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Handbook of Intergenerational Justice

Edited by Joerg Chet Tremmel, Scientific Director, Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations, Germany
This Handbook provides a detailed overview of various issues related to intergenerational justice. Comprising articles written by a distinguished group of scholars from the international scientific community, the Handbook is divided into two main thematic sections – foundations and definitions of intergenerational justice and institutionalization of intergenerational justice.
Extent: 368 pp
Hardback Price: $229.00 Web: $206.10
Publication Date: 2006
ISBN: 978 1 84542 900 3
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environment
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environmental Law
  • Law - Academic
  • Environmental Law
This Handbook provides a detailed overview of various issues related to intergenerational justice. Comprising articles written by a distinguished group of scholars from the international scientific community, the Handbook is divided into two main thematic sections – foundations and definitions of intergenerational justice and institutionalization of intergenerational justice.

The first part clarifies basic terms and traces back the origins of the idea of intergenerational justice. It also focuses on the problem of intergenerational buck-passing in the ecological context; for example in relation to nuclear waste and the greenhouse effect. At the same time, it also sheds light on the relationship between intergenerational justice and economics, addressing issues such as public debt and financial sustainability. The innovative second part of the volume highlights how posterity can be institutionally protected, such as by inserting relevant clauses into national constitutions. Reading this volume is the best way to gain an overall knowledge of intergenerational justice – an extremely salient and topical issue of our time.

The Handbook is an important contribution to the literature and will be of great interest to academics and graduate students as well as readers interested in wider human rights issues.
‘The contributors to this volume undertake to establish the foundations and definitions of “intergenerational justice” and to explore its capacity to guide us in policy and public opinion judgments we must make to face unprecedented issues. . . We are changing the biosphere and using resources to an extent never contemplated in the history of ethics. Deterioration of our oceans, loss of topsoil, insecurity about potable water supplies, the ozone hole, global warming, and the question about how to handle high-level nuclear waste which remains lethal perhaps 400,000 years from now, are some examples whose consequences reach far beyond inherited principles and policies of responsibility to others. This Handbook works to open a path for debate, extension of our tradition and invention of new thinking on these issues.’
– Craig Walton, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, US

‘More than a Handbook, this collection is a landmark work showing the way to a new ethics of intergenerational responsibility. It raises, in the most comprehensive way, the overarching ethical questions of our time, “What are the rights of future generations?” and “How might present generations establish a philosophical foundation for its responsibilities to generations to come?”.’
– Peter Blaze Corcoran, Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education, Florida Gulf Coast University, US

‘This important book provides a rich menu of history, current theory, and future directions in constitutional law, philosophy of rights and justice, and the relations of economics and politics to time, institutions, and the common good. It is enlivened by back-and-forth discussions among the authors (including some disagreements), as well as by applications to important contemporary issues such as climate change, nuclear waste, and public debt. Theoretic considerations are nicely balanced with examples of the means adopted in a number of countries to establish a legal foundation for protection of the quality of life for future generations.’
– Neva Goodwin, Tufts University, US

‘Do we owe the future anything? If so, what – and why? Our capacity to affect the lives of future generations is greater than ever before, but what principles should regulate our relationship with people who don’t yet exist? This Handbook offers a comprehensive survey of the key debates and pathbreaking accounts of potential ways forward – both ethical and institutional.’
– Andrew Dobson, The Open University, UK
Contributors: E. Agius, W. Beckerman, D. Birnbacher, D. Bourg, C. Dierksmeier, P. Ederer, S.M. Gardiner, A. Gosseries, P. Häberle, M. Hungerbühler, B. Jávor, N. Lamay, C. Lumer, P. Schuller, S. Shoham, B. Süssmuth, J. Timmerhuis, J.C. Tremmel, R. van Opstal, M. Wallack, R.K. von Weizsäcker, S. Willms
Contents:

Introduction

PART I: FOUNDATIONS AND DEFINITIONS OF GENERATIONAL JUSTICE
1. Responsibility for Future Generations – Scope and Limits
Dieter Birnbacher

2. Principles of Generational Justice
Christoph Lumer

3. The Impossibility of a Theory of Intergenerational Justice
Wilfred Beckerman

4. John Rawls on the Rights of Future Generations
Claus Dierksmeier

5. Justice Between Generations: The Limits of Procedural Justice
Michael Wallack

6. Rule Change and Intergenerational Justice
Axel Gosseries and Mathias Hungerbühler

7. The Economic Sustainability Indicator
Peer Ederer, Philipp Schuller and Stephan Willms

8. Protecting Future Generations: Intergenerational Buck-passing, Theoretical Ineptitude and a Brief for a Global Core Precautionary Principle
Stephen M. Gardiner

9. Institutional Determinants of Public Debt: A Political Economy Perspective
Bernd Süssmuth and Robert K. von Weizsäcker

PART II: INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF GENERATIONAL JUSTICE
10. Establishing Intergenerational Justice in National Constitutions
Joerg Chet Tremmel

11. A Constitutional Law for Future Generations – The ‘Other’ Form of the Social Contract: The Generation Contract
Peter Häberle

12. The French Constitutional Charter for the Environment: An Effective Instrument?
Dominique Bourg

13. Commission for Future Generations in the Knesset: Lessons Learnt
Shlomo Shoham and Nira Lamay

14. Institutional Protection of Succeeding Generations – Ombudsman for Future Generations in Hungary
Benedek Jávor

15. The Role of CPB in Dutch Economic Policy
Rocus van Opstal and Jacqueline Timmerhuis

16. Intergenerational Justice
Emmanuel Agius

Information About the Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations

Index