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The Liberal Tragedy of the Commons: The Deficiency of Democracy in the Light of Climate Change


Wallimann-Helmer, Ivo (2015). The Liberal Tragedy of the Commons: The Deficiency of Democracy in the Light of Climate Change. In: Birnbacher, Dieter; Thorseth, May. The Politics of Sustainability. Philosophical Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 20-35.

Abstract

In this paper, I argue that the normative framework of liberal democracy is one of the sources of the failure of international climate politics. The liberal framework makes it very likely that at least some democracies will not consent to an international agreement to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. In this situation, the institution of judicial review might be viewed as crucial to overcome the risk of a tragedy of the commons. However, judicial review cannot serve this purpose in the case of climate change and an institutional change of the kind required cannot be derived from within the normative framework of liberal democracy itself.

In this paper, I argue that the normative framework of liberal democracy is one of the sources of the failure of international climate politics. The liberal framework makes it very likely that at least some democracies will not consent to an international agreement to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. In this situation, the institution of judicial review might be viewed as crucial to overcome the risk of a tragedy of the commons. However, judicial review cannot serve this purpose in the case of climate change and an institutional change of the kind required cannot be derived from within the normative framework of liberal democracy itself.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology > Center for Ethics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
08 University Research Priority Programs > Ethics
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:28 Nov 2014 15:27
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:33
Publisher:Routledge
Related URLs:http://www.tandf.net/books/details/9781138854291/
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-101441

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