Research seeks to engage global environmental citizens

12-Jun-2013

CDU Research Fellow Dr Heather Aslin co-edited the book “Engaged Environmental Citizenship”

A book delving into the social aspects surrounding the role of the world citizens in the future sustainability of the environment has been published by a group of Australian and international scholars.

The concept of “environmental citizenship” is the focus of the edited book “Engaged Environmental Citizenship”, which explores how and why people around the world become environmental citizens.

Charles Darwin University Research Fellow Dr Heather Aslin, who co-edited the book with Australian National University Professor Stewart Lockie, said the 12 chapters dealt with various aspects of environmental citizenship.

“Written mainly by social scientists, the book explores ‘environmental citizenship’ and how various groups, ranging from activists to Indigenous communities and farmers, become engaged with the environment in varying roles and situations in contemporary society,” Dr Aslin said.

“It also discusses the roles and responsibilities of citizens as part of a democratic society, raising the subject of what citizens can do in the public interest, rather than relying on specific interest groups, corporations or governments.

“One chapter contains a highly disturbing analysis of lapses in environmental citizenship and corporate social responsibility among manufacturers of children’s toys.”

Dr Aslin said some of the ideas and concepts discussed had wide-ranging implications for the future.

“Through case studies, the research builds a picture of the social fabric associated with environmental engagement, how and why people engage, and how we can look towards improving involvement in the future,” she said.

“The compilation will serve to inform policy makers and anyone else interested in the environment.

“Building the engagement of citizens, who are committed to more sustainable lifestyles, at home and in the work place with the support of institutional frameworks, will be vital to the sustainability of the environment on a global scale.”

Dr Aslin said the book arose from a symposium organised by the Environment and Society Thematic Group of The Australian Sociological Association.

The book is published by Charles Darwin University Press.W: http://cdupress.cdu.edu.au

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