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A Theory of Intergenerational Justice

London: Earthscan (2009)

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  1. Global Justice and Childhood: Introduction.Johannes Drerup & Gottfried Schweiger - 2019 - Journal of Global Ethics 15 (3):193-201.
    This brief introduction frames a guest-edited collection of eleven contributed articles in the Journal of Global Ethics focused on global justice and childhood. On a general level, there is widespread consensus that there is a strong need for improvement in the lives of children around the globe. What global justice demands in this regard, however, has never been fleshed out in detail and there is only a little philosophical literature on this topic. Against this background, five aspects of the question (...)
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  • Parenting and Intergenerational Justice: Why Collective Obligations Towards Future Generations Take Second Place to Individual Responsibility. [REVIEW]M. L. J. Wissenburg - 2011 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 24 (6):557-573.
    Theories of intergenerational obligations usually take the shape of theories of distributive (social) justice. The complexities involved in intergenerational obligations force theorists to simplify. In this article I unpack two popular simplifications: the inevitability of future generations, and the Hardinesque assumption that future individuals are a burden on society but a benefit to parents. The first assumption obscures the fact that future generations consist of individuals whose existence can be a matter of voluntary choice, implying that there are individuals who (...)
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  • Whose Constitution? Constitutional Self‐Determination and Generational Change.Jörg Tremmel - 2019 - Ratio Juris 32 (1):49-75.
    Constitutions enshrine the fundamental values of a people and they build a framework for a state’s public policy. With regard to generational change, their endurance gives rise to two interlinked concerns: the sovereignty concern and the forgone welfare concern. If constitutions are intergenerational contracts, how (in)flexible should they be? This article discusses perpetual constitutions, sunset constitutions, constitutional reform commissions and constitutional conventions, both historically and analytically. It arrives at the conclusion that very rigid constitutions are incompatible with the principle of (...)
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  • Sustainability and the Infinite Future: A Case Study of a False Modeling Assumption in Environmental Economics.Daniel Steel - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (5):1065-1084.
    This essay examines the issue of false assumptions in models via a case study of a prominent economic model of sustainable development, wherein the assumption of an infinite future plays a central role. Two proposals are found to be helpful for this case, one based on the concept of derivational robustness and the other on understanding. Both suggest that the assumption of an infinite future, while arguably legitimate in some applications of the model, is problematic with respect to what I (...)
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  • Public Debt and Intergenerational Ethics: How to Fund a Green 'Apollo Program'?Matthew Rendall - forthcoming - Climate Policy.
    If the present generation refuses to bear the burden of mitigating global heating, could we motivate sufficient action by shifting that burden to our descendants? Several writers have proposed breaking the political impasse by funding mitigation through public debt. Critics attack such proposals as both unjust and infeasible. In fact, there is reason to think that some debt financing may be more equitable than placing the whole burden of mitigation on the present generation. While it might not be viable for (...)
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  • Intergenerationality, Intergenerational Justice, Intergenerational Policies.Andrzej Klimczuk - 2015 - In The Encyclopedia of Diversity and Social Justice. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 419--423.
    “Age of life” is one of the essential characteristics that differentiate people. Age perception is also associated with social justice. The concept of age is defined ambiguously. At the same time, the different age criteria also forms the basis of age differentiation and age discrimination. The population lead to distinctions of age groups, age categories, and generations. Differences between generations also lead to Study in the concepts of intergenerationality, intergenerational justice, and intergenerational policies.
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  • Intergenerational Justice – Scope and Limits.Jörg Tremmel - 2010 - Intergenerational Justice Review 5 (1).
    In April 2019, Greta Thunberg made TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2019 list. The 16 year-old climate activist, who has also been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, started a movement that saw a multitude of student protests and school strikes around the world centred on action against climate change. TIME Magazine quoted her saying, “We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.” With her engagement, Thunberg inspired thousands of (...)
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  • An Effort Worth Making: A Qualitative Study of How Swedes Respond to Antibiotic Resistance.Mirko Ancillotti, Stefan Eriksson, Tove Godskesen, Dan I. Andersson & Jessica Nihlén Fahlquist - forthcoming - Public Health Ethics.
    Due to the alarming rise of antibiotic resistance, medically unwarranted use of antibiotics has assumed new moral significance. In this paper, a thematic content analysis of focus group discussions was conducted to explore lay people’s views on the moral challenges posed by antibiotic resistance. The most important finding is that lay people are morally sensitive to the problems entailed by antibiotic resistance. Participants saw the decreasing availability of effective antibiotics as a problem of justice. This involves individual as well as (...)
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  • Climate Change Mitigation, Sustainability and Non-Substitutability.Säde Hormio - 2017 - In Adrian Walsh, Säde Hormio & Duncan Purves (eds.), The Ethical Underpinnings of Climate Economics. London, UK: pp. 103-121.
    Climate change policy decisions are inescapably intertwined with future generations. Even if all carbon dioxide emissions were to be stopped today, most aspects of climate change would persist for hundreds of years, thus inevitably raising questions of intergenerational justice and sustainability. -/- The chapter begins with a short overview of discount rate debate in climate economics, followed by the observation that discounting implicitly makes the assumption that natural capital is always substitutable with man-made capital. The chapter explains why non-substitutability matters (...)
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  • The Anthropocene Concept as a Wake-Up Call for Reforming Democracy.Jörg Tremmel - 2018 - In Thomas Hickmann, Lena Partzsch, Philipp H. Pattberg & Sabine Weiland (eds.), The Anthropocene Debate and Political Science. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 219-237.
    Human activity has reshaped all parts of the Earth system. For this reason, a vast majority of geologists at the 35th International Geological Congress in Cape Town (September 2016) spoke out in favor of changing the classification of geological epochs and of declaring a new world age – the Anthropocene. This chapter points at implications that the proclamation of the Anthropocene should have for the currently relevant concept of democracy. In particular, it is argued that the transition into a new (...)
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  • Climate Change and the Threat of Disaster: The Moral Case for Taking Out Insurance at Our Grandchildren's Expense.Matthew Rendall - 2011 - Political Studies 59 (4):884-99.
    Is drastic action against global warming essential to avoid impoverishing our descendants? Or does it mean robbing the poor to give to the rich? We do not yet know. Yet most of us can agree on the importance of minimising expected deprivation. Because of the vast number of future generations, if there is any significant risk of catastrophe, this implies drastic and expensive carbon abatement unless we discount the future. I argue that we should not discount. Instead, the rich countries (...)
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  • Better Procedures for Fairer Outcomes: Youth Quotas in Parliaments.Juliana Bidadanure - 2019 - Intergenerational Justice Review 1 (1).
    In this article, I put forward an instrumental justification for the introduction of youth quotas in parliaments on grounds of justice between coexisting generations. I provide a two-fold argument drawing on the distinction between “substantive representation” and “symbolic representation”. I argue that these jointly provide a good basis for a “politics of youth presence” in parliaments. In the first section, I evaluate the impact that youth quotas can have on enhancing the chances of fair youth policies. In the second section, (...)
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  • Beyond Just Justice – Creating Space for a Future‐Care Ethic.Ruth Makoff & Rupert Read - 2016 - Philosophical Investigations 39 (4).
    Distributive justice relies on metaphors about spatial distribution. Modelling cross-temporal relations on cross-spatial relations in this way obscures how earlier groups become the later ones. Procedural justice metaphors rely on metaphors of contract and thereby on impartial reasoning. Their dominance is already problematic in the case of contemporary relations, but is even more so in the case of relations across time, where the conditions for later parties are controlled and created by earlier ones. Future generations should not be thought of (...)
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  • Constitutions as Chains? On the Intergenerational Challenges of Constitution-Making.Konstantin Chatziathanasiou - 2017 - Intergenerational Justice Review 10 (1).
    In this essay; I explore the ambiguity of the competition’s title “Constitutions as Chains”; and distinguish between two intergenerational challenges in constitution-making: the challenge of intergenerationally just constitutional provisions; and the challenge of creating a stable institution which is accepted by successive generations. I prioritise the latter. After contrasting classic ideas of Burke and Paine; I discuss different ways of addressing the challenge; such as the amendability of a constitution; eternity clauses or recurring constitutional assemblies. A flexible approach towards existing (...)
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  • How to Protect Future Generations' Rights in European Governance.Maja Göpel & Malte Arhelger - 2010 - Intergenerational Justice Review 5 (1).
    Given that future generations are right-bearing citizens of tomorrow; legislative systems should secure these rights through appropriate institutions. In the case of the European Union; reference to intergenerational justice can be found in various fundamental legal texts; but; paradoxically; no institutions exist to defend it. The structural short-termism inscribed into representative democracies means that present interests easily trump future concerns. We argue that the best way to overcome this problem is a system of temporal checks and balances. By comparing a (...)
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  • Our Intergenerational Obligations.Axel Gosseries - 2010 - Intergenerational Justice Review 5 (1).
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  • Energy Scenarios and Justice Towards Future Humans.Anders Melin & David Kronlid - 2019 - Etikk I Praksis - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics 1:39-54.
    Energy production and consumption give rise to issues of justice for future humans. By analysing a specific case – Swedish energy politics – this article contributes to the discussion of how consideration for future humans should affect energy policy making. It outlines three different energy scenarios for the period 2035-2065 – the nuclear-renewables, the renewables-low and the renewables-high scenarios – and assesses them from the point of view of justice for future individuals by using the capabilities approach as a normative (...)
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  • Evaluation as Institution: A Contractarian Argument for Needs-Based Economic Evaluation.Wolf H. Rogowski - 2018 - BMC Medical Ethics 19 (1):59.
    There is a gap between health economic evaluation methods and the value judgments of coverage decision makers, at least in Germany. Measuring preference satisfaction has been claimed to be inappropriate for allocating health care resources, e.g. because it disregards medical need. The existing methods oriented at medical need have been claimed to disregard non-consequentialist fairness concerns. The aim of this article is to propose a new, contractarian argument for justifying needs-based economic evaluation. It is based on consent rather than maximization (...)
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  • Crimes Against Future Generations: Implementing Intergenerational Justice Through International Criminal Law.Sébastien Jodoin - 2010 - Intergenerational Justice Review 5 (1).
    Intergenerational justice not only requires the adoption of best practices and policies; but also the prevention and repression of deleterious and morally blameworthy human behaviour which have severe impacts on the long-term health; safety and means of survival of groups of individuals. While many international crimes have indirect consequences on the well-being of present and future generations; it cannot be said that existing international criminal law is currently well-placed to directly and clearly protect intergenerational rights. As such; the development of (...)
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