Camila Hernandez Flowerman


In this paper I provide a preliminary account of weakness of political will (political akrasia). My aim is to use theories from the weakness of will literature as a guide to develop a model of the same phenomenon as it occurs in collective agents. Though the account will parallel the traditional view of weakness of will in individuals, weakness of political will is a distinctly political concept that will apply to group agents such as governments, institutional actors, and other political collectives. I further argue that blaming inaction by collective political agents on a “lack of political will” should be understood as blaming a kind of akratic break within the deliberative process, leading to an inability of the collective agent to capitalize on existing group attitudes in order to translate them into policy or legislation. My primary example throughout will be U.S. political inaction with respect to the climate crisis.