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By: Michael Mason
A fresh understanding of democratic accountability for trans-boundary and global harm, and argues that environmental responsibility should be established in open public discussions about harm and risk.
How do we hold parties that are responsible for environmental damage accountable for their actions? In addtiona, how do we move beyond a minset that tends to think of accountability as being pertinent primarily within national borders and involving governmental actors exclusively? Mason (London School of Economics) addresses these two questions, and in the course of providing answers, he makes three useful points. First, parties causing environmentla harm should be answerable to the injured parties, irrespective of their place of residence or nationalities. Second, those entrusted with the duty of protecting the vital ecological conditions of life ought to take harm prevention, democratic inclusion, and impartiality iinto account in their deliberations. Third, a key regulatory challenge is to think about way in which liability constraints might be incorporated into economic activities that fall outside the purview of extant treaties. Readers may take issue with specific points Mason makes, and his book would have profited from some discussion of the evolution of new norms of public accountability. Nevertheless, this volume is valuable for those interested in ways to meaningfully expand the domain of public accountability in the environmental arena. Summing Up: Recommended. Public, academic, upper-division undergraduate and up, and professional library collections.--A. A. Batabyal, Rochester Institute of Technology in CHOICE
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