, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 391-413

Collective Action and Citizen Responses to Global Warming

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This paper expands the relevance of the collective interest model of mass political action to explain collective-action behavior in the context of global warming and climate change. The analysis is an attempt to answer Ostrom’s call for a behavioral model of collective action that can be generalized beyond political protest to other collective-action problems. We elaborate, specify, and empirically test a collective interest model approach to citizen policy support, environmental political participation, and environmental behavior related to the issue of global warming. Key elements of the collective interest model—perceived risk, personal efficacy, and environmental values—are found to be directly, and positively, related to support of government policies and personal behaviors that affect global warming. We also discuss the links between the collective interest model and other important approaches to political behavior.

This material is based upon research conducted by the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy at Texas A&M University and supported under Award No. NA03OAR4310164 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the Department of Commerce.