Environmental Dilemmas and Policy Design (Theories of Institutional Design)

Environmental Dilemmas and Policy Design (Theories of Institutional Design)

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Huib Pellikaan, Robert J. van der Veen
Cambridge University Press, 8/22/2002
EAN 9780521621564, ISBN10: 0521621569

Hardcover, 262 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.9 cm
Language: English
Originally published in English

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.

Part I. Background
1. Environmental pollution as a problem of collective action
1.1. Can something be done?
1.2. Environmental dilemmas and the logic of collective action
1.3. Surveying environmental dilemmas from the actor's perspective
rational choice
1.4. How motives speak to preferences
1.5. Non-equivalent dilemmas and reported behaviour
1.6. Policies of self regulation in the Netherlands
1.7. Moral commitment in environmental dilemmas
conditional or unconditional?
1.8. Determinants of cooperation in environmental dilemmas and policy design
2. A Dutch approach
self regulation as a policy concept
2.1. Introduction
2.2. Dutch environmental policy and the idea of self regulation
2.3. The social instruments
2.4. An environmental ethos and the social dilemma
2.5. Self regulation
compliance-oriented or virtue-based?
3. The actor's perspective on collective action
3.1. The subjectivity of the actor in rational choice theory
3.2. Problems of collective action
3.3. Social dilemmas
3.4. The actor's perspective
Part II. The Survey
4. Preference orderings and measurement
4.1. Three potential social dilemmas
4.2. Measuring preference orderings
4.3. Three different environmental problems
4.4. Avoiding response effects
5. Rational choice
5.1. Conditions of rational choice
5.2. The dominance rule of rational choice
5.3. Choice of strategy
5.4. The robustness of the dominance rule
5.5. Conclusion
6. Consistency of motives and preferences
6.1. A model of reasoned choice
6.2. The motives of Valuation and Willingness
6.3. The test of consistent preferences
6.4. Consistent preferences in the three cases
6.5. Does motive-preference consistency matter?
6.6. Conclusion
7. The non-equivalence of the cases
7.1. Hard and easy cases of the dilemma
7.2. The model of the hardest case
7.3. The scalability of the cases
7.4. Conclusion
8. Reported behaviour
8.1. Determinants of behaviour
8.2. The sociocultural model
8.3. An alternative model
8.4. From motives to behaviour
Part III. Conclusions
Theory and Policy
9. Do people accept self regulation policy?
9.1. Introduction to Part III
9.2. Acceptance and agreement
9.3. The acceptance of legal regulation and self regulation
9.4. Conclusion
10. Do people agree with the environmental ethos?
10.1. Introduction
10.2. The two stages of the environmental ethos
10.3. Knaves, pawns or knights?
10.4. The ethical interpretation of motives and preferences
10.5. The agreement response
10.6. Acceptance and agreement
11. Moral commitment and rational cooperation
11.1. Ranking preference orderings
11.2. The meta-ranking approach
11.3. Enlightened self-interest and moral commitment
11.4. Consistent preferences in the meta-ranking
11.5. An environmental meta-ranking
12. Reciprocity and cooperation in environmental dilemmas
12.1. The puzzle of unconditional cooperation
12.2. The reciprocity thesis
12.3. Cost of cooperation and conditionalities in environmental dilemmas
13. Assessing self regulation policies
13.1. The context of environmental dilemmas
13.2. Consistent ethical cooperation
13.3. Background features of hard and easy cases
13.4. Mapping problems and the salience of the environmental ethos
13.5. Individual cost and collective gain
13.6. Comparing motives in the polar cases
13.7. The dimension of private significance
13.8. Self regulation policy
symbolic or real?
13.9. A non-moralistic approach to environmental responsibility
13.10. Self regulation in proportion to facilitation

‘This is social science at its best. Instead of taking casual looks at very important concepts, they have teased apart an important foundation of modern social science theory, and developed a large data set that enables them to examine piece by piece this important concept. What a gem!’ Elinor Ostrom, Indiana University

'This is an excellent book that makes a genuinely significant contribution to social science methodology and environmental policy. It is extremely clearly written and surprisingly accessible to the non-specialist.' Derek R. Bell, Newcastle University

‘… this is an important case study in the responsiveness of public opinion to environmental information campaigns.’ Acta Politica

'… a detailed and thought-provoking read.' Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy