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.



The Emergence of Non-State Authority in Forestry: Explaining different approaches in similar societies

This article explores divergent approaches to forest certification in Sweden and Norway. While the NGO-supported Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has five times the endorsement in Sweden than the industrydominated Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC), virtually all commercially productive forests in Norway are certified by the PEFC-endorsed Living Forests scheme. The PEFC scheme leaves forest companies with less stringent sustainable forest management standards than the FSC, and greater leeway to apply those standards. Three explanations for the divergent approaches to forest certification are explored: public policy and government support; advocacy-group and market pressures; and industrial structure. It is found that although the government in both countries facilitated and legitimised certification processes, environmental group activism and supply chain pressure were more important for certification initiatives. Ownership structure and market exposure largely explain different approaches to forest certification. A group of large Swedish forest companies responded to market and advocacy group pressures by choosing the widely recognised FSC scheme. Non-industrial forest owners in both Norway and Sweden rejected this scheme due to narrower market and public exposure and their belief that environmental, social and forest company interests dominate the FSC decision-making process.


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