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Global democracy and earth system governance

Dryzek, John S, Hayley Stevenson. 2011. Global democracy and earth system governance. Ecological Economics, 70 (11): 1865-1874.

Abstract

The issue of climate change confirms the global reach of earth system governance, whose legitimacy and effectiveness could gain from democratisation. While electoral democracy as practised in states provides no model for global democracy, lessons drawn from the performance and history of states prove helpful in identifying the elements that a well functioning ecological democracy ought to strive for. We capture these elements through reference to the idea of a deliberative system, and show how the idea of such a system can be used to analyse, evaluate, and provide prescriptions for the global governance of climate change.

Research Highlights

  • Democracy is essential for legitimate and effective earth system governance.
  • Conventional liberal democracy is inappropriate at the global level.
  • Elements of global democracy are found in the notion of a deliberative system.
  • A rudimentary deliberative system exists in global climate governance.
  • Democratising global climate governance requires overcoming weaknesses in the deliberative system.

Keywords: 

Earth system governance; Deliberative democracy; Climate change; Deliberative system

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