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Democracy, development and the marine environment - A global time-series investigation

Journal article
Authors Marina Povitkina
Sverker C. Jagers
Martin Sjöstedt
Aksel Sundström
Published in Ocean & Coastal Management
Volume 105
Pages 25-34
ISSN 0964-5691
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 25-34
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2014...
Keywords Sustainable development, Democracy, Economic development, Environmental politics, Marine, INTEGRATED COASTAL MANAGEMENT, KUZNETS CURVE, ECONOMIC-GROWTH, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, POLITICAL-INSTITUTIONS, POLLUTION-CONTROL, TRADE GOOD, QUALITY, BIODIVERSITY, FISHERIES, Oceanography, Water Resources
Subject categories Political Science

Abstract

Is democracy favorable or adverse for the management of marine resources? While some studies find democracy to increase the likelihood of achieving sustainable development, others propose that democracy rather has negative effects on the environment. This paper contributes explicitly to this debate, but also adds insights from research arguing that the effects of democracy are conditioned by surrounding institutions. Building on this literature, we argue that the way democracy works - whether it is an instrument for collective action beneficial to the environment or an instrument for patronage and clientelism - depends on levels of economic development. The overall objective of the article is to test this proposition empirically. Employing time-series cross-section analysis and using Marine Trophic Index as a proxy for the health of marine ecosystems, we investigate the impact of democracy on the marine environment in a global sample from 1972 to 2006. The analysis provides interesting insights regarding the conditional role of economic development. We report negative effects of democracy in low income settings, but find that this pattern is reversed when economic development has reached a certain threshold. Finally, we discuss how democracy affects the prospects for sustainable development and based on our conclusions offer suggestions for future research. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-08-12