Ecodemocracy and Political Representation for Non-human Nature
As we witness the sixth mass extinction unfold, it is hard not to feel exasperated by the lack of a say in human democracy for all the species and ecosystems that are suffering, if not being destroyed outright, at the hands of humans (see Washington in A sense of wonder towards nature: healing the world through belonging. Routledge, London, 2018). We are making decisions that have dramatic impacts on their fates without stopping to think what they might want. But this does not need to be the case. This paper is intended to contribute to the creation of political processes that recognize the intrinsic value of non-human nature (a value that is independent of any benefits for humans). We present, first, a review of the background—exploring where ecodemocracy fits into broader political and ethical theory—and then turn to consider how representation for non-human nature might be practically implemented in political processes. We are considering a political scale ranging from local groups all the way up to international alliances of governments—ecodemocracy can be put into practice at any of these.
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