Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy
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Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy

Edited by David M. Konisky

A comprehensive analysis of diverse areas of scholarly research on U.S. environmental policy and politics, this Handbook looks at the key ideas, theoretical frameworks, empirical findings and methodological approaches to the topic. Leading environmental policy scholars emphasize areas of emerging research and opportunities for future enquiry.
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Chapter 12: Public opinion and the environment: an evolving literature

James W. Stoutenborough


The polarization of environmental politics has forced scholars to examine public opinion because it is often a driver of public policy. A robust field of research has attempted to ascertain what the public thinks as well as why they think this way, while some studies have attempted to determine if these opinions can be changed, examining opinion from a variety of perspectives. This chapter provides an overview of this evolving literature, with a focus on the traditional determinants and the more recent contributions to our understanding of environmental public opinion. Additionally, this chapter will examine some of the data limitations associated with public opinion data and a few of the methodological techniques that have been introduced to reduce the impact of these limitations.

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