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Title: Thinking globally acting locally : an overview of local environmental activism in Britain
Authors: Vickers, Robert
Keywords: Environmentalism
Pressure group
Social movement
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: © Robert Vickers
Abstract: Over the last four decades national environmental groups have become an important means of political participation for many British citizens. Since the mid-1980s these organizations have established a number of local groups. There are still some gaps in our understanding of these groups, particularly relating to participation at the grass-roots level. This investigation examines the British environmental movement, focusing on those who become coordinators of local groups, and attempts to find the correlates of their environmental activism. The research reviews the existing empirical data relating to environmental activism, and theoretical accounts relating to participation. It also considers the significance of the emergence of postmaterial values, and looks at the theoretical framework that informs environmental activism. The hypothesis that the conservation and ecology movements are effectively sub-groups within the broader ecology movement is tested, and the thesis explores the possibility that those who participate in these movements have different socio-demographic and cognitive profiles, and methods of activism. The history and development of environmentalism in Britain is discussed, revealing the fundamental differences between the conservation and ecology movements. To test the hypothesis a national, internet based, questionnaire was conducted. In total, 380 activists were surveyed, all of whom were coordinators of local environmental groups that were affiliated to one of six nationally prominent environmental organisations. The findings of the research indicated that although many national environmental organizations seem to have become closer together in terms of their core beliefs and objectives. There are some notable differences between conservationists and ecologists at the grass-roots level, particularly in relation to sociopsychological variables, and means of participation.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/12165
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Politics and International Studies)

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