Jason Frederick Lambacher publishes editorial on the Green New Deal


IAS faculty member Jason Frederick Lambacher published an editorial in the May 2019 edition of The New Republic on the Green New Deal.  In a guest editorial for the magazine, Lambacher, drawing on the work of Hannah Arendt, argues that citizen involvement in both imagining and implementing a Green New Deal (GND) is fundamental to its viability.

As a radical overhaul of our baseline economic and social arrangements, the GND is unlikely to generate much in the way of policy consensus. But for that very reason, citizen participation and agonistic discourse are essential to its legitimacy.  Lambacher contends that when citizens are part of the conversation and not mere spectators—when they feel their voices are heard, even in small ways—they’re more apt to become part of the solution. In a context of rising inequality, where the forces of capital quietly but relentlessly privatize gain and socialize pain, a focus on the common good is usefully disruptive. 

If people are respected as equitable contributors in the civic endeavor of shaping climate justice, they will be far more likely to join the project.  Supporters of the GND should therefore not be shy about adopting inspiring rhetorical strategies that transcend political divisions, and not just rely on a politics of fear.