Political Responsibility for Climate Change: Ethical Institutions and Fact-Sensitive Theory, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Political Responsibility for Climate Change

Ethical Institutions and Fact-Sensitive Theory, 1st Edition

By Theresa Birgitta Brønnum Scavenius


216 pages

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Hardback: 9780367189709
pub: 2019-09-04
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This book offers new perspectives on how social and political institutions can respond more effectively to climate change.

Emergent technologies place us on the threshold of affordable green transition. The extent to which these technologies will be developed and implemented, however, depends in part on our democracies’ institutional capacity to facilitate and foster technological implementation. The current regulatory framework for energy and transportation was not designed to integrate consequences for climate change. Thus, new policy approaches and designs are required to establish an infrastructure that encourages green transition pathways.

Responding to this challenge, Scavenius presents a concept of moral responsibility that does not address the obligations of individual citizens, but instead assesses the moral responsibility of institutionalised actors, such as governments, parliaments, and other governmental agencies. With this new research, she outlines building blocks for a new agenda of climate studies by offering an innovative approach to climate governance and democratic climate action at a time when many political initiatives have failed.

Written in an accessible and engaging style, this volume will be an invaluable reference for researchers interested in moral philosophy, climate change, environmental politics and policy, and institutional theory.

Table of Contents


Part 1. Fact-Sensitivity and Normativity

1. Fact-Sensitive Political Theory

2. The Indeterminacy Challenge

3. Fact-Sensitive Ought-Judgements

Part 2. Fitness Conditions of Moral Responsibility

4. Fitness Conditions of Rational Agency

5. Fitness Conditions of Group Agency

6. Control Conditions and Democratic Climate Governance

Part 3. Moral Responsibility for Climate Change

7. Collective Responsibility

8. Moral Excuse and Democratic Citizens

9. Collective Responsibility and Democratic Institutions


About the Author

Theresa Scavenius is an Associate Professor in the Department of Planning, University of Aalborg, Copenhagen, Denmark.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Climate Change Research

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Advocacy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy