The legitimation crisis of democracy: emancipatory politics, the environmental state and the glass ceiling to socio-ecological transformation

Blühdorn, Ingolfur ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1774-5984 (2020) The legitimation crisis of democracy: emancipatory politics, the environmental state and the glass ceiling to socio-ecological transformation. Environmental Politics, 29 (1). pp. 38-57. ISSN 0964-4016

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Abstract

The democratic legitimation imperativeof the modern state has been conceptualised as the barrier that stops the environmental state from developing into a green or eco-state–and thus as the glass ceiling to a socio-ecological transformation of capitalist consumer democracies. Here, I suggest that this state-theoretical explanation of the glass ceiling needs to be supplemented by an analysis of why democratic norms and procedures, which had once been regarded as essential for any socio-ecological transformation, suddenly appearas one of its main obstacles. I conceptualise the new eco-political dysfunctionality of democracy as one dimension of a more encompassing legitimation crisis of democracy which, in turn, has triggered a profound transformation of democracy. Ultimately, exactly this transformation constitutes the glass ceiling to the socioecological restructuring of capitalist consumer societies. It changes democracy into a tool for the politics of unsustainability, in which the legitimation-dependent state is a key actor.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Legitimation crisis; dysfunctionality of democracy; dialectics of emancipation; democraticparabola; politics of unsustainability
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Gesellschaftswandel und Nachhaltigkeit
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: ePub Administrator
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2019 08:28
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2020 09:53
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/94300/
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/7270

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