Ecological Politics and Democratic Theory: The Challenge to the Deliberative Ideal

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This volume examines the reasons why some despair at the prospects for an ecological form of democracy, and challenges the recent `deliberative turn' in environmental political thought. Deliberative democracy has become popular for those seeking a reconciliation of these two forms of politics. Demand for equal access to a public forum in which the best argument will prevail appears to offer a way of incorporating environmental interests into the democratic process. This book argues that deliberative theory, far from being friendly to the environmental movement, shackles the ability those seeking radical change to make their voices heard in the most effective manner. Mathew Humphrey challenges beliefs about the relationship between ecological politics and democracy at a time when those who take direct action are being swept up in the War on Terror. By calling for a more open and contested form of democracy, in which the boundaries of what constitutes `acceptable' behaviour are not decided in advance of actual debate, Ecological Politics and Democratic Theory is an original contribution to the literature on environmental politics, ecological thought and democracy.