Creating environmentalists: Environmental law, identity and commitment

Progress on environmental issues will require a shift in how individuals view and value their relationship to the environment. This article examines two divergent theories on how individuals' values are formed. One theory stems from the recent work in economics on how identities (including values) are formed and affect choices. It is based in part on a connection between an individual's choice of identity and their desire to further their own well-being. The second theory is based on a view of an individual's values as commitments that she adopts which are unconnected to her own well-being. This article sets out these theories and examines the connection between them and the formation of environmental law and policy including instrument choice and administrative processes.
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