The Legitimacy and Efficiency Claims of Ecological Deliberative Democracy. A Case Study of the Municipality of Malmö.

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This thesis illuminates the deliberative democratic ideal's claim for efficiency and legitimacy that is brought forward by Robyn Eckersley and John S. Dryzek as being an essential brick in the struggle for a societal development that is ecologically sustainable. The take off lies in the belief that the current liberal democracy is incapable of responding sufficiently to the ecological problems and that democracy must be grounded within a reflexive citizenry that considers all possibly affected (including humans-to-come and nonhuman living) in its decisions if we are to develop an ecologically sustainable society. Additionally, I perform an empirical case study of the official Environmental Programs that lies as a plan of action across a period of a few years in a Swedish municipality to get an understanding of to what extent the deliberative aspects have been, and are considered today. The target of my study is the municipality of Malmö, more specifically; its environmental documents guiding its different institutions. The documents are screened with some of the features of Eckersley's deliberative model as indicators. This municipality is responsible for the environmental work being brought about in an area that is currently expanding in means of population, buildings and modes of transportation, which leaves opportunities to work in a sustainable direction, alternatively, threats to generations to come. Following the analysis, using the perspective of ecological deliberative democracy; the municipality lacks important deliberative features if it aims at reaching an ecologically sustainable society. Key words: deliberative democracy, municipalities, ecological values, social learning, legitimacy

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