Participatory decision-making for sustainable consumption

Frans Coenen*, Dave Huitema, Johan Woltjer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter concerns the impact of public involvement in public decision-making processes as related to household consumption patterns, and the impact on consumer behaviour of active participation.1 The call for participatory decision-making is common in the field of sustainable consumption (Murphy & Cohen, 2001). Implicit in many of these calls is the assumption that increasing the awareness and engagement of the public in decision-making processes for environmental protection will, ultimately, strengthen that protection. A second assumption is that public participation may also result in behavioural change by consumers. At a minimum there is the hope that an engagement of consumers will mean a greater awareness by consumers of the environmental impact of their purchases and behaviour (Barry, 2006). From a functional perspective there is the idea that the active participation of the consumer/citizen in public decision-making processes, as one of several 'stakeholders' or 'partners', could lead to alternative developments in sustainable consumption patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPublic Participation and Better Environmental Decisions: The Promise and Limits of Participatory Processes for the Quality of Environmentally Related Decision-making
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9781402093241
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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