Breaking away from Liberal Democracy: Ecological Governance and Democratic Politics

Li Meng


Most of the scholars take the Ecological problems as technical or social issues. Ultimately, effective ecological governance requires the support from democratic institutions. The mainstream liberal democratic system seems unable to prompted ecological balance, which propose inequality, completion and confrontation. New democratic ideals need to be adopted to support ecological governance. At the global level, it needs the concrete and authoritative democratic mechanism with great legitimacy and executive capacity; at the regional level, the democratic mechanism which could tolerate and coordinate the conflict between different interests should be adopted; in the process of government departments’ ecological management, the democratic mechanism with clear rights and responsibilities division between sectors could play a good role; in the process of plural actors’ participation in the ecological governance, the democratic mechanism that can arouse the common public conscious, and gradually form the public reason might a better choice. All the mechanisms above have essential conflicts with the liberal democratic system. Therefore, in the process of ecological governance, we should explore the democratic mechanisms which can remedy the defects of liberal democratic system. The theories and practices of deliberative and participatory democracy can provide many inspirations.

Key words: Ecological Governance; Liberalism; Deliberative Democracy; Participatory Democracy

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