Green European: Environmental Behaviour and Attitudes in Europe in a Historical and Cross-Cultural Comparative Perspective, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Green European

Environmental Behaviour and Attitudes in Europe in a Historical and Cross-Cultural Comparative Perspective, 1st Edition

Edited by Audrone Telesiene, Matthias Gross


254 pages | 36 B/W Illus.

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Green European addresses the quest for a better understanding of European type(s) of environmentalism. This monograph focuses on public attitudes and behaviours and the culturally rooted as well as country specific differences. The book addresses the wider issue that many European countries are rendered ‘green’ or as having an advanced environmental awareness, but the question - ‘how green are Green Europeans really’, is yet to be answered.

The book covers a variety of unique data-driven comparative studies and is divided into three parts:

  • the first addresses perceptions of environmental and technological threats and risks,
  • the second part deals with environmental activism in Europe,
  • the third discusses environmental attitudes, environmental concerns and their imminent link to personal pro-environmental behaviour.

The empirical comparative nature of the contributions is enabled by data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP).


Empirical, and methodologically sophisticated, this excellent volume is the first systematic comparative study of environmental attitudes using the ISSP in over two decades. It explores with great insight environmental attitudes and behaviour in Europe and elsewhere.

Jon Pammett is Professor of Political Science at Carleton University, Canada

Firmly based on data from international social surveys, this volume provides a varied and fascinating overview of European environmental perceptions, attitudes and actions. In applying insightful interpretations on a rich collection of available data, it fills a major gap in our understanding of how Europeans think and act about environment. Moreover, the contributions to the book represent a truly European-wide set of analytical angles to the social dimensions of environment. Highly recommended, both as an indispensable resource for further scholarly research, and as a source of inspiration in grasping the complex dynamics of citizen environmental concern.

Dr. C.S.A. (Kris) van Koppen, Associate Professor Environmental Policy at Wageningen University and former Chair of the Environment & Society Research Network of the European Sociological Association.

Table of Contents

Foreword. A Brief History of Sociological Research on Environmental Concern, (Riley E. Dunlap)

Introduction. How Green are Green Europeans? (Matthias Gross, Audrone Telesiene)

Part I: Reconsidering Environmental Threats and Risks

1. The Perception of Environmental Threats in a Global and European Perspective, (Markus Hadler, Klaus Kraemer)

2. Vulnerable and Insecure? Environmental and Technological Risk Perception in Europe, (Aiste Balzekiene, Audrone Telesiene)

3. Changing Concern about Environmental Threats and Risks – A Longitudinal and Multilevel Perspective on the Relationship Between Values and Interests, (Andre Schaffrin, Alexander Schmidt-Catran)

Part II: Personal Activist Profiles in Europe

4. Explaining Environmental Activism by National Cultures: The Hypothesis of Hysteresis, (Jean-Paul Bozonnet)

5. Explaining Membership in Pro-environmental Groups: a Comparative European Perspective, (Egle Butkeviciene, Vaidas Morkevicius)

6. Petitioner, Contributor, Protester: The Profile of Europeans Performing Different ‘Public Sphere’ Pro-environmental Behaviours, (Iosif Botetzagias, Nikoleta Jones, Chrysovalantis Malesios)

Part III: Exploring European Green Mind-sets and Behaviours

7. How Far for the Money? Affluence and Democratic Degrowth Potential in Europe, (Mladen Domazet, Branko Ancic)

8.Environmental Concern in Cross-National Comparison − Methodological Threats and Measurement Equivalence

Jochen Mayerl

9. Youth Environmental Consciousness in Europe: the Influence of Psycho-social Factors on Pro-environmental Behaviour, (Leena Haanpaa)

10. Dilemmas of Sustainability in Turbulent Times – the Portuguese Case in Context, (Joao Guerra, Luisa Schmidt, Susana Valente)

About the Editors

Audrone Telesiene is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Public Policy and Administration, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania. She is member of the national team implementing the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) in Lithuania. Her research interests include environmental sociology, sociology of science and technology, risk communication, social change and social analytics.

Matthias Gross is Professor of Environmental Sociology at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ, in Leipzig, and the University of Jena, Germany. His recent research focuses on public perceptions of renewable energy, ignorance and security, real-world experiments, and the changing role of civil society in environmental policy.

About the Series

Studies in European Sociology

Europe is currently undergoing massive change. In the former Eastern Europe, societies are adapting to post-communist regimes and economies and facing the implications of war in the Balkans. In the west the increased integration of the European Union impacts on every aspect of legal, economic and political life. The whole of Europe is going through major transformations in terms of gender, race and class. This series published by Routledge with the European Sociological Association, provides a forum for sociological responses to these developments.    

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General