Elisabeth Kals, Jürgen Maes & Ralf Becker
University of Trier, Germany
Abstract. The underlying motives of citizen's (why not citizens' support of locally implemented air polluting or air protecting political decision-making processes are analyzed in a questionnaire study (N = 221): To what extent is citizens' support based on self-interest, and how influential are the often overlooked justice motives? The empirical results reveal that citizens have clear and distinguished justice appraisals concerning local policies and political regulations affecting the city's air quality. Multiple regression analyses confirm the high behavioral impact of these justice appraisals: Commitments to promote political regulations either protecting the city's air quality or endangering it are both - with opposite regression weights - based on justice appraisals. For those commitments, which endanger the air quality variables representing self-interest in form of anticipated personal benefits are of equal importance, whereas for pro-environmental commitments the only significant predictor representing self-interest is the experienced air pollution in one's own living space. Implications of the results for model building (need of further justice-related models instead of models in the rational-choice tradition) and for practical intervention programs (using justice motives to promote pro-environmental behavior) are discussed.
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