According to the logic of collective action, mere awareness of the causes of environmental degradation will not motivate rational agents to reduce pollution. Yet some government policies aim to enlist citizens in schemes of voluntary cooperation, drawing on an ethos of collective responsibility. Are such policies doomed to failure? This book provides a novel application of rational choice theory to a large-scale survey of environmental attitudes in The Netherlands. Its main findings are that rational citizens are motivated to cooperate towards a less polluted environment to a large extent, but that their willingness to assume responsibility depends on the social context of the collective action problem they face. This empirical study is an important volume in the development of a more consistent foundation for rational choice theory in policy analysis, which seeks to clarify major theoretical issues concerning the role of moral commitment, self-interest and reciprocity in environmental behaviour.
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(228mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Huib Pellikaan
Dr Huib Pellikaan is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Leiden University. He is currently the managing editor of Acta Politica, the journal of the Dutch Association for the Science of Politics. Robert van der Veen is a lecturer in Political Theory in the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. He is the author of Between Exploitation and Communism (1991), as well as the editor of Basic Income on the Agenda (with Loek Groot, 2000). He has contributed articles to many journals including Economics and Philosophy, The British Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Political Philosophy and Acta Politica.