Where should nuclear waste be disposed of? How can we protect our natural environment? Decisions made today can have far-reaching consequences for individuals, societies, and ecosystems in the future. Yet all too often it is the political imperatives of crisis management and short-term thinking that shape public policy. Are policymakers fulfilling their ethical responsibility to future generations? Do scientists and policymakers properly consider the uncertainty that surrounds forecasts and projections? These questions lie at the heart of this research project on the futurisation of politics.
Future-proofing contemporary politics
The project aims to identify opportunities to foster long-term thinking in societies, politics, and economics. This research will explore, for example, the potential benefits for transformations towards sustainability of a conscious approach to long-term issues in policy design. The project links research perspectives on future challenges and sustainable action across the fields of philosophy, political science, economics and social-psychology.
Representing future generations
Addressing theoretical and conceptual issues at the intersection of democratic governance and sustainability, this project will seek to develop an empirical representation of future imaginaries and social practices. The representation of future generations in contemporary politics and the circumstances under which their representation might be improved will form a particular focus of this work.
Fostering long-term thinking in policy-making
The project aims to develop a nuanced and critical understanding of the deployment of time horizons in politics and science. This research will inform the development of a concept for the futurisation of politics that outlines the conditions necessary to foster long-term thinking and greater sensitivity towards uncertainty in politics, the economy, and society.
01/2017 to 12/2020
Future, sustainability, time, democratic politics, sustainable investments
Scientific Project Leader: Dr Henrike Knappe