This work provides a reflective assessment of recent developments, social relevance and future of environmental political theory, concluding that although the alleged pacification of environmentalism is more than skin deep, it is not yet quite deep enough. This book will appeal to students and researchers of social science and philosophers with an interest in environmental issues.
Several prominent analysts, including Heilbroner, Ophuls, and Passmore, have drawn bleak conclusions regarding the implications of contemporary environmental realities for the future of democracy. I establish, however, that the day-to-day practice of environmental politics has often had an opposite effect: democratic processes have been enhanced. I conclude that the resolution of environmental problems may weIl be more promising within a political context which is more rather than less democratic.
What is the optimal political framework for environmental reform reform on a scale commensurate with the global ecological crisis? In particular, how adequate are liberal forms of parliamentary democracy to the challenge posed by this crisis? These are the questions pondered by the contributors to this volume. Exploration of the possibilities of democracy gives rise to certain common themes. These are the relation between ecological morality and political structures or procedures and the question of the structure of decision-making (...) and distribution of information in political systems. The idea of 'democracy without traditional boundaries' is discussed as a key both to environmentalism in an age of global ecology and to the revitalisation of democracy itself in a world of increasingly protean constituencies and mutable boundaries. (shrink)
Roy Scranton argues for a new philosophical humanism as the best response to the existential crisis of the Anthropocene, the new geological epoch for which human industrial activity is responsible. This threat from climate change, Scranton argues, is better met through what he calls photohumanism than by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics alone. This new humanism shares many affinities with pluralistic humanism. A key concern is political action, which is problematized by what Tschaepe calls dopamine democracy. Scranton shares this (...) concern, but his approach puts too great an emphasis on binaries, such as culture and nature, mind and body, and life and death. I offer the philosophical method of reconstruction, as situated within pluralistic humanism and the philosophy of John Dewey. In introducing the need for reconstruction as a method for doing philosophy in a new but ancient sense of learning to die, I reconstruct photohumanism and offer the Deweyan ideal of democracy for overcoming the problem of the Anthropocene. (shrink)
One of the key questions to have exercised green political theorists in recent years concerns the relationship of the environment 'agenda' and democracy. Both environmentalists and democrats have a tendency to think of each other as natural bedfellows but in fact there is little theoretical or practical reason why they should be. Indeed some theorists have argued that the environmental movement has grown from fundamentally authoritarian roots and it is arguable that the only really effective way of implementing environmental (...) politics is by imposing them in an authoritarian manner. This book deals with the tensions between democracy and environmentalism from a variety of theoretical and empirical perspectives. (shrink)
This book examines the relationship between environmental and democratic thought and the apparent compatibility of ecology and democracy. Although environmental politics is quite rightly seen as a progressive force, it has also featured a strand of extreme right "eco-authoritarianism" and its proponents have sometimes developed controversial positions on such issues as population policy. There have also been a number of situations where radical environmental activists have broken the laws of democratic societies in pursuit of ecological objectives and the book (...) examines this in a number of case studies on biotechnology, genetic engineering and biodiversity. This is a significant contribution to the literature on environmental politics, ecological thought and democracy. (shrink)
This essay reflects on three strategic visions of how society might develop in the direction of a more environmentally responsible culture. These strategies - green technology, ecocentrism, and civic environmentalism - offer promising elements of what we need. However, each fails in different ways to successfully explain how citizens, caught up in consumerist practices and their supporting belief systems, can be led to take the transformative steps needed to build a culture that engages responsibly and respectfully with the natural (...) environment. This essay aims to acknowledge the contributions of these three approaches, while also critically reflecting on their limitations. The core limitation is the unresolved clash between ecocentrism's focus on the vulnerability of nature's intrinsic value to any anthropogenic intervention and civic environmentalism's focus on the revival of strong civic democracy as a gateway to environmental health. (shrink)
Environmentalism is traversed by a dilemma between a movement toward identity politics and the impossibility of a speaking natural subject; this dilemma calls into question both the relevance of identity politics for ecological struggle and dominant classical constructions of the subject itself. Using Lacanianinspired insights on subjectivity, and the works of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe on radical democracy, I investigate the alternative versions of the subject implicit in ecological discourses and suggest that it is through these alternatives (...) that environmentalism can forge necessary alliances with other movements oriented toward human liberation. In particular, the very impossibility of a natural speaking subject suggests that the ecological project of redefining humanity’s relationships to nonhuman nature(s) is always contingent on reorienting human subjectivity itself; this fact highlights the centrality of political coalition between ecological and other social movements. (shrink)
In The March of Unreason, Dick Taverne expresses his concern that irrationality is on the rise in Western society, and argues that public opinion is increasingly dominated by unreflecting prejudice and an unwillingness to engage with factual evidence. Discussing topics such as genetically modified crops and foods, organic farming, the MMR vaccine, environmentalism, the precautionary principle, and the new anti-capitalist and anti-globalization movements, he argues that the rejection of the evidence-based approach nurtures a culture of suspicion, distrust, and cynicism, (...) and leads to dogmatic assertion and intolerance. Science, with all the benefits it brings, is an essential part of a civilized and democratic society: it offers the most hopeful future for humankind. (shrink)
This paper examines the recent ?deliberative turn? in environmental political thought with particular regard to demands concerning the employment of public reason in democratic deliberation. Working from John Rawls? account of the three essential elements of deliberative democracy, the paper assesses the scope for bringing environmental claims within the remit of public reason, and revisits the ?unfairness to novel reasons? objection against public reason, as articulated by Jeremy Waldron and then criticised by Lawrence Solum. I argue for a contextual (...) view of political justification. The unfairness objection is found to hold in an attenuated form, and disbarring non?public reasons from decisiveness in political justification, even on a wide view of public political culture, imposes an arbitrary unfairness on those, such as environmental activists, seeking to challenge widely shared, but possibly misguided, beliefs. (shrink)
According to republican theory, we are free persons to the extent that we are protected and secured in the same fundamental choices, on the same public basis, as one another. But there is no public protection or security without a coercive state. Does this mean that any freedom we enjoy is a superficial good that presupposes a deeper, political form of subjection? Philip Pettit addresses this crucial question in On the People's Terms. He argues that state coercion will not involve (...) individual subjection or domination insofar as we enjoy an equally shared form of control over those in power. This claim may seem utopian but it is supported by a realistic model of the institutions that might establish such democratic control. Beginning with a fresh articulation of republican ideas, Pettit develops a highly original account of the rationale of democracy, breathing new life into democratic theory. (shrink)
In this chapter I seek to provide a theoretical defense of workplace democracy that is independent from and outside the lineage of Marxist and communist theory. Common to the council movements, anarcho- syndicalism and many other forms of libertarian socialism was the idea “that workers’ self- management was central.” Yet the idea of workers’ control has not been subject to the same theoretical development as Marx’s theory, not to mention capitalist economic theory. This chapter aims to contribute at a (...) theoretical level by providing a justification and defense of self- managed workplaces that is independent of the particular historical tradition of the council movements. There is a clear and definitive case for workplace democracy based on first principles that descends to modern times through the Reformation and Enlightenment in the abolitionist, democratic and feminist movements. By the twentieth century, the arguments had been scattered and lost – like the bones of some ancient beast scattered in a desert – partly due to misconceptions, mental blocks and misinterpretations embodied in Marxism, liberalism and economic theory. When one has worked through some of these intellectual roadblocks, then one may be better able to reassemble the case for workplace democracy from well- known first principles developed in the abolitionist, democratic and feminist movements. (shrink)
This paper explores the political campaigning strategies of Lynton Crosby, and argues that they pose a threat to democracy. In doing so, I looks to shed light on Crosby’s tactics, but also to elucidate exactly what is anti-democratic about them. I argue that there are two worrying aspects to this. The first involves Crosby’s lack of respect for voters’ beliefs, interests and values, whereas the second concerns his propensity for avoiding debate.
Towards an Inclusive Democracy, it is argued, offers a powerful new interpretation of the history and destructive dynamics of the market and provides an inspiring new vision of the future in place of both neo-liberalism and existing forms of socialism. It is shown how this work synthesizes and develops Karl Polanyi’s characterization of the relationship between society and the market and Cornelius Castoriadis’ philosophy of autonomy. A central component of Fotopoulos’ argument is that social democracy can provide no (...) answer to neo-liberalism, so the only viable alternative to neo-liberalism is the form of inclusive democracy he elaborates. Reviewing Castoriadis’ concept of autonomy, it is argued that while Fotopoulos is certainly correct given the present deformed nature of social democracy, there is no reason to exclude social democracy as such from what Fotopoulos calls the tradition of autonomy. It is suggested that if the working class movement could free itself from the capitalist imaginary and return to its quest for autonomy, a synthesis of a radically reformed social democracy and inclusive democracy could greatly improve the prospects of each to successfully challenge not only neo-liberalism, but also the emerging liberal fascism of USA, Britain and Australia. (shrink)
It is argued that only the embedding of Rawlsian political liberalism within a republican framework secures the content of his view against Cohen's critique of Rawlsian special incentives. That content is fully specified in the form of a property-owning democracy; only this background set of institutions (or one functionally equivalent to it) will secure the stability of Rawls's egalitarian principles. A liberal-republicanism, rather than political liberalism alone, offers deeper grounding for our commitment to a property-owning democracy as a (...) privileged political economy for the expression of our egalitarian ideals. (shrink)
Two processes have shaped the political order of the modern age: bureaucratization and democratization. The political sociology of Max Weber is commonly associated only with the first of these. Its relationship to democracy, by contrast, seems ambiguous. Political scientists oriented towards natural law, such as Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin or Robert Eden, condemn the value-relativism of his political sociology, its agnosticism or even nihilism, and conclude that it is incapable of taking a positive stance vis-à-vis democracy. Others take (...) offence at the overemphasis on power in Weber’s theory (Aron, von Ferber), at the élitist or oligarchic understanding of politics which puts Weber close to pre-fascist élite theorists such as Mosca, Pareto or Michels (Mommsen), at the latent fascism implicit in his concept of charisma (Becker 1988) and so on. Max Weber appears as a forerunner of Carl Schmitt (Mommsen, Habermas), or as a precursor of the authoritarian and dictatorial Führerstaat (Löwith). Even those who value him for his pitiless unmasking of the illusory character of modern mass democracy and its transformation into Bonapartist Caesarism (Marcuse, Lukács) leave little doubt that they regard Weber as standing solidly on the side of the latter.1 Max Weber and democracy? Not all his interpreters, perhaps, but certainly a large number, would find ‘Max Weber contra democracy’ a more accurate title. (shrink)
This book articulates a participatory conception of deliberative democracy that takes the democratic ideal of self-government seriously. It aims to improve citizens' democratic control and vindicate the value of citizens' participation against conceptions that threaten to undermine it. The book critically analyzes deep pluralist, epistocratic, and lottocratic conceptions of democracy. Their defenders propose various institutional ''shortcuts'' to help solve problems of democratic governance such as overcoming disagreements, citizens' political ignorance, or poor-quality deliberation. However, all these shortcut proposals require (...) citizens to blindly defer to actors over whose decisions they cannot exercise control. Implementing such proposals would therefore undermine democracy. Moreover, it seems naive to assume that a community can reach better outcomes 'faster' if it bypasses the beliefs and attitudes of its citizens. Unfortunately, there are no 'shortcuts' to make a community better than its members. The only road to better outcomes is the long, participatory road that is taken when citizens forge a collective will by changing one another's hearts and minds. However difficult the process of justifying political decisions to one another may be, skipping it cannot get us any closer to the democratic ideal. Starting from this conviction, the book defends a conception of democracy ''without shortcuts''. This conception sheds new light on long-standing debates about the proper scope of public reason, the role of religion in politics, and the democratic legitimacy of judicial review. It also proposes new ways to unleash the democratic potential of institutional innovations such as deliberative minipublics. (shrink)
Dewey's book on Democracy and Education established his credentials in the field of education and once counted as his most important book. It has been re-published in many editions and continuously in print ever since the original publication in 1916.
This paper generalises the classical Condorcet jury theorem from majority voting over two options to plurality voting over multiple options. The paper further discusses the debate between epistemic and procedural democracy and situates its formal results in that debate. The paper finally compares a number of different social choice procedures for many-option choices in terms of their epistemic merits. An appendix explores the implications of some of the present mathematical results for the question of how probable majority cycles (as (...) in Condorcet's paradox) are in large electorates. (shrink)
In this paper we show how a realistic normative democratic theory can work within the constraints set by the most pessimistic empirical results about voting behavior and elite capture of the policy process. After setting out the empirical evidence and discussing some extant responses by political theorists, we argue that the evidence produces a two-pronged challenge for democracy: an epistemic challenge concerning the quality and focus of decision-making and an oligarchic challenge concerning power concentration. To address the challenges we (...) then put forward three main normative claims, each of which is compatible with the evidence. We start with (i) a critique of the epistocratic position commonly thought to be supported by the evidence. We then introduce (ii) a qualified critique of referenda and other forms of plebiscite, and (iii) an outline of a tribune-based system of popular control over oligarchic influence on the policy process. Our discussion points towards a renewal of democracy in a plebeian but not plebiscitarian direction: attention to the relative power of social classes matters more than formal dispersal of power through voting. We close with some methodological reflections about the compatibility between our normative claims and the realist program in political philosophy. (shrink)
The chapter develops a taxonomy of views about the epistemic responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. Prominent approaches to epistemic democracy, epistocracy, epistemic libertarianism, and pure proceduralism are examined through the lens of this taxonomy. The primary aim is to explore options for developing an account of the epistemic responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. The chapter also argues that a number of recent attacks on democracy may not adequately register the availability of a minimal approach (...) to the epistemic responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. (shrink)
Democracy used to be seen as a relatively mechanical matter of merely adding up everyone's votes in free and fair elections. That mechanistic model has many virtues, among them allowing democracy to 'track the truth', where purely factual issues are all that is at stake. Political disputes invariably mix facts with values, however, and then it is essential to listen to what people are saying rather than merely note how they are voting. The great challenge is how to (...) implement that deliberative ideal among millions of people at once. In this strikingly original book, Goodin offers a solution: 'democratic deliberation within'. Building on models of ordinary conversational dynamics, he suggests that people simply imagine themselves in the position of various other people they have heard or read about and ask, 'What would they say about this proposal?' Informing the democratic imaginary then becomes the key to making deliberations more reflective - more empathetic, more considered, more expansive across time and distance. (shrink)
Some interesting exceptions notwithstanding, the traditional logic of economic efficiency has long favored hierarchical forms of organization and disfavored democracy in business. What does the balance of arguments look like, however, when values besides efficient revenue production are brought into the picture? The question is not hypothetical: In recent years, an ever increasing number of corporations have developed and adopted socially responsible behaviors, thereby hybridizing aspects of corporate businesses and social organizations. We argue that the joint pursuit of financial (...) and social objectives warrants significant rethinking of organizational democracy’s merits compared both to hierarchy and to non-democratic alternatives to hierarchy. In making this argument, we draw on an extensive literature review to document the relative lack of substantive discussion of organizational democracy since 1960. And we draw lessons from political theory, suggesting that the success of political democracy in integrating diverse values offers some grounds for asserting parallel virtues in the business case. (shrink)
In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, an important conceptual battleground for democratic theorists ought to be, it would seem, the capitalist firm. We are now painfully aware that the typical model of government in so-called investor-owned companies remains profoundly oligarchic, hierarchical, and unequal. Renewing with the literature of the 1970s and 1980s on workplace democracy, a few political theorists have started to advocate democratic reforms of the workplace by relying on an analogy between firm and state. (...) To the extent that a firm is an organization comparable to the state, it too ought to be ruled along democratic lines. Our paper tests the robustness of the analogy between firm and state by considering six major objections to it: the objection from a difference in ends, the objection from shareholders’ property rights, the objection from worker’s consent, the objection from workers’ exit opportunities, the objection from workers’ expertise, and the objection from the fragility of firms. We find all of these objections wanting. While the paper does not ambition to settle the issue of workplace democracy at once, our goal is to pave the way for a more in-depth study of the ways in which firms and states can be compared and the possible implications this may have for our understanding of the nature of managerial authority and the governance of firms. (shrink)
The contemporary theory of epistemic democracy often draws on the Condorcet Jury Theorem to formally justify the ‘wisdom of crowds’. But this theorem is inapplicable in its current form, since one of its premises – voter independence – is notoriously violated. This premise carries responsibility for the theorem's misleading conclusion that ‘large crowds are infallible’. We prove a more useful jury theorem: under defensible premises, ‘large crowds are fallible but better than small groups’. This theorem rehabilitates the importance of (...) deliberation and education, which appear inessential in the classical jury framework. Our theorem is related to Ladha's (1993) seminal jury theorem for interchangeable (‘indistinguishable’) voters based on de Finetti's Theorem. We also prove a more general and simpler such jury theorem. (shrink)
Epistemic democracy is standardly characterized in terms of “aiming at truth”. This presupposes a veritistic conception of epistemic value, according to which truth is the fundamental epistemic goal. I will raise an objection to the standard (veritistic) account of epistemic democracy, focusing specifically on deliberative democracy. I then propose a version of deliberative democracy that is grounded in non-veritistic epistemic goals. In particular, I argue that deliberation is valuable because it facilitates empathetic understanding. I claim that (...) empathetic understanding is an epistemic good that doesn’t have truth as its primary goal. (shrink)
In this essay I situate John Dewey’s pragmatist approach to democratic epistemology in relation to contemporary “epistemic democracy.” Like epistemic democrats, Dewey characterizes democracy as a form of social inquiry. But whereas epistemic democrats suggest that democracy aims to “track the truth,” Dewey rejects the notion of “tracking” or “corresponding” to truth in political and other domains. For Dewey, the measure of successful decision-making is not some fixed independent standard of truth or correctness but, instead, our own (...) reflective satisfaction with the practical results. I argue that this approach better reconciles epistemic democracy with traditional models of popular authority (“the will of the people”) and bolsters the defenses of the epistemic democrat against elitist alternatives. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction: class, liberty, and popular government; Part I: 2. Peoples, patricians, and the prince; 3. Democratic republics and the oppressive appetite of young nobles; Part II: 4. The benefits and limits of popular participation and judgment; 5. Elections, lotteries and class specific institutions; 6. Political trials and 'the free way of life'; Part III: 7. Republicanism and democracy; 8. Post-electoral republics and the people's tribunate revived.
The two most influential traditions of contemporary theorizing about democracy, social choice theory and deliberative democracy, are generally thought to be at loggerheads, in that the former demonstrates the impossibility, instability or meaninglessness of the rational collective outcomes sought by the latter. We argue that the two traditions can be reconciled. After expounding the central Arrow and Gibbard-Satterthwaite impossibility results, we reassess their implications, identifying the conditions under which meaningful democratic decision making is possible. We argue that deliberation (...) can promote these conditions, and hence that social choice theory suggests not that democratic decision making is impossible, but rather that democracy must have a deliberative aspect. (shrink)
Imperialism seems to be deeply antithetical to democracy. Yet, at least one form of imperialism – what I call “hands-off imperialism" – seems to be perfectly compatible with the kind of self-governance commonly thought to be the hallmark of democracy. The solution to this puzzle is to recognize that democracy involves more than self-governance. Rather, it involves what I call self-rule. Self-rule is an example of what Philip Pettit has called a modally demanding value. Modally demanding values (...) are, roughly, values the instantiation of which depends not only on what actually happens, but on what would happen in certain non-actual circumstances. Self-rule is the modally demanding counterpart of self-governance, since it requires, not merely that the members of a state actually govern themselves, but that they would continue to do so across a range of non-actual situations. Moreover, the value of self-rule (and hence democracy) is not reducible to the value of self-governance. Understanding the modally demanding character of democracy allows us to appreciate what is democratically objectionable about occupation by a foreign power, even if there is no prospect of the foreign power intervening in the governance of the occupied state by its members. (shrink)
This paper addresses ways of arguing fors ome form of economic democracy from within a broadly Rawlsian framework. Firstly, one can argue that a right to participate in economic decision-making should be added to the Rawlsian list of basic liberties, protected by the ﬁrst principle of justice. Secondly,I argue that a society which institutes forms of economic democracy will be more likely to preserve a stable and just basic structure over time, by virtue of the effects of economic (...) democratization on the development of an active, democratic character among citizens. Thirdly, I argue that a proper understanding of the demands of the difference principle shows that justice demands more than ex post redistribution, but also requires the ex ante redistribution of power and authority in economic life. This connects to Rawls’s discussion of the badness of inequality, and to his endorsement of a “property-owning democracy”. -/- My conclusion is that, even if we may doubt the success of this ﬁrst Rawlsian argument,the second and third arguments are both successful, and together establish a strong Rawlsian case forseeing economic democratization as a requirement of justice. (shrink)
Ethics and the Community of Inquiry gets to the heart of democratic education and how best to achieve it. The book radically reshapes our understanding of education by offering a framework from which to integrate curriculum, teaching and learning and to place deliberative democracy at the centre of education reform. It makes a significant contribution to current debates on educational theory and practice, in particular to pedagogical and professional practice, and ethics education.
Although the modern age is often described as the age of democratic revolutions, the subject of popular foundings has not captured the imagination of contemporary political thought. Most of the time, democratic theory and political science treat as the object of their inquiry normal politics, institutionalized power, and consolidated democracies. The aim of Andreas Kalyvas' study is to show why it is important for democratic theory to rethink the question of its beginnings. Is there a founding unique to democracies? Can (...) a democracy be democratically established? What are the implications of expanding democratic politics in light of the question of whether and how to address democracy's beginnings? Kalyvas addresses these questions and scrutinizes the possibility of democratic beginnings in terms of the category of the extraordinary, as he reconstructs it from the writings of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Hannah Arendt and their views on the creation of new political, symbolic, and constitutional orders. (shrink)
Marx's Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (1843) makes the very case for Democracy as a privileged constitutional form that he makes in the 1844 Manuscripts for communism. Democracy is the "generic constitution" to which monarchy stands as a species. Democracy is "content and form", since the state is essentially the Demos and Democracy is goverment of the People. "Democracy is the resolved mystery of all constitutions".
This paper reviews and analyses the implications of citizenship thinking for building ethical institutional arrangements for business. The paper looks at various stakeholder groups whose relation with the company changes quite significantly when one starts to conceptualize it in terms of citizenship. Rather than being simply stakeholders, we could see those groups either as citizens, or as other constituencies participating in the administration of citizenship for others, or in societal governance more broadly. This raises crucial questions about accountability and (...) class='Hi'>democracy in stakeholder relations with the corporation. We sketch out the main currents informing and emerging from the citizenship perspective on firm-stakeholder relations; analyze specific stakeholder groups and their particular relevance in the context of a citizenship perspective; and conclude with a discussion of the broader implications in terms of building ethical institutions. (shrink)