The Ecological Citizen: Confronting human supremacy


Long article

Ecodemocracy: Operationalizing ecocentrism through political representation for non-humans

Joe Gray, Anna Wienhues, Helen Kopnina, Jennifer DeMoss

The Ecological Citizen Vol 3 No 2 2020: 166–77

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First published: 1 April 2020  |  PERMANENT URL  |  DOWNLOAD CITATION IN RIS FORMAT


The authors present a general argument for the political representation of non-humans that sits under the broad umbrella of ecocentrism but that does not rely on one specific non-anthropocentric ethical theory. As such, they hope to help move the debate towards a consensus on the need for such political representation. The argument itself has two main prongs. The first is an empirical one: It has the potential to give more effective representation of non-human interests than the alternative of simply having those interests accounted for through internalization within human needs and wishes. The second combines empirical and normative elements: It can add to the development of Earth jurisprudence by envisioning political decision-making processes that are broadly inclusive, so that the protection of non-human interests does not rely solely on legal protection in terms of, for example, tools employed during court hearings on a case-by-case basis. Two illustrative examples are presented, and the work of the the Global Ecocentric Network for Implementing Ecodemocracy (GENIE) is introduced.



Conservation, Earth jurisprudence, Ecodemocracy, Ecological empathy, Ecological ethics