Axel Gosseries

Can We Rule the Future (and Does It Matter)?

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Future generations, Democratic/inter-generational legitimacy, All-affected-principle, Climate litigation, Extra-territorial/extra-generational jurisdiction, Retroactivity.

I assess whether we can “ruleµ the future, with possible consequences for democratic legitimacy requirements. I build on comparisons with extra-territorial jurisdiction (time-space comparison) and retroactivity in the law (ruling the past vs. the future). In both cases, issues of feasibility are separated from questions of desirability. Possibilities of ruling the past and the future beyond the overlap come up against the impossibility of extra-generational enforcement. I then explore the significance of the overlap and its implications for the issue of intergenerational legitimacy. I conclude on lessons learnt for the debate on the “boundaryµ problem in democratic theory.

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