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Political Consumerism: Its Motivations, Power, and Conditions in the Nordic Countries and Elsewhere

Proceedings from the 2nd International Seminar on Political Consumerism, Oslo August 26–29, 2004

image of Political Consumerism: Its Motivations, Power, and Conditions in the Nordic Countries and Elsewhere

The concept of political consumerism draws on the observation that consumer choice and the rising politics of products is an increasingly important form of political participation, especially with regard to such issues as human rights, animal rights, global solidarity and environmental responsibility. The 2nd International Seminar on Political Consumerism was arranged to enhance our knowledge about political consumerism. This report includes revised versions of the papers that were presented and discussed at the seminar. Scholars from various disciplines presented papers that discussed and analyzed such topics as the characteristics of (especially Nordic) political consumers and their motivations to express their political concerns through market channels, how consumer power and individual choice can be linked to public influence, political and market conditions for the success, effectiveness, or failure of political consumerism as a regulatory tool, and the framing, mobilization, and organizational processes behind political consumerism.

English

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Globalisation and the Role of Citizen-Consumers in Environmental Politics

In this chapter the changing roles of citizen-consumers in globalizing environmental politics are put at the center of attention. The (potential) involvement of citizen-consumers is discussed in relation to the increased influence of globalization on national environmental policies that address the lifestyles, consumption, routines and political commitment of citizenconsumers. After arguing for a stronger consumer orientation in environmental politics from an empirical perspective, the role of citizen consumers in the national and transnational environmental field is discussed in a theoretical way. To make sense of current and emerging citizenconsumer roles this article draws respectively upon the debates regarding ecological citizenship, sustainable consumption and global civil society. To place the resulting theoretical questions in the context of applied environmental politics four Dutch case studies that bring together environmental and consumer policies are put forward. From these case studies important ingredients for feasible consumer oriented policies in an increasingly globalized environmental field can be derived.

English

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