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Can Democracy Handle Climate Change?



Can Democracy Handle Climate Change?

Daniel J. Fiorino

ISBN: 978-1-509-52399-3 June 2018 Polity 160 Pages



Global climate change poses an unprecedented challenge for governments across the world. Small wonder that many experts question whether democracies have the ability to cope with the causes and long-term consequences of a changing climate. Some even argue that authoritarian regimes are better equipped to make the tough choices required to tackle the climate crisis.

In this incisive book, Daniel Fiorino challenges the assumptions and evidence offered by sceptics of democracy and its capacity to handle climate change. Democracies, he explains, typically enjoy higher levels of environmental performance and produce greater innovation in technology, policy, and climate governance than autocracies. Rather than less democracy, Fiorino calls for a more accountable and responsive politics that will provide democratically-elected governments with the enhanced capacity for collective action on climate and other environmental issues.
  • Tables and box
  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface
  • 1 The Challenge to Governance
  • 2 Do Authoritarian Regimes Do Better?
  • 3 Why Democracies Differ
  • 4 How Democracies Will Handle Climate Change
  • Notes
  • Further Reading