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Unfit for the FutureThe Need for Moral Enhancement$
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Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199653645

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653645.001.0001

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Authoritarianism and Democracy

Authoritarianism and Democracy

(p.86) 8 Authoritarianism and Democracy
Unfit for the Future

Ingmar Persson

Julian Savulescu

Oxford University Press

Robust authoritarian governments are better placed than democratic governments to implement unpopular reforms effectively, so it might seem that they have a better chance of tackling human induced climatic and environmental deterioration. The fact that it is easier for authoritarian governments to implement unpopular policies can perhaps be illustrated by China’s one-child policy which has enabled this nation to curb population growth more effectively than for instance India. However, history shows that the unpopular policies implemented by authoritarian regimes more often serve to consolidate the power of the ruling elite, or to enrich it, than promote the interest of societies overall. Therefore, a shift from democracy to authoritarianism is not an acceptable way to come to terms with human induced climate change and environmental destruction.

Keywords:   authoritarianism, climate change, democracy, environmental destruction, one-child policy, population growth, reforms

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