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Local Deliberation and the Favouring of Nature

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The central contention of theories of deliberative democracy is that deliberative arrangements should encourage (but by no means guarantee) the support of interests that are general to all. Democratic theorists have also suggested that the natural environment will be a likely beneficiary following public deliberation, given the inherent rationality in supporting interests that will lead to the long-term survival of the planet. This paper addresses the question of general environmental interests through two case studies in Australian local government and argues there are at least three factors that affect the ability of notionally deliberative arrangements to deliver outcomes that appear favourable to the natural environment.

Keywords: deliberation; environment; local government; self-interest; sustainability

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2014) of 1.056.
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