The Environmental Issue in Politicians’ Minds: A Case Study in Quebec

By Corinne Gendron, Alice Friser, Gabriel Legaré and Johanna-Maud Egoroff.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice

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This paper presents the preliminary results of a study on the comprehension of the environmental issue by the political elite of Quebec. The study is being led under the direction of Professor Corinne Gendron, Chairholder in social responsibility and sustainable development at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). It relies on the analysis of interviews led with 16 provincial deputies and explores the group's social representations of the State, economy and economic growth, businesses, social and environmental issues, pressure groups and sustainable development. The results are compared to those obtained in a previous study on Quebec's economic elite’ social representations of the aforementioned themes, and then used to assess to complete and refine our analysis of the ecological modernization process in Quebec.

Keywords: Social Representations, Environment, Environmental Issue, Sustainable Development, Politics, Political Elite, Politicians, Deputies, State, Economy, Development, Social Transformations, Quebec, Economic Growth, Ecological Modernization

The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.145-154. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 472.217KB).

Professor Corinne Gendron

Tenured Professor, Département de stratégie, responsabilité sociale et environnementale, École des sciences de la gestion, Chaire de responsabilité sociale et développement durable, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

After studying law at the University of Montreal, Corinne Gendron became member of the bar in 1990 and completed a MBA at HEC. She is pursuing doctoral studies in sociology at the University of Quebec in Montreal. Her work obtained the prize of best thesis in 2001 from the Research Institute on Contemporary Economics. After realizing a post-doctorate at the INRS, Corinne Gendron was hired at UQAMs School of Management Science, where she teaches in the Strategy, Social and Environmental Department. In 2004, Ms. Gendron became head of the Research Chair in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development, where she has directed several research programs regarding sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, globalization, new social economic movements, and fair trade. She has published several works including Quel commerce equitable pour demain? (2009) and Vous avez dit développement durable? (2008). Ms. Gendron has also published numerous articles on sustainable development, social responsibility, and new regulations, as well as spoken at various conferences about these themes.

Alice Friser

Graduate Student, Département de stratégie, responsabilité sociale et environnementale, École des sciences de la gestion, Chaire de responsabilité sociale et développement durale, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Alice Friser is a PhD student at Université du Québec à Montréal and a researcher at the Chair for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility in Montréal. She holds a BA in anthropology, a MA in environmental sciences, and is interested in sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, governance, and power relations. Her PhD thesis is about multi-stakeholder collaboration and learning in the context of Quebec's Plan Nord.

Gabriel Legaré

Graduate Student, Institut des sciences de l'environnement, Chaire de responsabilité sociale et développement durable, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

After completing a first degree in international law and international relations at the UQAM, Gabriel Legaré entered the Master in Environmental Sciences Program in 2010 at the same university. From there, he worked at the Research Chair in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development (CRSDD) on a research project on the social representations of Quebec's political elite. Interested in all questions referring to the "economy - environment" problem, he's doing his thesis on the relation between the environmental issue and social economy.

Johanna-Maud Egoroff

Graduate Student, Institut des sciences de l'environnement, Chaire de responsabilité sociale et développement durale, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

After having completed her first degree in sociology, she entered the Master in Environmental Sciences Program in 2010, at UQAM. She then integrated the research chair of social responsibility and sustainable development. She's doing her thesis on sustainable agriculture.