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Soc Sci Res. 2013 Mar;42(2):418-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.10.005. Epub 2012 Nov 5.

Individual environmental concern in the world polity: A multilevel analysis.

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1
Department of Sociology, University of Utah, United States. Electronic address: jennifer.givens@soc.utah.edu.

Abstract

The authors assess the extent to which national-level integration in the world polity influences individual-level concern for the environment. While theoretically-derived propositions about such relationships have a deep history in comparative sociology, they-with few exceptions-remain untested. Consistent with past research, employed national-level measures of world polity integration include the relative presence of environmental international nongovernmental organizations (EINGOs) and the existence of environmental ministries. Results of multilevel analyses of individual-level environmental concern in 37 nations indicate that both forms of world polity integration increase the likelihood of individual-level environmental concern, net of other national-level factors and individual-level characteristics; although we find stronger support for the influence of EINGOs as a key variable indicating world polity connection. The findings provide unique support for world polity theory, suggesting that future research should consider how elements of world polity integration influence other forms of individual attitudes and behaviors. The results also highlight the importance in considering global and transnational factors when assessing the determinants of individual attitudes about the environment.

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