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Democracy and the Environment

Problems and Prospects Edited by William M. Lafferty, Director, Programme for Research and Documentation for a Sustainable Society (ProSus), Norway and Professor of Strategic Research for Sustainable Development, Centre for Clean Technology and Environmental Policy (CSTM), University of Twente, the Netherlands and James Meadowcroft, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
A complex relationship exists between democratic politics and the management of the environment. Democracy and the Environment presents major new work on the challenges and dilemmas which environmental problems pose for the processes of democratic politics.
Extent: 304 pp
Paperback Price: $43.00 Web: $34.40
Publication Date: 1998
ISBN: 978 1 85898 773 6
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Economic History
  • History of Economic Thought
  • Environment
  • Environmental Politics and Policy
  • Environmental Sociology
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Environmental Politics and Policy
  • European Politics and Policy
A complex relationship exists between democratic politics and the management of the environment. Democracy and the Environment presents major new work on the challenges and dilemmas which environmental problems pose for the processes of democratic politics.

The relationship between environmental values and goals and democratic theory and practice is explored through original essays by established scholars whose conclusions are then integrated by the editors into a concluding essay. This major book illustrates and analyses the many ways in which environmental problems pose difficulties for democratic decision-makers. Environmental problems impact across established regional and national boundaries, and involve complex social processes, intricate patterns of loss and gain, and time scales which do not synchronise with electoral political systems. The essays in Democracy and the Environment reflect critically upon the experience of democratic states, explore the contradiction between popular participation and environmental management, and consider the kind of reforms needed to enhance the capacity of democratic systems to handle environmental problems.

Focusing on the democratic process and combining theoretical and empirical analysis with discussion of the pragmatic implications, the authors present constructive criticism and analysis which seeks to encourage more effective environmental decision making and the promotion of global sustainable development.
‘Democracy and the Environment brings together an impressive array of authors who are well known and influential within environmental politics and policy making. These include Andrew Dobson, Timothy O’Riordan, John Dryzek, Robert Paehlke and Daniel J. Fiorino, amongst others. . . . This is an excellent collection and the variety of approaches taken by the different authors means that it will be of interest both for teaching and for research purposes.’
– G. Smith, Environment and Planning B

‘This book will be of considerable interest both to political theorists and to analysts of public policy. It is a coherent volume which manages to successfully integrate theoretical and empirical questions.’
– Wyn Grant, University of Warwick, UK

‘This commendable book taps into a rich vein of democratic processes and the centrality of environmental issues to the broader polity. I suspect I am not alone in feeling that the long overdue resurgence of British local government could also derive from these very sources.’
– Paul Selman, Local Government Studies
Contributors: W. Achterberg, S. Baker, A. Bichsel, A. Dobson, J.S. Dryzek, D.J. Fiorino, P. Gasbergen, M. Jänicke, W.M. Lafferty, J. Meadowcroft, T. O’Riordan, R. Paehlke, B. Pepperman Taylor, S. Witherspoon
Contents: 1. Democracy and the Environment: Congruence and Conflict – Preliminary Reflections (W.M. Lafferty, J. Meadowcroft) 2. Environmental Challenges to Democratic Practice (R. Paehlke) 3. Democracy, the Environment and Public Opinion in Western Europe (S. Witherspoon) 4. Democracy as a Condition for Environmental Policy Success: The Importance of Non-Institutional Factors (M. Jänicke) 5. Democracy and Environmental Ethics (B.Pepperman Taylor) 6. Strategies of Ecological Democratization (J.S. Dryzek) 7. Representative Democracy and the Environment (A. Dobson) 8. Democracy and the Sustainability Transition (T. O’Riordan) 9. Sustainability and Associative Democracy (W. Achterberg) 10. Learning to Manage the Environment (P. Glasbergen) 11. Environmental Policy and the Participation Gap (D.J. Fiorino) 12. Environmental Policy in the European Union: Institutional Dilemmas and Democratic Practice (S. Baker) 13. NGOs as Agents of Public Accountability and Democratization in Intergovernmental Forums (A. Bichsel) 14. Democracy and the Environment: Prospects for Greater Congruence (W.M. Lafferty, J. Meadowcroft) Index