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The Influence of Institutional Culture on the Formation of Pre-Regime Climate Change Policies in Sweden, Japan and the United States

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This paper tests the claims of cultural theory using the formation of climate change policies in Sweden, the United States, and Japan as case studies. The theory posits that any social group consists of three main cultural types: the egalitarian, the market-oriented, and the hierarchical. Though all groups contain elements of each type, one cultural type usually prevails, giving the group its unique decision-making character. This paper applies cultural theory at the national level, testing to what extent the theory is able to project how countries will respond in addressing the issue of global warming. The results suggest that cultural theory may be useful to those involved in developing international agreements, enabling them to formulate regimes which are compatible with various cultural styles.

Keywords: Japan; Sweden; United States; climate change policies; cultural theory; greenhouse gases

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3197/096327198129341555

Publication date: May 1, 1998

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2011) of 1.467.
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