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Participation in the Environmental Movement: Analysis of the European Community
International Sociology (2008)
  • Patrick F. Gillham, Western Washington University
The article establishes which determinants contribute to involvement in the European environmental movement, whether participants in the movement are unique from participants in other new social movements (NSMs), and the effects of biographical availability and national social structure on environmental activism. Relevant questions include the way values, education and income, family responsibilities, national economic development and population density influence differential participation in the movement across nations. This study relies on data from Eurobarometer 25, a biannual questionnaire administered across 12 European Union nations to examine the influence of individual factors, and data from Eurostat to test the influence of national social structural factors on participation. Participation is measured by whether respondents contributed money to environmental organizations and/or participated in environmental associations, local restoration projects or demonstrations to protect the environment. Logistic regression is utilized to test hypotheses about the relationship to participation. The findings suggest that environmental activism is influenced primarily by postmaterialist values and beliefs, higher education and income, and living in nations with lower levels of poverty, unemployment and agricultural employment and greater population density. This study contradicts previous findings on the importance of biographical availability. Participants in the Western European environmental movement are similar to and different from participants in other NSMs. Ironically, those benefiting most from industrialization and its corresponding environmental impacts are more likely to engage in environmental activism.
  • Biographical availability,
  • Environmental activism,
  • Environmental movement,
  • European Union,
  • New social movements,
  • Social structure
Publication Date
January, 2008
Publisher Statement
Published by Sage journals DOI: 10.1177/0268580907084386
Citation Information
Patrick F. Gillham. "Participation in the Environmental Movement: Analysis of the European Community" International Sociology Vol. 23 Iss. 1 (2008)
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