Ecological Democracy: always greener on the other side?

Monday 20 - Tuesday 21 February 2017

This event has passed


Sutherland Room | Holme Building | Science Rd, University of Sydney


Exploring the tensions and synergies between democracy and sustainability on local, national and global levels

The workshop is co-sponsored by the University of Sydney, University of Canberra and Stockholm University. The workshop will contribute to the work of the Task Force on the Conceptual Foundations of Earth System Governance, coordinated by the Earth System Governance Project.

The role of democracy in the face of global environmental threats has been subject to intense scholarly debate over the past four decades. At times, ecological democracy has had a bright future ahead of it. Yet the ideal of ecological democracy continually faces challenges both to its conceptual foundations and to its practical realisation on national and global scales. This international research workshop will seek to focus on new considerations and directions for ecological democracy, while looking back to examine the impact and viability of its founding texts as well as empirical studies of the relationship between democracy and sustainability. The aim of the workshop is to critically explore the tensions and synergies between democracy and sustainability on local, national and global levels.

Key questions for the workshop include:

  • Are ideals of ecological democracy feasible in light of broader challenges facing democratic institutions?
  • Do deliberative forms of governance have the potential to reconcile ideals of democratic legitimacy and environmental protection?
  • Can democratic innovations in global environmental summits reduce the global ’democratic deficit’?
  • What bearing, if any, does the concept of the Anthropocene have for theories of ecological democracy?
  • How can theories and practices of ecological democracy recognize inherent biases, and be more inclusive of indigenous and other cultural perspectives of human/nonhuman relations?
  • What examples of real-world environmental states, ecological democratic practices and institutions can be found and what can be learnt from them?

Participation in the workshop is by invitation only.
The workshop will be accompanied by public event on 20 February:

Sydney Ideas Panel: Ecological Democracy – Looking Back, Looking Forward.
More Information: Click here