This chapter focuses on the question whether affluent liberal democracies can cope with the challenge to their survival that weapons of mass destruction, harmful climate change, and environmental destruction pose. The nations of the European Union, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are affluent liberal democracies that face this challenge. A fully liberal state is a state in which every citizen has equal rights and liberties, which are as extensive as they could be consistently with all others having the same rights and liberties. In these states this equality of rights and liberties coexists with a considerable socio-economical inequality. This raises questions about the extent to which these states are just and can be called true democracies. These questions are however beyond the scope of this book.
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