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Politics and International Relations (PIR): News


Can democracy in crisis deal with the climate crisis?

Professor Tim Hayward, head of PIR, contributes to a salient and important debate.

th1Professor Tim Hayward, Head of Politics & IR and Director of the Just World Institute, contributes to a debate which includes world-leading figures in the field. Tim was invited by the Center for Humans and Nature to address this salient question alongside Carol Gould, Benjamin Barber, Bill McKibben, Robyn Eckersley and John Dryzek.

The question of how well democracy is suited to dealing with serious environmental problems is one that as long puzzled those interested in environmental political theory. In putting forward an answer to this question Tim identifies a key problem: effective measures to deal with the environmental crisis may not be what people democratically decide to commit to.

The obstacles to engaging in long-term planning, and of making long-term commitments, within democratic political systems that operate with short time horizons remain difficult to overcome. To read Tim's full response, titled Why Taking the Climate Challenge Seriously Means Taking Democracy More Seriously, click here.