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Why the far-future matters to democracy today

Karlsson, Rasmus LU (2005) In Futures 37(10). p.1095-1103
Abstract
As the complexity of social and political interaction becomes increasingly over-whelming it is only natural that the pragmatic, technocratic, and expert-driven character of contemporary policy-making is even further consolidated. Though making use of existing knowledge this approach may lead to a deprivation of the democratic debate as the time horizons are shortened and the number of significantly different policies is restrained by the framework within which decisions are to be made. This article analyses the tension between a more holistic or even 'utopian' attitude to policy-making and the trial-and-error piecemeal approach which today seems to be prevailing in the industrial countries. It is argued that a theoretical distinction made... (More)
As the complexity of social and political interaction becomes increasingly over-whelming it is only natural that the pragmatic, technocratic, and expert-driven character of contemporary policy-making is even further consolidated. Though making use of existing knowledge this approach may lead to a deprivation of the democratic debate as the time horizons are shortened and the number of significantly different policies is restrained by the framework within which decisions are to be made. This article analyses the tension between a more holistic or even 'utopian' attitude to policy-making and the trial-and-error piecemeal approach which today seems to be prevailing in the industrial countries. It is argued that a theoretical distinction made by Leszek Kolakowski may help us overcome that tension. The distinction is then applied to the classical stage-heuristic for policy-making leading to a discussion about how the power of far-future visions can be brought into the nexus of democratic deliberation. The article also examines how different time-frames may cause diverging practical policy-recommendations. Finally, the paradoxical merit of negative visions, as in the dystopian literary genre, is presented. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Futures
volume
37
issue
10
pages
1095 - 1103
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000233325000003
  • scopus:24744442806
ISSN
0016-3287
DOI
10.1016/j.futures.2005.02.007
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
426835ca-88e6-46f4-a4c1-08a341a10402 (old id 149510)
date added to LUP
2007-06-25 12:38:10
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:58:12
@article{426835ca-88e6-46f4-a4c1-08a341a10402,
  abstract     = {As the complexity of social and political interaction becomes increasingly over-whelming it is only natural that the pragmatic, technocratic, and expert-driven character of contemporary policy-making is even further consolidated. Though making use of existing knowledge this approach may lead to a deprivation of the democratic debate as the time horizons are shortened and the number of significantly different policies is restrained by the framework within which decisions are to be made. This article analyses the tension between a more holistic or even 'utopian' attitude to policy-making and the trial-and-error piecemeal approach which today seems to be prevailing in the industrial countries. It is argued that a theoretical distinction made by Leszek Kolakowski may help us overcome that tension. The distinction is then applied to the classical stage-heuristic for policy-making leading to a discussion about how the power of far-future visions can be brought into the nexus of democratic deliberation. The article also examines how different time-frames may cause diverging practical policy-recommendations. Finally, the paradoxical merit of negative visions, as in the dystopian literary genre, is presented.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Rasmus},
  issn         = {0016-3287},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {10},
  pages        = {1095--1103},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Futures},
  title        = {Why the far-future matters to democracy today},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2005.02.007},
  volume       = {37},
  year         = {2005},
}