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Good Democratic LeadershipOn Prudence and Judgment in Modern Democracies$
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John Kane and Haig Patapan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199683840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199683840.001.0001

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Democratic Leadership and the Problem of Future Generations

Democratic Leadership and the Problem of Future Generations

(p.198) 12 Democratic Leadership and the Problem of Future Generations
Good Democratic Leadership

Kenneth Ruscio

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the problem of intergenerational justice. Here it is argued that our democratic political systems enable us to capture benefits for ourselves and transfer the costs to others, most notably to future generations. Current structures and assumptions exacerbate this problem rather than relieving it. Thus in an era when policy questions with a long time horizon are becoming more prevalent and pressing, it is therefore suggested that it is time to offer a new normative argument to leaders and citizens, one that transcends normal calculations of interest. By considering what the current generation has inherited from the sacrifices of generations past, the chapter argues, we may admit our obligations to, and need to sacrifice for, those that will come after us.

Keywords:   intergenerational justice, democratic leadership, interest, future generations, moral obligations

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