Democratic deliberation and the normative dimensions of environmental change Baber, Walter F. Bartlett, Robert V. Freie Universität Berlin, Fachbereich Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften, Forschungsstelle für Umweltpolitik
Democratic deliberation and the normative dimensions of environmental change
mapping and developing consensus for governance
Baber, Walter F.
Bartlett, Robert V.
Freie Universität Berlin, Fachbereich Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften, Forschungsstelle für Umweltpolitik
The linkages among society and the environment generate normative challenges across at least three distinct dimensions. First, environmental change imposes costs (both individual and collective) that fall disproportionately on various social groups, often those who have historically suffered from disadvantage and disenfranchisement. Second, the necessity to create institutional arrangements for managing environmental change and integrating those decisions with collective choices in other areas poses value-laden questions of policy design. Third, the human causes and consequences of environmental change and the collective choices they involve pit citizens and their understandings of the world against one another at the level of social action.
The task confronting environmental governance analysts in responding to these challenges is to describe accurately and progressively develop the normative, political, and social consensus necessary for managing society-environment linkages in ways that are both ecologically sustainable and democratically legitimate. The work of deliberative theory offers a coherent approach to this task when deliberative techniques are mapped onto these human dimensions of environmental change. Deliberative democrats analyze the issues of distributional justice and social equity by using hypothetical case scenarios in juristic modeling exercises to describe existing elements of normative consensus regarding general legal principles. They employ techniques of deliberative polling to measure support for alternative policy paradigms that institutionalize policy goals and objectives related to the society-environment linkage. And deliberative democrats promote stakeholder partnerships that allow contending local discourses regarding the implementation of environmental policies to be reconciled through the coproduction of regulatory programs and procedures. Mapping and specifying these approaches to developing normative consensus for governance (as represented in a 4 X 3 table which, unfortunately, we cannot attach or present here) is the objective of this paper.
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