Our democracies repeatedly fail to safeguard the future. From pensions to pandemics, health and social care through to climate, biodiversity and emerging technologies, democracies have been unable to deliver robust policies for the long term.
In Can Democracy Safeguard the Future? (Polity Press, 2021), Graham Smith, a leading scholar of democratic theory and practice, asks why? Exploring the drivers of the short-termism that dominate contemporary politics, he considers ways of reshaping legislatures and constitutions and proposes strengthening independent offices whose overarching goals do not change at every election. More radically, Smith argues that forms of participatory and deliberative politics offer the most effective democratic response to the current political myopia as well as a powerful means of protecting the interests of generations to come.
Kyle Beadle is a recent graduate of Louisiana State University, where he studied International Studies and Spanish. He is now seeking a master’s in International Relations and Security.