Get access

Patterns of Environmental Collective Action: Some Cross-National Findings



Many environmental problems such as global warming, biodiversity loss and waste accumulation can be described as large-scale collective action dilemmas. Previous research on collective action in Common Pool Resource settings has demonstrated that institutional structures and social capital are important for successful management of natural resources. The objective of this article is to investigate the effect of such factors on large-scale environmental collective action. The analysis employs survey data and indicators of institutional quality for 22 countries. Two measurements of environmental collective action are used: (1) intermediate group collective action; and (2) latent group environmental action. Findings point to a dominating role for two factors – institutional quality and membership in voluntary organisations – as key determinants of participation in both latent and intermediate group environmental collective action. These results are interpreted as indications of a possible decoupling between trust and participation in large-scale collective action.