DemocraticConstitutions andSharing Generations Civic Life Professionalism: Future Authority in Axel P. Gosseries* Albert W. Dzur A Double-Edged Sword Any attempt at thoroughly exploring issues of requires a close look at the interactions between constitutions and our concern for justice towards future generations. It is crucial to understand at the outset that, far from a convergence, there is a fundamental tension at work between two types of concerns for future generations as they translate at the constitutional level. On the one hand, by incorporating substantive and/or procedural guarantees in the constitution, one may well aim at reinforcing the protection of the coming generations against actions of generations preceding them and deemed problematic. Yet, on the other hand, the more we rely on constitutions--as opposed to less rigid legal instruments--the more we threaten the generational sovereignty of future generations. Taking seriously the renewal in theories of justice as well as the development of environmentalism in the 1970s and 1980s, one may be tempted to assume that constitutions can only serve future generations. Yet, exactly two centuries earlier, in the late 1780s and early 1790s, the concern of authors such as Jefferson (1789) and Paine (1791) was just the opposite.1 Constitutions
The Good Society – Penn State University Press
Published: Jan 18, 2008
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