Political consumerism and public policy: good complements against market failures?
According to Rajendra Pachauri (2008), the solution to global warming – and potentially other global environmental concerns – could only result from individuals’ mobilization through voluntary actions as responsible international citizens. The citizen consumer mentioned by Pachauri relies on “consumption practices aimed at engaging the citizens’ moral responsibility and taking into account social and environmental criteria in the purchase process according to the sustainable development principle” (Mylondo 2005). It thus refers to consumers’ preferences towards goods and services with social and environmental production and distribution conditions that are consistent with sustainability (Begaudin and Demontrand 2007; Ferrando y Puig and Giamporcaro-Saunière 2005). The literature gives different terms for this citizen engagement of consumers in the economic sphere such as: citizen, ethical, green, sustainable, or socially conscious consumerism (Theron 2010). In this study, we use the more encompassing term of “political consumerism”, defined by Micheletti et al.