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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Humans have always faced catastrophic risks, such as those posed by asteroid strikes or very large volcanic eruptions. In the twenty-first century, some of these risks, in particular climate change, are caused by humans. We also have an evolving set of global governance mechanisms that might be deployed to address these risks. Deliberative approaches to addressing catastrophic risks engage questions about who should participate and how global deliberative processes might operate. The risks themselves offer special challenges to deliberation: complexity and deep uncertainty, diversity in impacts, and a global scope yet with localized impacts. We argue (1) there is a foundation for moving forward towards deliberative governance of catastrophic risks and, (2) a global approach will only evolve through experimentation, will change depending on context and circumstance, and must be polycentric.

Keywords: analytic deliberative processes, catastrophic risks, climate change, deliberative governance, existential risks, geoengineering, global governance, polycentric governance

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