Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version

Summer 8-26-2010


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Sociology, Under the Supervision of Professor J. Allen Williams Jr. and Professor Julia McQuillan. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2010
Copyright 2010 Andrew V. Bedrous


Data from the 1999-2001 World Values Survey (WVS), the Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook are used to assess individual and national level explanations of environmental attitudes among 34,555 respondents from 27 countries. Three analyses are presented: an individual-level analysis that examines the previously assessed correlates of environmental attitudes; a national-level analysis of the relationship between a variety of national-level characteristics and aggregate environmental attitudes; and a multilevel (HLM) model assessing these effects simultaneously. Guided by the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP), the post-materialist thesis and the World-Systems Perspective national-level characteristics are assessed in the context of the core-periphery hierarchy of the modern world-system. The findings indicate overall that most of the variation in environmental attitudes can be accounted for by individual-level characteristics, with only about 3% being accounted for between countries. The interaction between the two levels suggests that accounting for national-level variation may be a necessity in contemporary environmental research.