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Hargreaves, Tom
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
CSERGE Working Paper EDM 10-03
This paper outlines and attempts to develop an original and innovative approach to research on pro-environmental behaviour (PEB) by, for the first time, applying Flyvbjerg´s (2001) call for the development of phronetic social science to this burgeoning empirical subject. Based on this novel application of Flyvbjerg´s work, it contents that most current research on PEB is misguided, and even potentially dangerous. After outlining Flyvbjerg´s argument, it reviews existing work on PEB and argues that, to date, it has predominantly sought after the Aristotelian intellectual virtues of either episteme or techne, and has neglected phronesis which Aristotle himself saw as most important. It then briefly presents a case study of a PEB change initiative as an attempt to demonstrate how a phronetic approach to PEB might be pursued. It concludes by calling for an improved and more reflexive dialogue between PEB researchers regarding the purpose and approach of their work, both in order to improve the relevance and impact of their research, and in order to help individuals and communities understand and confront the significant environmental challenges they currently face.
Pro-environmental behaviour change
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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