Political Science 2137 December Exam Notes.docx

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Political Science
Political Science 2137
Ross Gibbons

Section IV: Liberal Democracy - Liberal democracy = dominate political system in the western world - Mark Sagoff argues: all individuals have preferences as both citizens and consumer, but that their higher citizen preferences can only be expressed through democratic means o Belief that citizen preferences are far more likely to be conducive to environmental conservation values than are consumer preferences o Says little about the detailed institutional implications of his liberal democratic argument - Robert Paehlke o The last three and a half decades of environmental concern have been accomplished not by the centralized authoritarian structures postulated in the discourse of limits and survival but also by the exact opposite o Environmental concern has lead to innovations - Effective environmental problem-solving is democratic and open, not administrative and authoritarian - Marcel Wissenburg  More philosophical emphasizes the LIBERAL in liberal democracy o Against those who believe that liberal individualism is a contributing cause of environmental crisis o Individualism = individual responsibility (ECODUTIES) o Solution: he offers a series of GREEN AMENDMENTS that would redeem liberalism for the environment - William P. Ophuls and A. Stephen Boyan Jr: Believe that liberal democracy is irredeemable o Focus on the US  liberal democracy gives people what they want o Unlike Sagoff, they believe that people do not express their public-spirited citizen preferences through democratic politics  they give vent to their selfish material needs - Liberal democracy is just ad addicted to permanent economic growth as is capitalism, and so equally unsustainable Mark Sagoff: The Allocation and Distribution of Resources - Few students would visit Mineral King Valley before its development of Disney. With Disney’s Ski development more would visit… BUT they all agreed that Disney’s plan was loathsome and despicable, that the Forest Service had violated public trust by approving it and the values for which we stand as a nation compels us to preserve the little wilderness we have - On these ethical and cultural grounds, and in spite of CONSUMER PREFERENCES, the students opposed the Disney plan to develop Mineral King - Public was so opposed that Congress act in 1978 prohibited it - Attempts to find a combined preference map between political and consumer preferences is bound to fail o In order to do so the individual has to act as a “rational man” since economic theory demands it but no such role exists unless it is the role of a social moron - Environmentalists are sensitive to the distributive effects of the policies they favour politically but they do not necessarily support these policies for the sake of those effects o Poor paying the cost of environmental protection while rich get the benefits of it - Not all policy issues allow neat separation between issues of allocation and issues of distribution - You can’t discover fundamental truths about Man/Civil Society/the State with efficient & equality trade-offs. Social regulations are based in public values and are found in legislation - Social rate of discount: used to determine how we should take the interest of future consumers into account - Whatever policies we make today will make the people born in the future better off than they would be if we didn’t make the policy o If we leave them an environment that’s fit for pigs they will be like pigs - Conflict: how we satisfy out interests and how we live by our beliefs. o This sort of question could never arise in a society that made efficiency and equity in the satisfaction of consumer demand its only goals - Public officials discuss the meaning of magnificent environments in terms of measuring to which degree consumers may exploit them. - The worth of things we love is better measured by our unwillingness to pay for them o Love  climb the highest mountain, cross the hottest desert except pay for itDIGNITY not PRICE Robert Paehlke: Democracy and Environmentalism: Opening a Door to the Administrative State - Environmentalism might harbor a threat to democratic institutions o Realistically it’s the opposite  Democratic processes were generally enhanced - Pessimist case regarding democracy in an age of environmental limits  William Orhuls & Robert Heilbroner - Passmore: people will prefer any sort of economic growth over environmental protection o All three thought  Environmentalists are anti-democratic elitists - What they underestimated  at least some nations may find an answer to future economic, environmental and resource problems in MORE rather than LESS democracy. - Expertise is necessary to achieving effective environmental decision-making but it is not sufficient - National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 1969 o The public involvement that NEPA has induced is so FORMAL, PREDICTABLE and PROPOSAL- ORIENTED that it seems to have stifled meaningful dialogue between citizens and agencies - Legitimation can prove to be very important to environmentalists, especially in political contexts wherein environmentalism is less favored by the political leadership of the day, or of lesser interest to the public at large - Every major piece of U.S. environmental legislation allowed for the public participation in environmental decision making - Reagan administration tried close the open doors in environmental administration but in 8 years failed to do so o Environmentalism grew in strength instead of fading - Blocked the cosmetic use of pesticides on lawns in several cities in Canada including T.O. - Most important use of environmental Royal Commissions in Canada  federal gov’ts Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry (a.k.a. first Berger Commissions) led by Mr. Justice Thomas R. Berger - Level of public concern on GMOs is higher in Europe than in N. America  implies there is a public involvement tipping point at which the use of inquiry process cannot be avoided - Environmentalists have highly valued both the protection and the further development o democratic institutions - General public would be more open to accepting restraints on such forms of economic growth - Political participation can help make the necessary effort as well as the attended redistribution of costs and benefits fairer and more widely understood - Environmental politics especially N. America must be a centrist democratic politics - Environmentalists should continue to emphasize the positive side of their program – sustainable and decentralized economic development and employment opportunities - Environmentalism cannot be successful in the long run w/o continuous enhancements of opportunities for democratic participation Marcel Wissenburg: Sustainability and the Limits of Liberalism - There are 7 REVISIONIST propos
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