Collective Responsibilities: New Principles for Order in the 21st Century

By Beth Edmondson.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Effective global climate change responses must take account of the likely incidence of resource related conflicts in the 21st century. Consequently, developing effective responses to global climate change will require the replacement of rights-based approaches to states’ sovereignty in favour of responsibilities-based models of political authority. Among other things, responsibilities-based statehood would support the introduction of stronger compliance and monitoring mechanisms in states’ international dealings. Responsibilities-based statehood would establish new institutions and structures to alleviate the risks of grand-scale and recurrent conflict arising from global climate change impacts such as loss of habitable and arable land, and redistributions in freshwater resources. This paper argues that establishing a broadly accepted model of collective responsibility will be essential to the successful implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies since these rely upon political actors, structures and institutions for international development and implementation. Establishing new principles for recognising and determining collective responsibilities and achieving these goals will require the abandonment of states’ individuated rights-based claims to sovereign independence.

Keywords: Responsibilities-based Sovereignty, Global Climate Change Responses, 21st Century Global Security

Global Studies Journal, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.11-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 586.723KB).

Dr. Beth Edmondson

Lecturer, History/Politics, School of Humanities, Communications and Social Sciences, Monash University Gippsland Campus, Churchill, Victoria, Australia

I teach in a variety of areas, including International Relations, Australian Politics and Policy Studies and Gender Studies. My research interests include the importance of international governance mechanisms, the nature of states, and the political implications of global climate change. I am also interested in the learning implications of online and flexible delivery options and have experimented with these in working with off campus students.

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