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By Marco Verweij

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Additional info for Clumsy Solutions for a Complex World: Governance, Politics and Plural Perceptions (Global Issues)

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34 Overview of the book In this book, we illustrate the power of clumsiness in a wide range of case studies of both elegant failures and clumsy successes. The elegant failures analysed in the first part of this volume include the attempts to curb global warming on the basis of the Kyoto Protocol, the efforts to turn Nepal into a ‘second Singapore’ by building mega-dams in the Himalayas, the collapse of the Russian economy during its transition towards capitalism, the antidiscrimination policies followed by the Dutch government since the end of the 1960s and the global spread of laws making the wearing of safety seat belts in cars mandatory.

Bell, East Meets West: Human Rights and Democracy in East Asia (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000). 33. Albert O. Hirschman, ‘Social Conflicts as Pillars of Democratic Market Society’, Political Theory (Vol. 22, No. 2, 1994), pp. 203–18; John A. Guidry and Mark Q. Sawyer, ‘Contentious Pluralism: The Public Sphere and Democracy,’ Perspectives on Politics (Vol. 1, No. 2, 2003), pp. 273–89. ), Innovationsoffene Reguliering des Internet (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2004). 34. At a more general level, it is difficult to see how clumsy solutions could be generated in undemocratic regimes, in which human rights are not fully upheld.

An example would be the British government enabling a Polish energy company to switch from using coal to using gas (relying on the latter kind of fossil fuel would put less greenhouse gases into the air than the former). The clean development mechanism allows industrialized countries to meet their international obligations by helping developing countries reduce their 36 Marco Verweij emissions. This would for instance be the case if the British government helped a Chinese energy company to start burning gas rather than coal.

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