Environmental activation of citizens in the context of policy agenda formation and the influence of social capital

Jones, Nikoleta (2010). Environmental activation of citizens in the context of policy agenda formation and the influence of social capital. Social Science Journal, 47 pp. 121–136.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soscij.2009.05.008

URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S...


Public policy issues arising from climate change projections are becoming increasingly important in terms of the range and the scope of their effects. In order to effectively confront them it is important to address social, environmental and economic aspects as fully as possible in decision-making processes. In this context, social risk assessment techniques have begun to be applied to explore citizens’ risk perceptions of climate change projections. The present study aims to contribute to this area by examining the influence of four social capital parameters (social trust, institutional trust, social norms and social networks) on public risk perceptions of climate change. An empirical study was conducted for this purpose in Greece’s fourth largest city, Heraklion. Results demonstrate that social capital is a significant explanatory parameter for citizens’ risk perceptions. Specifically, individuals with lower levels of social capital tend to perceive higher risks from climate change impacts. The most important parameter explaining this result is the low level of institutional trust, revealing that Heraklion’s citizens do not believe that existing public institutions will be able to effectively manage projected climate change impacts.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 39955
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 0362-3319
  • Keywords
  • social capital; natural resources; environmental activation; policy agenda; linking social capital; Greece
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
  • Research Group
  • OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2009 Western Social Science Association
  • Depositing User
  • Nikoleta Jones