Sustainable Consumption


Putting Sustainable Consumption into Practice, Special issue of Journal of Consumer Policy, Edited by John Th?gersen and Ulf Schrader; Deadline 31 Jan 2010

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In order to give you better opportunities to finish your Christmas holiday work, the deadline for submissions to the Journal of Consumer Policy Special Issue on ‘Putting Sustainable Consumption into Practice’ has been extended to January 31st, 2010. The call for papers is below.

Season’s greetings,

John Thøgersen (editor) and Ulf Schrader (guest editor)

Call for Papers for a Journal of Consumer Policy Special Issue on

‘Putting Sustainable Consumption into Practice’

Editor: John Thøgersen (Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University)

Guest Editor: Ulf Schrader (Technical University of Berlin)

Private consumption is increasingly blamed for environmental pollution and resource depletion. Affluent consumers’ choices are also seen as the root cause of unfair conditions for producers and production workers in developing countries, including child labour, unhealthy working conditions, and unfair terms of trade. On this background, it has been suggested that, in modern societies, it is neither possible nor ethically justifiable to pursue the traditional model of consumer sovereignty, focussing on individual utility maximization only. Consumers have at least a co-responsibility for the consequences of their choices (Hansen, U., & Schrader, U. (1997). A modern model of consumption for a sustainable society. Journal of Consumer Policy, 20, 443-468). Others warn that policy makers and corporations often stretch the attribution of responsibility to consumers too far, given individual consumers’ limited ability to influence pollution, resource use, labour conditions, etc. (Thøgersen, J. (2005). How may consumer policy empower consumers for sustainable lifestyles? Journal of Consumer Policy, 28, 143-178). In such cases, policy makers risk producing consumer helplessness, denial, and reaction and their procrastination results in lost momentum in terms of effectively dealing with the serious problems that we face.

Along these and similar arguments, much has been said on the necessity and the constraints of sustainable consumption. This special issue now asks how a necessary change can happen ­ despite existing obstacles, which have to be taken into account. Relevant topics include (1) how consumers can be motivated and empowered to act as consumer citizens and foster sustainable development, (2) how governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as companies can provide the adequate infrastructure for consumers instead of engaging in ‘victim-blaming’, (3) how consumers can interact with each other and with other partners to create new sustainable options.

This special issue of the Journal of Consumer Policy (JCP) focuses on solutions for a sustainable future ­ without being naive and neglecting goal conflicts or rebound effects. The paper should contribute to the development of a consumer policy which promotes sustainable consumption. Both policy-oriented and policy relevant papers are welcome. The editors welcome contributions reflecting different disciplinary perspectives, methodological approaches, international and cross-cultural contexts. While empirical papers (especially on successful examples) are strongly encouraged, theoretical and conceptual contributions are also appreciated.

The papers for this special issue have to be submitted before December 31st, 2009. NB: NOTICE NEW DEADLINE: JANUARY 31st, 2010.

Further details for submission are available at the journal website:

John Thøgersen
PhD, dr. merc.
Department of Marketing & Statistics
Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University
Haslegaardsvej 10
8210 Aarhus V
Tel.: +45 8948 6440
Journal of Consumer Policy, Editor