Robyn Eckersley

Robyn Eckersley
University of Melbourne | MSD · School of Social and Political Sciences

About

66
Publications
14,831
Reads
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3,368
Citations
Citations since 2017
10 Research Items
1447 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (66)
Article
Australia is a well-known climate laggard with a history of political conflict over climate policy and the dubious distinction of being the only country to repeal a national emissions trading scheme (ETS). This article examines the puzzle of why four subnational governments in Australia’s federation succeeded in enacting durable framework climate l...
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Full-text available
This article examines the limits and potential of the state in orchestrating sustainability transitions from the standpoint of critical theory on the green state. Two interrelated questions are posed. First, to what extent are democratic capitalist states necessarily compromised in their functional capacity to orchestrate ecological sustainability?...
Article
The study of leadership in International Relations has followed two different paths: work on hegemony and work on different leadership types in international negotiations. Yet there is little overlap between them and no agreement on the distinctive features of leadership and what connects leaders and followers in a collective pursuit. This article...
Article
The critical environmental political theory (EPT) of ecological democracy emerged in the 1990s when liberal democracy and cosmopolitanism appeared to be on the rise. A quarter of a century later, as both went into decline in the western heartland, a new iteration of ecological democracy has emerged, reflecting a significant shift in critical normat...
Article
The contributions comprising this special section are part of a more general wave of research that is revisiting and/or re-envisaging the environmental state. They do so from the perspective of critical political economy. This article provides an assessment of their respective contributions while also reflecting on how those seeking to understand t...
Book
This Handbook-one of a new series-sets out to describe the current state of the art in International Political Theory, and to advance this discourse into new areas. A key feature of the Handbook is the way in which its contributors engage with "real politics": although the importance of developing so-called ideal theory is acknowledged in several c...
Article
The proposed new epoch of the Anthropocene, whereby humans have become the dominant geological force shaping Earth systems, has attracted considerable interest in the social sciences and humanities but only scant attention from democratic theorists. This inquiry draws out the democratic problems associated with the two opposing narratives on govern...
Article
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) confers an obligation on developed states to lead in mitigation. This obligation challenges traditional conceptions of the modern state by calling forth a more outward looking state that is able to serve both the national and international communities in the service of global climat...
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This paper examines the responsibilities of states to assist and to receive stateless people who are forced to leave their state territory due to rising seas and other unavoidable climate change impacts and the rights of ‘climate refugees’ to choose their host state. The paper employs a praxeological method of non-ideal theorising, which entails id...
Chapter
This chapter examines the question of whether climate multilateralism is facing a legitimacy crisis. Drawing on a constructivist sociological understanding of legitimacy it argues that a crisis of legitimacy is a critical turning point whereby support for the climate regime, or a set of negotiations under the regime, by a critical mass of states th...
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Editors' introduction to the interview: Modern environmentalism, whose genesis tracks mainly from the 1960s and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962), has forced the anthropocentric emphasis of democracy to account. Nonhuman actors like trees, ecological systems, and the climate have increasingly become anthropomorphized by humans representing these...
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This article provides a comparative discourse analysis of the climate responsibility narratives of Australian and Norwegian political leaders during the period 2007–2012. The analysis focuses on how political leaders imagine their country's identity and role in the world and how they connect (or disconnect) these identities, roles and interests wit...
Article
The language of special responsibilities is ubiquitous in world politics, with policy-makers and commentators alike speaking and acting as though particular states have, or ought to have, unique obligations in managing global problems. Surprisingly, scholars are yet to provide any in-depth analysis of this fascinating aspect of world politics. This...
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The slow progress of the international climate negotiations has generated calls for a shift from large-n multilateralism (inclusive multilateralism) to more streamlined negotiations that are confined to the major emitters whose support is crucial for an effective climate treaty (exclusive minilateralism). This article pushes critical theory in an a...
Article
Despite nearly two decades of international climate negotiations and near universal participation by states in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 1992, there has been no concerted or effective collective state response to the threat of global warming. This article provides a critical overview of research on comparati...
Article
Introduction If I want to speak on behalf of orange-bellied parrots whose habitat will be destroyed by a proposed development, in what sense can I act as their political representative? I have no basis upon which to claim I am their delegate because I have no mandate or authorisation from parrots to speak on their behalf and I cannot justify my arg...
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The article critically examines domestic political concerns about the competitive disadvantages and possible carbon leakage arising from the introduction of domestic emission trading legislation and the fairness of applying carbon equalization measures at the border as a response to these concerns. I argue that the border adjustment measures propos...
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This article offers an explication and evaluation of the ethics of critical international relations theory. It highlights the distinctive contribution to cosmopolitan ethical inquiry of the Habermasian branch of critical international relations theory, while also pinpointing certain unresolved ethical tensions and inadequacies associated with the d...
Chapter
Characterizing green political thoughtGreen political thought: a distinctive political ideology?Green political thought and liberalism
Article
This article offers both a critique and reconstruction of cosmopolitan democracy. It argues that cosmopolitan democracy promotes an excessively individualist account of political life and a functionalist approach to political community that are likely to undermine the kinds of national communities and citizens that are most likely to mobilise again...
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This essay seeks to extend the already controversial debate about humanitarian intervention by exploring the morality, legality, and legitimacy of ecological intervention and its corollary, ecological defense. If the legacy of the Holocaust was acceptance of a new category of “crimes against humanity” and an emerging norm of humanitarian interventi...
Article
The WTO's decision-making model of executive multilateralism has been widely criticized for its lack of accountability to civil society. However, through the mechanism of the amicus curiae brief, nongovernment organizations and other civil society actors have found a way of directly `inserting' the public interest concerns of civil society into the...
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The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 164 states and is now fully operational. However, the Bush administration's repudiation of the Protocol combined with the weakness of the targets raise a confronting question for students of legitimacy: is it possible for a regime to be legitimate but ineffective in solving the problem it is designed to addre...
Chapter
Introduction This chapter will introduce three of the most prominent global environmental discourses: sustainable development, environmental security and environmental justice. It begins by tracking the emergence of environmental problems as a ‘global’ political problem and traces the discursive shift from ‘limits to growth’ in the early 1970s to s...
Article
Since the crumbling of the Berlin Wall there has been a chorus sounding the death of the command economy and the triumph of liberal capitalism. It does seem to be the case that ‘capitalism is everywhere receiving the flattery of imitation’. ¹ It is also the case that socialist thought – both western and eastern – is undergoing a profound shake-up i...
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The predominantly new middle-class social composition of the green movement has become a matter of increasing interest in the wake of the success of green parties and the growth of an international green movement. This paper considers the concept of the ‘new class’ in relation to two explanations for the social composition of the green movement. Th...
Article
This article explores the environmental stewardship capabilities of the liberal democratic state by critically examining the 'fit' between liberalism, capitalism and different discourses of economy-environment integration. The discourses that are more compatible with liberalism and capitalism are shown to be less likely to deliver sustainability. T...
Book
In recent years the engagement between the environmental ‘agenda’ and mainstream political theory has become increasingly widespread and profound. Each has affected the other in palpable and important ways, and it makes increasing sense for political theorists in each camp to engage with one another. This book draws together the threads of this int...
Chapter
Introduction Can communitarianism meet the ecological challenge? In keeping with the purposes of this volume, I interpret this challenge to mean, ‘Does communitarianism provide the appropriate insights, conceptual resources and norms to guide political communities along ecologically sustainable paths?’ This question admits of no straightforward ans...
Article
Bill McKibben's The End of Nature still stands as an exemplary case of environmental journalism in the way it translates complex scientific ideas into an accessible form and engenders a deep sense of wonder about the natural world. Nonetheless, this article suggests that McKibben's core claim that we have reached the end of nature (as a human exper...
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The increasing scope and disciplinary force of international trading rules have generated concern in the international environmental community concerning how far different types of trade restrictions in multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) are compatible with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Environmental Nongovernment Organ...
Article
This article provides a broad overview and critical appraisal of the major changes to the role and rationale of government and public administration in Victoria brought about by the Kennett Liberal–National Coalition government (1992–99). It does so in order to revisit and highlight the fading relevance and viability of the Westminster system of 'r...
Article
This article critically explores what it might mean to ‘represent nature’ in discursive dialogue and whether such representation must necessarily be anthropocentric in a substantive rather than merely trivial sense. The analysis also examines whether, and to what extent, it is legitimate to inscribe ecocentric norms into the procedures of discursiv...
Article
Social Theory and the Environment by David Goldblatt. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996. Pp.xii +247; index. £45 (hardback); £14.95 (paperback). ISBN 0 7456 1326 8 and 1328 4
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In 'Non-Anthropocentrism? A Killing Objection', Tony Lynch and David Wells argue that any attempt to develop a non-anthropocentric morality must invariably slide back to either anthropocentrism (either weak or strong) or a highly repugnant misanthropy in cases of direct conflict between the survival needs of humans and nonhuman species. This reply...
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Ultimate Security: The Environmental Basis of Political Stability by Norman Myers. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1993. Pp.xi + 308; index. £17.95 (hardback). ISBN 0 393 03545 X Green Security or Militarized Environment edited by Jyrki Kakonen. Aldershot: Dartmouth, 1994. Pp.xii + 207; index. £35 (hardback). ISBN 1 85521 464 4 Environment, Security a...
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Is there a necessary, in‐principle connection between ecocentric values and democracy or is the relationship merely contingent? Is it possible to incorporate the interests of the non‐human community into the ground rules of democracy? Through an immanent ecological critique of the regulative ideals and institutions of liberal democracy, it is sugge...
Chapter
Although the emergence of widespread popular concern over environmental problems is typically dated from the 1960s, the 1980s decade is more likely to be remembered as the period during which environmentalism rose to prominence in terms of the degree of media saturation, public concern and national and international political debate given over to e...
Book
Markets, the State and the Environment provides an introduction and interdisciplinary, critical overview of the case for a more market-based approach to environmental policy, taking stock of the key theoretical debates and a selection of recent policy developments in Europe, the US and Australia. The anthology compares and evaluates a wide range of...
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‘Free market environmentalism’ proposes that environmental problems can be solved by creating and enforcing tradeable property rights in respect of common environmental assets. But while the market can allocate resources efficiently, it cannot by itself perform the task of setting an optimal (in the sense of just) distribution of income nor an opti...
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My principal ecocentric objection to Habermas's social and political theory has been that it is thoroughly human-centered in insisting that the emancipation of human relations need not require or depend upon the emancipation of nature. 1 Although Habermas has moved beyond the pessimism and utopianism of the first generation of Critical Theorists by...

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