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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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Political Institutions for the Future

Political Institutions for the Future

A Fivefold Package

(p.135) 8 Political Institutions for the Future
Institutions For Future Generations

Simon Caney

Oxford University Press

Governments often adopt short-term policies that unnecessarily reduce the standard of living of the current generation and also violate their responsibilities to future generations. It is therefore important to consider morally legitimate ways of reducing such harmful short-termism. This chapter addresses this problem by identifying the drivers of harmful short-termism. It then proposes five reforms to the policy-making process that respond to these drivers. More specifically, it argues in favour of (i) requiring incoming governments to issue a Manifesto for the Future that outlines their policies for addressing long-term trends; (ii) creating a Committee for the Future, whose role is to scrutinize policies for their long-term impacts; (iii) building into the parliamentary process a regular Visions for the Future day in which the Government’s Manifesto for the Future and its record is scrutinized by the Opposition; (iv) creating an Independent Council for the Future; and (v) employing long-term performance indicators.

Keywords:   intergenerational justice, drivers of short-termism, committee for the future, performance indicators, democracy, nudge, Manifesto for the Future, Visions for the Future

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