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Abstract: Sustainability transitions require altered individual behaviors. Policies aiming to make people change their consumption behavior are designed according to efficiency, consistency, and sufficiency principles. Taking into account shortcomings of the first two principles, this paper specifically addresses the sufficiency principle. Sufficiency policies are not very popular due to the fear that they may impede the quality of life. This fear might be eased when highlighting the motivational side of sustainable behavior, such as the wish to care for future generations. We use the capability approach (CA), to (a) include the differentiation between self- and other-oriented goals; to (b) build on its success in assessing quality of life; and (c), in assessing the sustainability of behavior and policies. These facets make CA suitable to analyze the effectiveness of sufficiency policies on sustainability and quality of life. To better understand the motivational side of sustainable behavior, CA is enriched through approaches from environmental psychology, developing the idea of intrinsic empowerment for sufficiency policies.
Keywords: behavioral model, capability approach, sufficiency, altruism, intrinsic empowerment