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Crowding-in and crowding-out: studying the relationship between sustainable citizenship and political activism in Flanders

Geerts, Robbe, Vandermoere, Frédéric, Dallenes, Hanne and Vanderstraeten, Raf (2022) Crowding-in and crowding-out: studying the relationship between sustainable citizenship and political activism in Flanders. Societies, 12 (5). ISSN 2075-4698

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Identification Number: 10.3390/soc12050121


This study examines whether pro-environmental behavior crowds-in (associates positively with) or crowds-out (displaces) political activism. This research is part of a broader debate on the nature of individual pro-environmental behavior and whether it can be considered a political act. Studies generally show a positive association between pro-environmental behavior and political activism. However, few have differentiated between types of pro-environmental behavior. In contrast, our study uses Flemish survey data to examine the relationship between political activism and different modes of pro-environmental behavior: sustainable transport, shopping decisions, energy curtailment, and waste sorting. The results are generally consistent with previous studies. Political activism was positively related to sustainable transport, shopping decisions, and waste sorting. However, it was negatively associated with energy curtailment. Results thus suggest that energy curtailment may displace political action. In conclusion, by differentiating between various modes of pro-environmental behavior, our study confirms but also nuances the usefulness of concepts such as sustainable citizenship. These notions often frame individual pro-environmental behavior as part of broader political and collective strategies to address environmental issues. Our study shows that this may exclude some forms of ecologically significant behavior such as energy curtailment.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2022 14:57
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 21:51

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