Protecting the Environment

Olof Johansson

in The Scope of Government

Published in print September 1998 | ISBN: 9780198294740
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598838 | DOI:

Series: Beliefs in Government

 Protecting the Environment

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Public concern over environmental protection, and the opinion regarding the proper scope of governmental control in support of it are bedevilled by variations is public understanding of highly complex issues, and in levels of public trust. This chapter examines the ways in which protection of the natural environment has come to be perceived as a government responsibility. The analysis is based on attitudinal surveys conducted in Western European countries during the 1970s and 1980s. It reveals that while public expectations of environmental protection are high, it is not easy to distinguish between concern based on moral principle about the ‘common good’, and concern based purely on self‐interest. Either way, the state of the environment has climbed high on the political agenda.

Keywords: environmental policy; environmental protection; Western Europe

Chapter.  10133 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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