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3 - Empowered Democratic Agency in the Anthropocene

Reconciling People to Nature and Each Other

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 August 2021

Walter F. Baber
Affiliation:
California State University, Long Beach
Robert V. Bartlett
Affiliation:
University of Vermont
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Summary

If there is no corner of the natural world that is beyond human influence, then no corner of the world lies beyond the human responsibility implied by our moral agency. The question of agency is critical to any strategy of global political transformation one might imagine. Agency is not merely a matter of knowledge (beginning with self-knowledge) or autonomy (as the absence of restraint or coercion) or both. Effective practice presumes capability. For an agent to be held responsible, the capability of effective action must exist. Agents of governance are not merely political actors. They are, rather, any authoritative actors who have both the legitimacy and capacity to act. The agency of those outside of the core governance institutions and processes should not be limited to a support role. Doing so both degrades the quality of decision-making and marginalizes those whose agency should be enhanced by self-governance.

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Type
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Democratic Norms of Earth System Governance
Deliberative Politics in the Anthropocene
, pp. 47 - 76
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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