Deliberative environmental politics: democracy and ecological rationality
In Deliberative Environmental Politics, Walter Baber and Robert Bartlett link political theory with the practice of environmental politics, arguing that the "deliberative turn" in democratic theory presents an opportunity to move beyond the policy stalemates of interest group liberalism and offers a foundation for reconciling rationality, strong democracy, and demanding environmentalism. Deliberative democracy, which presumes that the essence of democracy is deliberation—thoughtful and discursive public participation in decision making—rather than voting, interest aggregation, or rights, has the potential to produce more environmentally sound policy decisions and a more ecologically rational form of environmental governance.
Baber and Bartlett defend deliberative democracy's relevance to environmental politics in the twenty-first century against criticisms from other theorists. They critically examine three major models for deliberative democracy—those of John Rawls, Jurgen Habermas, and advocates of full liberalism such as Amy Gutman, Dennis Thompson, and James Bohman—and analyze the implications of each of these approaches for ecologically rational environmental politics as well as for institutions, citizens, experts, and social movements. In order to establish that democracy is ecologically sustainable and that environmental protection can (and must) become a norm of culture rather than a mere fact of government, they argue, new models of ecological deliberation and deliberative environmentalism are required.
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Normative Precommitment in Environmental Politics
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administrative advocates approach arena argued argument Baber Bartlett Bohman challenge citizens complexity concept consensus constitutional critical critical theory cultural deliberative democracy deliberative institutions deliberative polling deliberative process democratic discourse ethics Dryzek ecofeminism ecological rationality economic Enlightenment environment environmental democracy environmental justice environmental movement environmental politics environmental protection environmentalists equal example expertise experts fact full liberalism fundamental groups Gutmann and Thompson Habermas Habermas's human ibid idols individual instrumental rationality interest-group liberalism interests issues John Rawls legitimacy legitimate liberative democracy ment modern moral nature NIMBYs normative organizations original position outcomes participants participatory parties perspective pluralism possible potential practical precommitments principles of justice problem problematic procedures public deliberation public discourse public reason public sphere Rawls Rawls's Rawlsian requires rhetoric role scientific sense social movements society special masters structure substantive suggests theorists theory tion tional tive values veil of ignorance will-formation