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Public Opinion and Dynamic Representation in the American States: The Case of Environmental Attitudes*

Abstract : Objective. We investigate causal processes linking environmental conditions, attitudes, and policies in the American states: Is public opinion about ecology shaped by environmental conditions? Are state policymakers responsive to environmental opinions? Does public opinion respond to policy adoption? Methods. Using public opinion data from the DDB Worldwide Life Style Survey to measure aggregate state attitudes about the environment, as well as measures of water quality and policy intervention, we capture the dynamics of representation in the American states on the environment during the late 1980s and early 1990s.Results. Our findings support a thermostatic model of representation—state environmental opinions are influenced by environmental conditions and are responsive to policy outputs alongside improved environmental conditions. Conclusions. This model of the opinion-policy linkage refines our understanding of representation and focuses us not just on the passage of public policy to address public desires, but the effectiveness of that policy as well.
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https://hal-sciencespo.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03635559
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Submitted on : Friday, April 8, 2022 - 3:41:01 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 29, 2022 - 12:04:07 PM

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Martin Johnson, Paul Brace, Kevin Arceneaux. Public Opinion and Dynamic Representation in the American States: The Case of Environmental Attitudes*. Social Science Quarterly, 2005, 86 (1), pp.87-108. ⟨10.1111/j.0038-4941.2005.00292.x⟩. ⟨hal-03635559⟩

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