Representing Nature and Contemporary Democracy

in Democratic Theory
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Melbourne r.eckersley@unimelb.edu.au
  • 2 University of Canberra Jean-Paul.Gagnon@canberra.edu.au
Restricted access

Modern environmentalism, whose genesis tracks mainly from the 1960s and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962), has forced the anthropocentric emphasis of democracy to account. Nonhuman actors like trees, ecological systems, and the climate have increasingly become anthropomorphized by humans representing these actors in politics. Aside from challenges to the anthropocentric concepts of citizenship, political representation, agency, and boundaries in democratic theory, environmentalism has warned of apocalyptic crises. This drives a different kind of challenge to mainly liberal democracies. Scientists and activists are becoming increasingly fed up with the seeming incompetence, slowness, and idiocy of politicians, interest groups, and electors. Eyes start to wander to that clean, well-kempt, and fast-acting gentleman called authoritarianism. The perfect shallowness of his appearance mesmerizes like a medusa those that would usually avoid him. Serfdom increasingly looks like a palpable trade-off to keep the “green” apocalypses at bay. Democracy’s only answer to this challenge is to evolve into a cleverer version of itself.

Democratic Theory

An Interdisciplinary Journal

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 15 15 4
Full Text Views 3 3 1
PDF Downloads 6 6 1