Arguing about the climate: towards communicative justice in international climate change politics
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Abstract?? 2009 Andrew Brookes
This thesis examines international climate change politics from the perspective of communicative justice, and in turn uses the lessons learnt from climate change politics to interrogate and refine the theory of communicative justice. Communicative justice is developed as an ethical ideal for discourse with the normative aspiration of expanding the boundaries of political community, recognising marginalised identities, and facilitating cultural translation. It is argued that while the international climate change regime is formally inclusive and has a number of features conducive to unconstrained dialogue, a communicative justice framework allows the substantive deficiencies of the negotiating process to be revealed. In particular, the failure of the regime to agree on voting rules has meant it has been forced to fall back on consensus as the means for making decisions, which often inhibits unconstrained dialogue and efficacious outcomes. The thesis also explores the contribution of a diffuse range of climate change policy networks and public spheres ??? including the media ??? towards translating and transforming understandings of climate change. The analysis of climate change politics forces us to reflexively confront the ethical tensions inherent in the notion of communicative justice in response to the contingencies and distortion of everyday political practice. This process requires are calibration of the way in which theories of communicative justice conceive of means and ends, so that communicative justice provides a holistic and flexible normative framework that can be marshalled in pursuit of the broader goals of enhancement of autonomy and human welfare, rather than in terms of the legitimation of specific political decisions.
TypeMasters Advanced Seminar & Shorter thesis
Brookes, A. (2009). Arguing about the climate: towards communicative justice in international climate change politics. Masters Advanced Seminar & Shorter thesis, School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Melbourne.