1 March 2006 Land, ecology, and democracy
Julianne Lutz Newton, Eric T. Freyfogle, William C. Sullivan
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Land is necessary for human flourishing, and its use remains a compelling concern for every society, even those wherein industrialization has sharply diminished people's awareness of land. Here, we consider land's influence on political thinking, particularly thinking about democratic governance, and ask if this influence might be made more beneficial by the application of lessons drawn from ecological research. We identify five such lessons and apply them in six ways to the institution of private-property rights in nature — the main legal institution that allocates and perpetuates power over land — and to modern assumptions about liberal individualism and rights to health. We conclude that people can live well on land, promoting both human and land health, only in governmental forms engaging more citizens more deliberatively than now typical even in democracies. Implications for political institutions and human welfare are discussed under conditions of globalizing interdependence.

Julianne Lutz Newton, Eric T. Freyfogle, and William C. Sullivan "Land, ecology, and democracy," Politics and the Life Sciences 25(1), 42-56, (1 March 2006). https://doi.org/10.2990/1471-5457(2006)25[42:LEAD]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 March 2006

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