Ecological modernisation and the challenge to democracy

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


To environmentalists, the contemporary liberal democratic state still looks like an ecological failure. Green issues are rarely prioritised within national or global politics, as self interest still dominates - meaning environmental aims often take a backseat to the goals of economic wealth and industrial modernisation. Consequently, many environmentalists have argued that liberal democratic states cannot achieve environmental sustainability. In contrast, this article highlights the importance of working within the current system of liberal democracy in order to improve ecological practice. The article suggests that ecological modernisation (EM) offers the means of ‘taming’ capitalism and is best suited to working from within a liberal democratic state. In order to encapsulate the potential of EM, methods of deliberative democracy must also be utilized, as this article finds that they can counter the disadvantages of liberal democracy, identified by environmentalists.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Specialist publicationPolitical Reflection
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • ecology
  • environmentalism
  • ecological modernisation


Dive into the research topics of 'Ecological modernisation and the challenge to democracy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this