Chapter 6: Deliberative democracy
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Questions of fairness and legitimacy are central to studies of climate governance. Failure to successfully confront the threat of climate change will widely but unevenly impact on people’s lives across the world. Similarly, policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change tend to generate winners and losers. Political theorists and entrepreneurs alike have sought to address these challenges within the parameters of deliberative theory and practice. Deliberation involves communication that is non-coercive, connects particular interests to more general principles, induces reflection among participants, and encourages speakers to express themselves in terms that others can understand. Deliberation is believed to offer a more promising process than bargaining or technocracy for effectively and fairly resolving problems of climate change. This chapter will discuss the theoretical assumptions and evidence that support this commitment to deliberation; survey the analytical tools that have been used to study existing climate governance; and highlight a range of deliberative experiments in climate governance that have been implemented at local, regional and transnational scales.

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