Rejecting Eco-Authoritarianism, Again

Environmental Values 24 (3):345-366 (2015)

Dan C. Shahar
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Ecologically-motivated authoritarianism flourished initially during the 1970s but largely disappeared after the decline of socialism in the late-1980s. Today, 'eco- authoritarianism ' is beginning to reassert itself, this time modelled not after the Soviet Union but modern-day China. The new eco-authoritarians denounce central planning but still suggest that governments should be granted powers that free them from subordination to citizens' rights or democratic procedures. I argue that current eco-authoritarian views do not present us with an attractive alternative to market liberal democracy even if we take a highly pessimistic view of our shared prospects under the latter sort of regime.
Keywords Eco-authoritarianism  authoritarianism and the environment  democracy and the environment  ecological crisis  liberalism and the environment
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DOI 10.3197/096327114X13947900181996
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