Journal of Consumer Policy

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 67–77

Sustainable Consumption Research as Democratic Expertise


DOI: 10.1007/s10603-005-6050-1

Cite this article as:
Cohen, M.J. J Consum Policy (2006) 29: 67. doi:10.1007/s10603-005-6050-1


Academic proponents of sustainable consumption have marshaled considerable evidence over the past decade to support calls for more efficacious lifeways among residents of the world’s developed countries. Policymakers continue, however, to resist these recommendations because sustainable consumption runs counter to dominant tenets of neo-liberal economics and conventional political objectives. Unless investigators in the field can identify a cadre of clients that is interested in forming tacit partnerships, the concept of sustainable consumption is likely to remain little more than a prospective pursuit. This article suggests that there are some nascent indications that these kinds of alliances are developing. For sustainable consumption to take root in the policy sphere, it will be necessary to more actively foster these relationships and to cast this form of knowledge as a form of democratic counterexpertise that challenges elite economic and political institutions that regularly appropriate and deploy consumer science to advance their own interests.

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUSA

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