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The Vote of Unborn Generations

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What democracies do today have consequences for the future and will significantly affect the welfare and quality of life of coming generations. Although the achievements of the past are enormous and left for the future to enjoy, risks and costs that fall on generations to come are also incurred, potentially undermining future conditions for survival. The future will not only inherit public sector budget deficits but nuclear waste, greenhouse gases and diminished wildlife and biodiversity from their ancestors. According to some observers, a major reason for the continuation of such policies is the fact that future people are not represented by democratic institutions. The living generation can maintain policies destructive for the future because unborn generations have no ‘voice’ in the political process (WCED, 1987, p. 8; Stein, 1998, p. 426; Stern, 2006, p. 23).


  • Legal System
  • Future Generation
  • Political Representation
  • Basic Interest
  • Conceptual Argument

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© 2009 Ludvig Beckman

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Beckman, L. (2009). The Vote of Unborn Generations. In: The Frontiers of Democracy. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

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