In Global Democracy and Sustainable Jurisprudence, Walter Baber and Robert Bartlett explore the necessary characteristics of a meaningful global jurisprudence, a jurisprudence that would underpin international environmental law. Arguing that theories of political deliberation offer useful insights into the current "democratic deficit" in international law, and using this insight as a way to approach the problem of global environmental protection, they offer both a theoretical foundation and a realistic deliberative mechanism for creating effective transnational common law for the environment.
Their argument links elements not typically associated: abstract democratic theory and a practical form of deliberative democracy; the legitimacy-imparting value of deliberative democracy and the possibility of legislating through adjudication; common law jurisprudence and the development of transnational environmental law; and conceptual thinking that draws on Deweyan pragmatism, Rawlsian contractarianism, Habermasian critical theory, and the full liberalism of Bohman, Gutmann, and Thompson. Baber and Bartlett offer a democratic method for creating, interpreting, and implementing international environmental norms that involves citizens and bypasses states – an innovation that can be replicated and deployed across a range of policy areas. Transnational environmental consensus would develop through a novel model of juristic democracy that would generate legitimate international environmental law based on processes of hypothetical rule making by citizen juries. This method would translate global environmental norms into international law – law that, unlike all current international law, would be recognized as both fact and norm because of its inherent democratic legitimacy.
"This book makes an interesting, timely, and important contribution by linking abstract theory, emperical evidence, and suggestions for practical reform."
– Indian Journal of Political Science
"This work is highly original and makes a contribution to the fields of global environmental governance, deliberative democracy, and international environmental law. Debates in this area have become somewhat repetitive recently, and this book will sound a striking new note and generate an animated debate, with strong positions on both sides."
– Robyn Eckersley, University of Melbourne, author of The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty
"Global Democracy and Sustainable Jurisprudence succeeds in illuminating new insights in the theory and practice of democracy. This book makes an interesting, timely, and important contribution by linking abstract theory, empirical evidence, and suggestions for practical reform."
– Steven Vanderheiden, Department of Political Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, and author of Atmospheric Justice: Political Theory and Global Climate Change
"This book makes complex issues accessible. As a compendium of theories dedicated to environmental deliberative democracy and jurisprudence, it is the best in its field."
– Timothy Doyle, Chair of Politics and International Relations, School of Politics, International Relations & Philosophy, Keele University, UK
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Walter F. Baber is Associate Professor in the Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration, California State University, Long Beach. Baber is the Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Environmental Policy at the Polytechnic Institute of Turin (Italy) for 2009.
Robert V. Bartlett is Gund Professor of Liberal Arts in the Department of Political Science at the University of Vermont.