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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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Youth Quotas, Diversity, and Long-Termism

Youth Quotas, Diversity, and Long-Termism

Can Young People Act as Proxies for Future Generations?

Chapter:
(p.266) 16 Youth Quotas, Diversity, and Long-Termism
Source:
Institutions For Future Generations
Author(s):

Juliana Bidadanure

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746959.003.0016

Young people are often referred to as guardians of the future or ‘trustees of posterity’—as Disraeli claimed in 1845. We may thus want to consider whether empowering the young politically can be a fruitful strategy to increase the representation of future interests. Drawing on this common-sense connection, this chapter considers the proposal of introducing youth quotas in parliaments on long-termist grounds. It assesses whether the intuitive idea that young people are ideally suited proxies for future generations can resist careful scrutiny. The chapter is structured along three lines of arguments in support for youth quotas: the higher stake, the stronger concern, and the diversity argument. These are assessed in turn and it is shown that, while the two first lines of arguments face important difficulties, the last one has more promise.

Keywords:   youth quotas, young people, parliaments, descriptive and substantive representation, cognitive diversity, intergenerational diversity

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