Public Demand for Extraterritorial Environmental and Social Public Goods Provision

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2023
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Vastly increased transnational business activity in recent decades has been accompanied by controversy over how to cope with its social and environmental impacts. The most prominent policy response thus far consists of international guidelines. We investigate to what extent and why citizens in a high-income country are willing to restrain companies to improve environmental and social conditions in other countries. Exploiting a real-world referendum in Switzerland, we use choice and vignette experiments with a representative sample of voters ( N = 3,010) to study public demand for such regulation. Our results show that citizens prefer strict and unilateral rules (with a substantial variation of preferences by general social and environmental concern) while correctly assessing their consequences. Moreover, exposure to international norms increases demand for regulation. These findings highlight that democratic accountability can be a mechanism that motivates states to contribute to collective goods even if not in their economic interest and that awareness of relevant international norms among citizens can enhance this mechanism.

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320 Politik
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global supply chains, norms, public opinion, survey experiment, sustainable development, United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
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ISO 690RUDOLPH, Lukas, Dennis KOLCAVA, Thomas BERNAUER, 2023. Public Demand for Extraterritorial Environmental and Social Public Goods Provision. In: British Journal of Political Science. Cambridge University Press. 2023, 53(2), pp. 516-535. ISSN 0007-1234. eISSN 1469-2112. Available under: doi: 10.1017/s0007123422000175
BibTex
@article{Rudolph2023Publi-66500,
  year={2023},
  doi={10.1017/s0007123422000175},
  title={Public Demand for Extraterritorial Environmental and Social Public Goods Provision},
  number={2},
  volume={53},
  issn={0007-1234},
  journal={British Journal of Political Science},
  pages={516--535},
  author={Rudolph, Lukas and Kolcava, Dennis and Bernauer, Thomas}
}
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