Different Politics, Same Planet: Values for sustainable development beyond left and right

Publication Details

On Wednesday 14 December 2011, ResPublica launched Different Politics, Same Planet: Values for sustainable development beyond left and right, a new report on environmental and humanitarian values supported by Oxfam and WWF-UK.

Proportional policy responses to today’s profound environmental and humanitarian problems will require a new level of political commitment. Doubtless, in part, this will entail the need for bolder political leadership on these issues. But it will also, inevitably, require greater electoral acceptance of – indeed, active demand for – more ambitious policy interventions.

Such public expressions of concern will be motivated by particular cultural values, which will need to come to be expressed more strongly. Drawing extensively on social psychology research, this report identifies ‘intrinsic’ values – including those of affiliation, self-acceptance, community feeling and universalism – as being of crucial importance in underpinning public expressions of concern about environmental and humanitarian issues.

The report examines some of the key factors that determine which values come to be of particular importance culturally, and the implications for those political leaders who see that they have a responsibility to help strengthen intrinsic values. Happily, the report identifies strong traditions of political thought on both the left and right that prioritise intrinsic values. In closing, it foresees the possibility of establishing a new centre of gravity in political debate: one that works systematically to strengthen intrinsic values.

  • David Boyle

    David Boyle is Leader of the Independent Review of barriers to choice in public services and author of a range of books about history, social change, politics and the future.  He has been editor of a number of publications including...

  • Tom Crompton

    Tom Crompton is Change Strategist at WWF-UK. He leads WWF-UK’s Strategies for Change Project, and is author of Weathercocks and Signposts: The Environment Movement at a Crossroads (WWF,  2008) and (with Tim Kasser) Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role of Human...

  • Martin Kirk

    Martin Kirk is Head of UK Campaigns at Oxfam. He leads Oxfam’s campaigning across England, Scotland and Wales, on issues ranging from reform of the global food system to the Robin Hood Tax. He is the co-author of Finding Frames:...

  • Guy Shrubsole

    Research Associate

    Guy Shrubsole is Director of Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC), an independent charity whose work is aimed towards building a sustainable society. He previously worked for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and New Zealand’s Ministry...

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