Chapter

Authoritarianism and Democracy

Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu

in Unfit for the Future

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199653645
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191742033 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653645.003.0008
Authoritarianism and Democracy

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Robust authoritarian governments are better placed than democratic governments to implement unpopular reforms effectively, so it might seem that they have a better chance of tackling human induced climatic and environmental deterioration. The fact that it is easier for authoritarian governments to implement unpopular policies can perhaps be illustrated by China’s one-child policy which has enabled this nation to curb population growth more effectively than for instance India. However, history shows that the unpopular policies implemented by authoritarian regimes more often serve to consolidate the power of the ruling elite, or to enrich it, than promote the interest of societies overall. Therefore, a shift from democracy to authoritarianism is not an acceptable way to come to terms with human induced climate change and environmental destruction.

Keywords: authoritarianism; climate change; democracy; environmental destruction; one-child policy; population growth; reforms

Chapter.  1955 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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