental performance. As a preliminary proposition, therefore, democracy, environmental sustainability, and innovation-driven knowledge economies may have a highly symbiotic and synergistic dynamic and non-linear relationship. View Full-Text
Keywords: democracy; environmental sustainability; political freedom; quadruple and quintuple innovation helix frameworks; sustainable development democracy; environmental sustainability; political freedom; quadruple and quintuple innovation helix frameworks; sustainable development
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MDPI and ACS Style

Carayannis, E.G.; Campbell, D.F.J.; Grigoroudis, E. Democracy and the Environment: How Political Freedom Is Linked with Environmental Sustainability. Sustainability 2021, 13, 5522. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105522

AMA Style

Carayannis EG, Campbell DFJ, Grigoroudis E. Democracy and the Environment: How Political Freedom Is Linked with Environmental Sustainability. Sustainability. 2021; 13(10):5522. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105522

Chicago/Turabian Style

Carayannis, Elias G., David F. J. Campbell, and Evangelos Grigoroudis. 2021. "Democracy and the Environment: How Political Freedom Is Linked with Environmental Sustainability" Sustainability 13, no. 10: 5522. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105522

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