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Institutions For Future Generations$
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Iñigo González-Ricoy and Axel Gosseries

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746959

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746959.001.0001

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Democratic Trusteeship

Democratic Trusteeship

Institutions to Protect the Future of the Democratic Process

(p.184) 11 Democratic Trusteeship
Institutions For Future Generations

Dennis F. Thompson

Oxford University Press

The chapter proposes the establishment of an independent body—a commission or a citizens’ assembly—that would serve as a trustee to protect the democratic capacity of political systems over time. The principle guiding the body holds that citizens in democratic states at any present time should seek to preserve a democratic process that gives future citizens at least as much capacity for collective decision making as present citizens have. The body would have the power to exercise a suspensive veto to delay laws that risk damage to the democratic process, require governments to issue posterity impact statements, produce annual democratic balance sheets that indicate gains and losses of democratic capacity, propose legislation to implement age-differentiated political rights, and establish contingency trust funds to compensate for damage done to the democratic process.

Keywords:   accountability, age-differentiated rights, citizens’ assembly, constitutional convention, democratic process, future generations, justice, tribune, trustee, utility

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