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Solving Environmental Problems Together? The Roles of Value Orientations and Trust in the State in Environmental Policy Support among Swedish Undergraduate Students

Journal article
Authors Niklas Harring
Tomas Torbjörnsson
Cecilia Lundholm
Published in Education Sciences
Volume 8
Issue 3
ISSN 2227-7102
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Political Science
Language en
Keywords value orientation; environmental personal norms; trust; environmental policy instruments; sustainability; higher education
Subject categories Political Science, Educational Sciences


This paper explores whether value orientation (VO) and trust in the state (TIS) are linked to support for environmental intervention and steering among Swedish students in economics, law, and political science. Furthermore, we considered whether environmental personal norms mediate the link between VO and support for environmental policy instruments and finally, whether TIS moderates the link between environmental personal norms and support for environmental policy instruments, testing this on a sample of over 800 Swedish students. We found a positive link between both a self-transcendence VO and TIS on environmental policy support; however, we cannot confirm a moderating effect of TIS on the relation between environmental personal norms and policy support. Furthermore, left-wing students displayed stronger support for environmental intervention. We conclude that more knowledge on programme-specific characteristics regarding environmental values, beliefs, and attitudes among freshman students can enhance sustainability teaching intended to develop the students’ critical and reflective capabilities

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