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Public engagement concerning environmental and sustainability issues

Research theme I

Many of the most pressing sustainability problems, such as climate change, are anchored in people’s lifestyles and behaviors. To reach a more sustainable society it, therefore, becomes important to understand these behaviors and everyday choices (consumption, recycling, energy saving, etc), as well as more profound decisions to change lifestyles in a sustainable direction. This can be seen as preconditions for communicating with different groups, to promote transformative learning, and to be able to govern behaviors in a more sustainable direction. It is also important to get more knowledge about collective engagement, public support for political decisions, and power relationships in these change processes. Additionally, we need more research about how to create constructive deliberative processes where people learn to work with other people from different backgrounds to solve these problems and to find creative and inclusive future visions. It is also important to take account of emotions, emotion regulation strategies, and aspects related to trust in people’s risk perception, not least due to a more polarized society. With its multidisciplinary profile CESSS has the capacity to contribute with cutting-edge research in this subfield.

In our research we focus on different age-groups such as children, teenagers, young adults, and middle-aged people as well as on families, networks and organizations. Our methodological competence spans from quantitative studies in the form of cross-sectional and longitudinal survey studies and experiments to qualitative studies such as interview studies and text analyses (phenomenological and discourse analytical approaches).

For more information on additional publications, visit each researcher’s individual web page, to which you find links in the tab ‘Researchers’ on CESSS’s start page.