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- What is the key challenge that global climate change poses for liberal democracy?
- What do realists, idealists, constructivists, feminists and Marxists say about climate change and sustainable development?
- What are the main characteristics of popular dissent?
- What do realists, idealists, constructivists, feminists and Marxists say about these movements?
- What impact have popular dissent movements had on international politics?
- What are the main characteristics of eclecticism in International Relations theory?
- What contributions might realism, idealism, constructivism, feminism and Marxism make to eclecticism?
- What is your view of the International Relations theories so far?
2. What is the key challenge that global climate change poses for liberal democracy?
The liberal democracy ideology can be characterized by certain core traits which include, fair and free elections between distinct political contenders, separation of the government into different divisions, provision and protection of human rights etc. Climate change has been a point of debate for several nations of varying philosophies for a substantial period in the modern era, but, all nations have come to an agreement as to the fact that climate change has the potential of causing tragedy of the commons on an unprecedented scale. While liberal democracies strive to prevent the occurrence of such an event, the point of the matter is that taking any kind of measure to reduce emissions or sustainability shall require the curtailing of rights of a particular individual or a class of persons, a situation which goes against the core precepts of the liberal democratic ideology. The fierce protection of rights in liberal democracy also makes it inept in the face of the problem of climate change as reduction of emissions and preservation of sustainable development is not recognized as an enforceable right in any scenario. Instead, liberal democracy is a mechanism to prevent the infringement of rights of others, essentially providing no ground for liberal democracies to take targeted action against climate change itself. Furthermore, the liberal democratic ideology also relies on the thought that political actors in the operational framework of the democracy have the freedom to hold and voice political opinions which are self-interested albeit rational. In light of this, a tragedy of the commons with respect to climate change seems even more plausible and challenging to liberal democracy. The freedom of thought provided to the political contenders in this system has the potential of allowing politicians to present policy measures which do not focus on climate change prevention as it may suit their own interests and this problem is further aggravated by the fact that if such a policy measure is presented, other political actors may follow suit in the future and there is no immediate system in place which can look into such policies and prevent their implementation in the short run. Hence, the consequences of such an outlook in a liberal democratic nation shall lead to the nation not complying with international treaties and conventions, which can set an example for defiance to other nations as well, and further snowball the challenges of climate change for liberal democracies.
3. What do realists, idealists, constructivists, feminists and Marxists say about climate change and sustainable development?
Realists: The school of realism is most vocal on the matter of global climate change as an international matter is offensive realism. This school argues that the anarchical nature of international relations combined with the fact that common areas such as high seas possess vast resources. This shall lead to states bolstering their defence and energy capabilities at the cost of other states in order to survive the repercussions of climate change. The school also advocates against sustainable development by arguing that the use of clean resources by nations shall put them at a disadvantage. This weakness might be exploited by other nations if they do not conform to this sentiment and continue to use cheap but harmful resources, allowing them to divert resources in the development of their arsenals.
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