Political Behavior

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 391–413 | Cite as

Collective Action and Citizen Responses to Global Warming

  • Mark LubellEmail author
  • Sammy Zahran
  • Arnold Vedlitz
Original Paper


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.


Collective action Environmental behavior Environmental activism Global warming Political participation Climate change 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and PolicyUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Science, Technology and Public PolicyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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