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The Scope of Government$
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Ole Borre and Elinor Scarbrough

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294740

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294743.001.0001

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Protecting the Environment

Protecting the Environment

Chapter:
(p.313) 11 Protecting the Environment
Source:
The Scope of Government
Author(s):

Olof Johansson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198294743.003.0011

Public concern over environmental protection, and the opinion regarding the proper scope of governmental control in support of it are bedevilled by variations is public understanding of highly complex issues, and in levels of public trust. This chapter examines the ways in which protection of the natural environment has come to be perceived as a government responsibility. The analysis is based on attitudinal surveys conducted in Western European countries during the 1970s and 1980s. It reveals that while public expectations of environmental protection are high, it is not easy to distinguish between concern based on moral principle about the ‘common good’, and concern based purely on self‐interest. Either way, the state of the environment has climbed high on the political agenda.

Keywords:   environmental policy, environmental protection, Western Europe

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