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Europeans' commitment to protecting the environment: a cross-country longitudinal analysis 1990 - 2009

Europeans' commitment to protecting the environment: a cross-country longitudinal analysis 1990 - 2009
Europeans' commitment to protecting the environment: a cross-country longitudinal analysis 1990 - 2009
The aim of this research is to provide individual and country-level explanations of Europeans’ commitment to protecting the environment over the years 1990-2009. Cross-country comparisons and longitudinal analyses are undertaken using the corpus of knowledge provided by green thought and democratic theories. The following countries are included in the study: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, West Germany, and the United Kingdom. The analysis is developed gradually, first using individual-level data from a series of repeated cross-country surveys, conducted within the European Values Study (EVS), and then creating a new standalone dataset, by adding country-level measures related to economic development, democratic governance and environmental policies. The focus is not only on identifying the key drivers of people’s commitment to environmental protection, but also on putting these characteristics of the individuals in the context of their country of residence. Public commitment to protecting the environment is measured as willingness of people to give part of their income for environmental protection using an ordinal scale. Thus, a series of ordinal and multinomial multiple regression models are constructed by accounting for individual-level determinants of Europeans’ commitment to making financial sacrifices for environmental protection, in the first phase of the analysis. These individual-level models are developed considering a number of proxy variables related to the theory of ecological citizenship, developed by Andrew Dobson (2000, 2003, 2006, 2007). The second phase of the analysis additionally controls for country-level contextual variables related to the income of a country, quality of democracy and CO2 emissions. The findings show that regardless of the income of a country, the quality of democracy, and level of CO2 emissions, across all 22 European countries included in the study people sharing the features of an ecological citizen have been more likely to give part of their income for environmental protection than people who do not share these characteristics. The research therefore contributes to bridging the gap between the green political thought and cross-country longitudinal research on the environment, by empirically demonstrating that the approach of ecological citizenship represent a fertile terrain to better understand people’s commitment to environmental protection It also highlights the importance of considering country-level measures related to the economic and political context where the ecological citizens live and the environmental policy adopted by a country. Although clusters or typologies of countries appear to exist, formed based on their quality of democracy, country income status and the level of CO2 emissions, within most of them there are no statistically significant differences between countries with regard to ecological citizens’ willingness to give part of their income for the environment. There is only one exception: within the cluster comprising of certain former communist countries there are statistically significant differences between countries with regard to ecological citizens’ commitment to protecting the environment. Therefore, the research adds knowledge to the field of environmental comparative politics by providing empirical evidence on the connections between democratic governance, environmental policy and the Europeans’ commitment to protecting the environment.
University of Southampton
Anghelescu, Gina
41bab522-cad7-4fba-a0a8-555acd02aa96
Anghelescu, Gina
41bab522-cad7-4fba-a0a8-555acd02aa96
Jennings, William
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Tzavidis, Nikolaos
431ec55d-c147-466d-9c65-0f377b0c1f6a
Saunders, Clare E
c1478ea2-16d7-4fac-856d-516c97e4d5eb

Anghelescu, Gina (2018) Europeans' commitment to protecting the environment: a cross-country longitudinal analysis 1990 - 2009. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 225pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The aim of this research is to provide individual and country-level explanations of Europeans’ commitment to protecting the environment over the years 1990-2009. Cross-country comparisons and longitudinal analyses are undertaken using the corpus of knowledge provided by green thought and democratic theories. The following countries are included in the study: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, West Germany, and the United Kingdom. The analysis is developed gradually, first using individual-level data from a series of repeated cross-country surveys, conducted within the European Values Study (EVS), and then creating a new standalone dataset, by adding country-level measures related to economic development, democratic governance and environmental policies. The focus is not only on identifying the key drivers of people’s commitment to environmental protection, but also on putting these characteristics of the individuals in the context of their country of residence. Public commitment to protecting the environment is measured as willingness of people to give part of their income for environmental protection using an ordinal scale. Thus, a series of ordinal and multinomial multiple regression models are constructed by accounting for individual-level determinants of Europeans’ commitment to making financial sacrifices for environmental protection, in the first phase of the analysis. These individual-level models are developed considering a number of proxy variables related to the theory of ecological citizenship, developed by Andrew Dobson (2000, 2003, 2006, 2007). The second phase of the analysis additionally controls for country-level contextual variables related to the income of a country, quality of democracy and CO2 emissions. The findings show that regardless of the income of a country, the quality of democracy, and level of CO2 emissions, across all 22 European countries included in the study people sharing the features of an ecological citizen have been more likely to give part of their income for environmental protection than people who do not share these characteristics. The research therefore contributes to bridging the gap between the green political thought and cross-country longitudinal research on the environment, by empirically demonstrating that the approach of ecological citizenship represent a fertile terrain to better understand people’s commitment to environmental protection It also highlights the importance of considering country-level measures related to the economic and political context where the ecological citizens live and the environmental policy adopted by a country. Although clusters or typologies of countries appear to exist, formed based on their quality of democracy, country income status and the level of CO2 emissions, within most of them there are no statistically significant differences between countries with regard to ecological citizens’ willingness to give part of their income for the environment. There is only one exception: within the cluster comprising of certain former communist countries there are statistically significant differences between countries with regard to ecological citizens’ commitment to protecting the environment. Therefore, the research adds knowledge to the field of environmental comparative politics by providing empirical evidence on the connections between democratic governance, environmental policy and the Europeans’ commitment to protecting the environment.

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Europeans' Commitment to Protecting the Environment: A Cross-Country Longitudinal Analysis 1990 - 2009 - Version of Record
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Published date: January 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 429618
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429618
PURE UUID: e510e8fe-d7d9-43bb-946d-604394600b13
ORCID for William Jennings: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9007-8896
ORCID for Nikolaos Tzavidis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8413-8095

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Date deposited: 01 Apr 2019 16:31
Last modified: 25 Jul 2019 00:32

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Contributors

Author: Gina Anghelescu
Thesis advisor: William Jennings ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Nikolaos Tzavidis ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Clare E Saunders

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