Institutional Obstacles to Sustainable Governance of Natural Resources: A Deliberative Approach
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionUniversitas: monthly review of philosophy and culture. 2014, 07 (482), 63-85.
Abstract: Based on parts of the negotiation model, this article is meant to find some institutional obstacles to sustainable development. One fundamental thought is that, due to not understanding what’s the best for one’s own interests, sustainable development is threatened by the discoordination in actions. This discoordination might be considered a necessity for the balance between economical and ecological developments. Georg Henrik von Wright’s discussion about the infinity of scientific and technological developments somehow sees one of its dimensions. He describes how parts of the tension are caused by technical needs, that is, the belief in the utility of infinity of technological development and growth. As criticizing this belief, he points out that the incessantly upgraded technical development is a result of science and industrial revolution, which threatens to make people morally decadent. Therefore, the development of the belief in the infinity (of scientific techniques) is a threat to the development of our morality. The Writer attempts to relate the reductionists’ line of thinking with John Dryzek’s methodological critique, which revolves around the issues of human centrism and ecological sustainability. To put it simply, this article mainly argues against the isolation of interests or, in Kant’s terms, the need for reflective judgment. With regards to Von Wright’s criticism, the writer believes that sustainable development should factor in technological and moral progresses and seeks improvements of methods for better-informed publics (Dewey 1927), the approach of reflective judgment/open-mindedness, and deliberative democracy (Dryzek 1995). While discussing the theoretical framework of sustainable development, the writer cites some realistic examples of the institutional obstacles to sustainable development of the environments in China, for instance, the fishing policy of Guangdong. Key Terms: Sustainability, public reason, institutional obstacles, reflective judgment