Center for Environmental Policy and Administration

Global Environmentalism: A Challenge to the Postmaterialism Thesis?

Author:Steven Brechin with W. Kempton
Date: 2006
Publication:in Jane Roberts, editor Environmental Policy: Critical Concepts in the Environment. Routledge Press. (reprinted from a 1994 article)

This paper challenges the conventional wisdom that people in developing countries lack environmental values, a commonly accepted view which has also derived theoretical support from Inglehart's ''postmaterialist values'' thesis. The authors analyze two types of new evidence-the proliferation of Third World grass roots environmental organizations and recent cross-national opinion surveys-neither of which supports the conventional wisdom. They argue that concern for the environment is not simply a product of a postmaterialist cultural shift, and they propose five alternative possible explanations for environmentalism in poor countries.
Center for Environmental Policy and Administration
The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 12/01/2010 08:30:46