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The varying effects of left–right ideology on support for the environment: Evidence from a Swedish survey experiment

Journal article
Authors Niklas Harring
Jacob Sohlberg
Published in Environmental Politics
Volume 26
Issue 2
Pages 278-300
ISSN 0964-4016
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 278-300
Language en
Keywords attitude formation, environmental support, ideology, left–right dimension, survey experiment
Subject categories Political Science


Years of research show that left-leaning individuals are more supportive of environmental policies than right-leaning individuals. The explanation for the lower level of support among right-leaning individuals is their stronger preference for economic growth and lower acceptance of intervention in markets. However, recent cross-national studies have questioned whether the effect of ideology on environmental support is universal. A Swedish survey experiment shows that the effect of ideology varies greatly depending on how individuals think about the environment. Specifically, it demonstrates that if environmental support is contrasted with economic growth, then the effect of ideology is stronger as opposed to when environmental support is not juxtaposed with economic growth. Furthermore, among people who strongly perceive the environment as a left–right issue, there is a larger divide between left and right.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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