Sustainable Development and Participatory Democracy

Two final aspects of the relationship between environmental politics and democracy bear mention as they affect both EDCs and LDCs. First, is the role of scientific and communications technologies—especially the Internet and satellite imagery in promoting environmentalism and facilitating the organization of new social movements. In the case of the rubber tappers of Acre, Brazil, international support was stimulated, in part, by the publication of satellite imagery showing the extensive clear-cutting in the Amazon rainforest. The NBA's fight against big dam projects in India has been "globalized" by the use of the Internet for networking among local and international ENGOs.

Second, it is possible that there is a positive relationship between participatory resource management practices and democracy. Scholarship on sustainable development tends to promote the value of stakeholder participation. It is assumed (if not always proven) that the inclusion of affected populations in the formulation and implementation of natural resource management policies lowers the costs and raises the efficacy of resource conservation; and the inclusion of individuals and groups in the policies that directly affect their livelihoods and quality of life is expected to be empowering. Even if democracy goes no further, participatory democracy will have been introduced at levels that are meaningful in the daily lives of participants. This analysis has informed sustainable development policy in LDCs (particularly when participatory practices are made a condition of development assistance). Stakeholder participation is also seen as a way to avoid or mediate disputes among environmentalists and resource users (such as ranchers, loggers and miners) in EDCs. Supporters of this approach see co-management and related techniques as ways around legislated "command and control" regulation that the losers may see as illegitimate. Thus, it is argued that highly localized participatory management introduces democracy to the disenfranchised poor in LDCs, and revitalizes democracy in EDCs where national regulatory processes seem distant, unresponsive and captured by special interests.61 Research supporting these contentions is still in its early stages. There is a rich, case-study literature describing the formation, design and function of participatory practices at various stages of institutionalization. But we lack substantial cross-national studies of their effects in or on different types of political systems.

1 John McCormick, "Environmental Policy in Britain," in Udah Desai, ed., Environmental Politics and Policy in Industrialized Countries. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2002, 121.

2 See discussion of Greenpeace, WWF, and Friends of the Earth in Paul Wapner. Environmental Activism and World Politics. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1996, 41-151.

3 These are often the proponents of Environmental Justice campaigns discussed in chapter 2.

4 Jonathan Schwartz. "Environmental NGOs in China: Roles and Limits," Pacific Affairs, Vol. 77, No. 1 (Spring 2004), 38.

5 For example, in 2004 the Sierra Club membership was 782,000. See Justin A. Dernison, Sierra Club Membership Services, January 24, 2005.

6 See Walter A. Rosenbaum. Environmental Politics and Policy, 5th edition. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 2002, 35.

7 Rosenbaum, 33.

8 Interviews with Fisheries Officers and country representative of the Organization of American States, Roseau Dominica, June 26, 1998 and June 7, 1999.

9 The Goldman Environmental Prize,

10 Japan actively pursues commercial whaling rights through the International Whaling Commission (IWC). SIDS like Dominica receive substantial assistance from the Japanese government, especially in fisheries development. IWC member states each have a single vote regardless of size. Japan's critics have taken notice." See, Greenpeace International/Oceans Campaign, "Vote-Buying Whistle-Blower Urges Europe to Stop Japan at the Whaling Commission," (26 April 2002),

11 Jonathan Rosenberg and Fae L. Korsmo, "Local Participation, International Politics and the Environment: the World Bank and the Grenada Dove." Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 62, No. 3 (2001): 283-300.

12 "Programme Structure," the Caribbean Natural Resources Management Institute,

13 Personal interview with Sandra Guido, environmental interpreter, CIA-Unidad Mazatlan, June 13, 2005.

14 "History," Earthjustice,

15 See, for example, Gary Bryner. Gaia's Wager: Environmental Movements and the Challenge of Sustainability. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.

16 See Claus Offe. "Reflections on the Institutional Self-Transformation of Movement Politics," in Russell Dalton and Manfred Kuechler, eds., Challenging the Political Order: New Social Movements in Western Democracies. Cambridge: Polity, 1990, 232-50.

18 Ibid., 248; see also David S. Meyer and Suzanne Stggenborg, "Movements, Countermovements, and the Structure of Political Opportunity," Americqan Journal of Sociology, Vol. 101, No. 6 (May 1996): 1628-60.

19 Bron Raymond Taylor, ed., Ecological Resistance Movements: The Global Emergence of Radical and Popular Environmentalism. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1995.

20 Eghosa E. Osaghae, "The Ogoni Uprising: Oil Politics, Minority Agitation and the Future of the Nigerian State," African Affairs, Vol. 376, No. 94. (July 1995), 326-7.

21 Osaghae, 327.

22 Claude Welch, Jr., "The Ogoni and Self-Determination: Increasing Violence in Nigeria, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 33, No. 4 (December 1995), 635-6.

23 Greenpeace International, "Ken Saro-wiwa and eight Ogoni people executed: Blood on Shell's hands,"

24 The following relies on Margaret E. Keck, "Social Equity and Environmental Politics in Brazil: Lessons from the Rubber Tappers of Acre," Comparative Politics, Vol. 27, No. 4 (July 1995): 409-424.

25 Paramjit S. Judge, "Response to Dams and Displacement in Two Indian States," Asian Survey, Vol. 37, No. 9. (September 1997), 840.

27 P.P. Karan, Geographical Review, Vol. 84, No. 1. (Jan., 1994), 38.

28 Interrights Commonwealth Human Rights Law, "Narmada Bachao Andolan v Union of India and Ors [1999] ICHRL 141 (15 October


29 NBA press releases can be found at

30 Dates of foundation of Green parties in the other countries are: Finland, Luxembourg, 1979; Germany, 1980; Portugal, Sweden, Ireland 1981; Austria, 1982; the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark 1983; Spain, 1984; Italy, 1986; Norway, 1988; and Greece, 1989. See Ferdinand Muller-Rommel, "1: The Lifespan and the Political Performance of Green Parties in Western Europe," in Environmental Politics, Vol. 11, No. 1 (spring 2002), 3-4.

31 See Kitschelt, "The Green Phenomenon in Western Party Systems," in Kamieniecki, ed., Environmental Politics in the International Arena, 179-209.

32 Claus Christian Malzahn, "Happy 25th Birthday Greens. What's the Plan Now?" Speigel Online, January 13, 2005,,1518,336623,00.html.

33 Giovanni Sartori, Comparative Constitutional Engineering, 2nd edition. New York: New York University Press, 1997, 3.

35 However, the British Greens sent 2 representatives to the European Parliament after the 1999 elections. Notably, EU elections use party lists and proportional representation.

38 Muller-Rommel, 7.

39 Muller-Rommel, 7.

40 Thomas Poguntke. "7: Green Parties in National Governments: From Protest to Acquiescence?" in Environmental Politics, Vol. 11, No. 1 (spring 2002), p. 143.

41 Mony de Swann, Paola Martorelli, and Juan Molinar Horcasitas, "Public Financing of Political Parties and Electoral Expenditures in Mexico," in Monica Serrano, ed., Governing Mexico: Political Parties and Elections. London: Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, 1998, 156-169.

42 Alonso Lujambio, "Mexican Parties and Congressional Politics in the 1990s," in Serrano, 170-184.

43 Joseph L. Klesner, "The End of Mexico's One-Party Regime," PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 34, No. 1 (March 2001): 107-114.

44 See Inglehardt, "The Rise of New Issues and New Parties," in Inglehart, ed., Modernization and Post Modernization, 237-66.

45 Rosenbaum, 60-61.

46 For some American views, see Everett Carl Ladd and Karlyn Bowman, "Public Opinion on the Environment," Resources 124 (summer 1996), 5; and The Gallup Poll, "Environment," The Gallup Poll Organization (Princeton, December 25, 2000); available at

47 Maria Guadalupe Rodrigues, "Environmental Protection Issue Networks in Amazonia," Latin American Research Review, Vol. 35, No. 3 (2000): 125-153.

49 Moscow Radio on 28 April, 1986, quoted in BBC News on-line, "Media Recalls Chenobyl," (April 26, 2001),

50 Howard W. French, "Protesters Say Police in China Killed up to 20," New York Times, December 10, 2005.

51 French, "Beijing Casts Net of Silence Over Protest," New York Times, December 14, 2005.

52 Joseph Kahn, "Military Officer Tied to Killings is Held by China," New York Times, December 12, 2005.

53 French, "China Pressing to Keep Village Silent on Clash," New York Times, December 17, 2005.

54 Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993, 21.

55 Huntington, 7.

56 Stephen P. Mumme and Edward Korzetz, "Democratization, Politics, and Environmental Reform in Latin America," in Gordon MacDonald, Daniel Nielson and Marc Stern, eds., Latin American Environmental Policy in International Perspective. Boulder: Westview Press, 1997.

57 See Susan Baker and Peter Jehlicke, "Dilemmas of Reform," Environmental Politics, Vol. 7, No. 1 (1998), and Lillian Botsheva, "Focus and Effectiveness of Environmental Activism in Eastern Europe," Journal of Environment and Development (September 1996), 295-96.

58 Soo Hoon Lee, Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, Hwa-Jen Liu, On-Kwok Lai, Francisco A. Magno, and Alvin Y. So, "The Impact of Democratization on Environmental Movements," in Yok-shiu F. Lee and Alvin Y. So, editors, Asia's Environmental Movements. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1999, 230-51.

60 Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000).

61 Robert F. Durant, Daniel Fiorino, and Rosemary O'Leary, eds., Environmental Governance Reconsidered: Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities. Cambridge, MA and London: the MIT Press, 2004.

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