Climate Crisis and the Democratic Prospect: Participatory Governance in Sustainable Communities

ISBN : 9780199594924

Frank Fischer
352 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jun 2017
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Can contemporary democratic governments tackle climate crisis? Some argue that democracy has to be a central part of a strategy to deal with climate change. Others argue that experience shows it not to be up to the challenge in the time frame available-that it will require a stronger hand, even a form of eco-authoritarianism. A question that does not lend itself to an easy assessment, this volume seeks to out and assess the competing answers. While the book supports the case for environmental democracy, it argues that establishing and sustaining democratic practices will be difficult during the global climate turmoil ahead, especially in the face of state of emergencies. This inquiry undertakes a search for an appropriate political-ecological strategy for preserving a measure of democratic governance during hard times. Without ignoring the global dimensions of the crisis, the analysis finds an alternative path in the theory and practices participatory environmental governance embodied in a growing relocalization movement, and global eco-localism generally. Although such movements largely operate under the radar of the social sciences, the media and the political realm generally, these vibrant socio-ecological movements not only speak to the crisis ahead, but are already well established and thriving on the ground, including ecovillages, eco-communes, eco-neighborhoods, and local transition initiatives. With the help of these ideas and projects, the task is to influence the discourse of environmental political theory in ways that can be of assistance to those who will face climate crisis in its full magnitude.



Part I: Climate Change, Crisis and the Future of Democracy: Setting the Stage
1 Ecological Crisis and Climate Change: From State of Emergency to 'Fortress World'?
2 Democracy at Risk: Citizen Environmentalism and the Technocratic Challenge
3 Technocratic Strategy as Central Steering: From Sustainable Development to Transition Management

Part II: Democratic Prospects in Face of Climate Crisis
4 Democratic Environmental Participation and Ecological Citizenship: From Theoretical Ideas to Practical Alternatives?
5 The Green State as Environmental Democracy? Political Power, Globalization. and Post-Democracy

Part III: Environmental Democracy as Participatory Governance
6 Participatory Environmental Governance: Citizens, Civil Society, and Collaborative Expertise
7 Participatory Forestry and the Community Forest Movement in Nepal: Deliberative Politics and Participatory Policy Expertise
8 Participatory Environmental Governance: The Global Ecovillage Movement

Part IV: Making Theory Matter: From Resilience to Eco-Localism and Participatory Governance
9 Urban Sustainability, Eco-Cities, and Transition Towns: Resilience Theory as Apolitical Practice
10 Relocalization for Sustainable Communities: Participatory Ecological Practices and Theoretical Foundations
11 Democracy, Sustainability, and Participatory Environmental Governance: Toward Theory for Hard Times

About the author: 

Professor Frank Fischer has been Distinguished Professor of Politics and Global Affairs at Rutgers University and is currently Senior Faculty Fellow at the University of Kassel in Germany and Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Environmental Policy Research at the Free University of Berlin. He has published 15 books on public policy and environmental politics and taught and lectured around the world. He is also co-editor of Critical Policy Studies journal and one of the founders of the International Interpretive Policy Analysis Conference. He also received the Harold Lasswell Award for contributions to the field of Public Policy Studies from Policy Studies Organization.

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