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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

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

Anne K. Johnson

Environmental Values 7(1998): 223-244. doi: 10.3197/096327198129341555

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

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