Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"Consensus and Global Environmental Governance" - A new book in the Earth System Governance Series

Toward the goal of a new universal climate agreement, the December 2014 Lima Climate Change Conference called for action to achieve "meaningful and regular opportunities for the effective engagement of experts from Parties, relevant international organizations, civil society, indigenous peoples, women, youth, academic institutions, the private sector, and subnational authorities nominated by their respective countries"

In a new book in the Earth System Governance series with The MIT Press: Consensus and Global Environmental Governance: Deliberative Democracy in Nature's Regime, juristic democracy is presented as an approach to include citizens in deliberations and decision-making on global climate governance.

The book is authored by Prof. Walter F. Baber (California State University, Long Beach) and Prof. Robert V. Bartlett (University of Vermont), both members of the Earth System Governance Lead Faculty.


In this book, Professors Baber and Bartlett explore the practical and conceptual implications of a new approach to international environmental governance. Their proposed approach - juristic democracy - emphasizes the role of the citizen rather than the nation-state as the source of legitimacy in international environmental law. Their aim is to construct a global jurisprudence based on collective will formation.


Building on concepts presented in their previous book, the award-winning Global Democracy and Sustainable Jurisprudence, Baber and Bartlett examine in detail the challenges that consensus poses for a system of juristic democracy. They analyze the implications of deliberative consensus for rule-bounded behavior, for the accomplishment of basic governance tasks, and for diversity in a politically divided and culturally plural world. They assess social science findings about the potential of small-group citizen panels to contribute to rationalized consensus, drawing on the extensive research conducted on the use of juries in courts of law. Finally, they analyze the place of juristic democracy in a future "consensually federal" system for earth system governance.


Other recent books in the Earth System Governance series with The MIT Press include:

-       Frank Biermann. 2014. Earth System Governance: World Politics in the Anthropocene.

-       Aarti Gupta and Michael Mason, editors. 2014. Transparency in Global Environmental Governance: Critical Perspectives.

-       Sikina Jinnah. 2014. Post-Treaty Politics: Secretariat Influence in Global Environmental Governance.

More about these new books and all our other publications can be found at

Contact: Earth System Governance International Project Office,

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