Democracy, Autocracy, and Everything in Between: How Domestic Institutions Affect Environmental Protection

Jana Von Stein*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    As major global challenges intensify in the twenty-first century, which domestic institutions will best enable countries to take decisive and positive action? This article explores this question in the realm of environmental policy. Scholars and practitioners have long argued that 'democracy' yields the best environmental outcomes, but others now maintain that 'eco-authoritarianism' may be the best way forward. The author unpacks the theoretical mechanisms behind these debates, and adds important nuance in making three arguments. First, the link between elections and eco-policy depends on what citizens want. Secondly, the relationship between civil liberties protections and environmentalism depends on which actors within society hold power. Finally, political constraints make environmental policy change - be it environmentally friendly or damaging - more difficult. The study empirically tests these arguments and finds strong support for the expectations regarding elections and civil liberties. There is only limited evidence that constraints stymie eco-policy change.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)339-357
    Number of pages19
    JournalBritish Journal of Political Science
    Volume52
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2022

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