Climate change and the welfare state? Exploring Australian attitudes to climate and social policy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Despite growing evidence of significant impacts from human-induced climate change, policy responses have been slow. Understanding this policy inertia has led to competing explanations, which either point to the need to build a consensual politics separated from economic partisanship, or which encourage solidarities between environmental and social movements and issues. This article analyses a recent successful mobilisation, leading to the passage of the Clean Energy Act in Australia, to explore the relationship between attitudes to environmental and social protection, particularly among the core constituency in favour of stronger climate action. Using social survey data from the Australian Election Study, the article finds evidence of independent associations between prioritising environmental concerns and support for welfare state expansion, and a realignment of materialist and post-materialist values. This we argue is consistent with Polanyian analysis that posits a link between social and environmental causes based on resistance to commodification.

LanguageEnglish
Pages741-758
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sociology
Volume52
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

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climate policy
welfare state
climate change
election research
Social Movements
solidarity
evidence
mobilization
act
climate
energy
cause
politics
economics
Values
Social Policy

Cite this

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abstract = "Despite growing evidence of significant impacts from human-induced climate change, policy responses have been slow. Understanding this policy inertia has led to competing explanations, which either point to the need to build a consensual politics separated from economic partisanship, or which encourage solidarities between environmental and social movements and issues. This article analyses a recent successful mobilisation, leading to the passage of the Clean Energy Act in Australia, to explore the relationship between attitudes to environmental and social protection, particularly among the core constituency in favour of stronger climate action. Using social survey data from the Australian Election Study, the article finds evidence of independent associations between prioritising environmental concerns and support for welfare state expansion, and a realignment of materialist and post-materialist values. This we argue is consistent with Polanyian analysis that posits a link between social and environmental causes based on resistance to commodification.",
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Climate change and the welfare state? Exploring Australian attitudes to climate and social policy. / Spies-Butcher, Ben; Stebbing, Adam.

In: Journal of Sociology, Vol. 52, No. 4, 01.12.2016, p. 741-758.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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