The title of my dissertation project is Global Warming and our Natural Duties of Justice . I will defend in the fall of 2007.This work takes its starting point in the empirical argument that the challenges involved in addressing the threat of human induced climate change cannot realistically be surmounted without a global form of political authority. More specifically, to make a cooperative response work what is require is a global system that can credibly ensure compliance to coordinated and global public policy for mitigating the human impact on our climate. Thus, efforts to significantly reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions cannot be achieved through weak voluntary international agreements like the Kyoto Protocol.My main research problem following from this empirical assessment is the moral question of whether or not we ought to bind ourselves together with others in a global political effort that will limit the self-determination of states in ways they are not currently limited. I show that there are clear empirical and moral reasons establishing that we do have a duty to support this kind of global political project to collectively address our impact on the Earth's atmosphere.
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The state of the Post Cold-War World is characterised by unsettled insecurities about fundamental issues relating to democratic accountability. These features, unfortunately, also presently influence the state of political science. Post-modernism and theories of globalisation question the primacy of politics and the meningfulness of the notion and institution of accountability. Is the formation of society basically "beyond the control" of the politicians? Do other forces decide the destinity of mankind - the horros of violence, the world market, the necessary cooperation with partners, the bureacracy or even the historical development itself? Empirically oriented political scientists study what constitutional arrangements promote accountability - majoritarian democracy, consensus democracy, or perhaps a combination of the two or some third alternative. Such a study must, however, be preceded by positions to the questions here mentioned. The project can then be described as a preface to the study of responsible government. The method is to identify theories of irresponsibilty ("historicism", "globalisation theory " etc) and then look into critical counter examples from the world history of the twentieth century to see wthat politicians can do to attain their goals - and conseqeunely be responsible for their action.
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