The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty

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MIT Press, Mar 5, 2004 - Political Science - 348 pages

What would constitute a definitively "green" state? In this important new book, Robyn Eckersley explores what it might take to create a green democratic state as an alternative to the classical liberal democratic state, the indiscriminate growth-dependent welfare state, and the neoliberal market-focused state—seeking, she writes, "to navigate between undisciplined political imagination and pessimistic resignation to the status quo." In recent years, most environmental scholars and environmentalists have characterized the sovereign state as ineffectual and have criticized nations for perpetuating ecological destruction. Going consciously against the grain of much current thinking, this book argues that the state is still the preeminent political institution for addressing environmental problems. States remain the gatekeepers of the global order, and greening the state is a necessary step, Eckersley argues, toward greening domestic and international policy and law.

The Green State seeks to connect the moral and practical concerns of the environmental movement with contemporary theories about the state, democracy, and justice. Eckersley's proposed "critical political ecology" expands the boundaries of the moral community to include the natural environment in which the human community is embedded. This is the first book to make the vision of a "good" green state explicit, to explore the obstacles to its achievement, and to suggest practical constitutional and multilateral arrangements that could help transform the liberal democratic state into a postliberal green democratic state. Rethinking the state in light of the principles of ecological democracy ultimately casts it in a new role: that of an ecological steward and facilitator of transboundary democracy rather than a selfish actor jealously protecting its territory.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Critical Political Ecology
8
A Provisional Starting Point
11
14 Three Core Challenges
13
The State and Global Anarchy
19
22 Neoliberalism Environmental Regimes and the Limits of Problem Solving
28
23 Critical Constructivism and Social Learning
33
The State and Global Capitalism
53
The Moral and Epistemological Challenges
119
The Political and Institutional Challenges
127
The Greening of the Democratic State
139
62 The State Civil Society and the Public Sphere
142
63 A Green Critique and Reconstruction of the Habermasian Democratic State
150
Cosmopolitan Democracy versus the Transnational State
171
72 Communitarian or Cosmopolitan Democracy?
179
73 The Transnational State as a Facilitator of Ecological Citizenship
190

32 EcoMarxism the Welfare State and Legitimation Crisis
54
33 From the Welfare State to the Competition State
65
Just a New Competitive Strategy?
70
35 Globalization Sustainability and the State
79
The Limits of the Liberal Democratic State
85
42 The Ecological Critique of the Administrative State
88
43 The Ecological Critique of Liberal Democracy
93
44 An Immanent Ecological Critique of Liberal Dogmas
104
From Liberal to Ecological Democracy
111
52 The Intuitive Green Appeal of Deliberative Democracy
115
74 UnitDriven Transformation and the Power of Example
198
Green Evolutions in Sovereignty
203
82 New Developments in Global Environmental Law and Policy
211
83 Ecological Harm Nonintervention and Ecologically Responsible Statehood
228
Sovereignty and Democracy Working Together
241
Notes
255
Bibliography
297
Index
317
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Robyn Eckersley is Reader/Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty (MIT Press, 2004).

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