Volume 3, Issue 1 (2015)

Papers published:

doi: 10.12924/cis2015.03010001 | Volume 3 (2015) | Issue 1
Stefan Wurster
Institute for Political Science, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany
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Publication Date: 30 September 2015
Abstract: This paper tries to identify the fiscal sustainability record of democratically and autocratically governed countries by applying various performance indicators (credit worthiness, payment defaults, national debt, foreign assets) and also to clarify what effect the characteristics of a regime have on consolidation efforts in a country. The study identifies two key findings. While in the past, democracies have clearly found it easier to preserve their credit standing and solvency and to avoid government bankruptcy, a similar advantage can no longer be detected for democracies in terms of reducing national debt and foreign debts. Why democracies, in spite of their arrangements with a sensitivity for the public good and for due process, are finding it so difficult to avoid shifting their debts to future generations, to undertake cutback measures and to provide sufficient financial foresight, can in principle be interpreted as the other side of the coin, namely highly presence-oriented interests boosted even further through the short "democracy-specific time horizon".

doi: 10.12924/cis2015.03010016 | Volume 3 (2015) | Issue 1
Pierre L. Ibisch
Centre for Econics and Ecosystem Management, Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Germany
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Publication Date: 3 December 2015
Abstract: The globe's first carbon projects were designed and implemented approximately 20 years ago following scientific insights that emissions of greenhouse gases needed to be mitigated. Visible in some of these early projects were the important aspects of social governance and local benefit sharing. The projects promised to be a panacea to environmental, social and economic problems in remote rural areas of developing countries. However, it took another decade before a wave of hundreds of carbon projects were launched. Many of the projects were offered under the mechanism of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, plus the role of conservation, sustainable forest management and carbon enhancement), as well as under a variety of voluntary schemes and national programs, public-private partnerships, and forestry-based investment initiatives. As decision-makers prepare the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climatic Change in Paris (COP21), Earthscan has released a book entitled `Carbon conflicts and forest landscapes in Africa', edited by Melissa Leach and Ian Scoones. According to the editors, the focus of the book is on what happens on the ground when carbon forestry projects arrive, what types of projects work, and, equally important, what doesn’t work.

doi: 10.12924/cis2015.03010018 | Volume 3 (2015) | Issue 1
José Goldemberg
Electrotechnical and Energy Institute (IEE), University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil
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Publication Date: 4 December 2015
Abstract: Concerns about sustainable development are not a recent phenomenon. Societal problem-solving efforts within this realm have focused on concrete problems such as the preservation of fisheries, forests and national reserves. 'The Politics of Sustainability' has been discussed extensively in  literature, particularly after the publication of the Brundtland Commission's 'Our Common Future' report in 1987 [1] emphasizing inter-generational responsibilities involving economic, environmental and social aspects. Among other areas, the authors of the report highlighted the challenge of global climate change resulting from, amongst other things, unsustainable patterns of consumption. 'The Politics of Sustainability: Philosophical Perspectives', edited by Dieter Birnhacher and May Thorseth, brings  a new angle into the discussion of the politics of sustainable development: ethical considerations.

ISSN: 2297-6477
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