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FOUNDATION
FOR THE RIGHTS
OF FUTURE
GENERATIONS

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Newsletter 2015 PDF Print E-mail
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Newsletter for Intergenerational Justice – 12/2015

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1) Intergenerational Justice Prize 2015/2016 on the topic "Constitutions as millstones?"

2) Call for Papers: "Low Electoral Turnout among Young Voters – Consequences and Remedies" (IGJR, Issue 1/2016)

3) Call for Papers: "Constitutions and Intergenerational Justice" (IGJR, Issue 2/2016)

4) Aging electorates, intergenerational fairness and pro-elderly policy bias: An Article by Pieter Vanhuysse in E-Publica

5) Meeting the needs of future generations: A Position Paper by Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice

6) European economic and debt crisis: Children and young people are hardest hit: A Study by Bertelsmann Stiftung

7) Rethinking Capitalism for Intergenerational Justice in the Fin-De-Millénaire: A Paper by Julia M. Puaschunder

8) Constructions of climate justice in German, Indian and US media: An Article by Andreas Schmidt and Mike S. Schäfer

9) The growing intergenerational divide in Europe: A Paper by Pia Hüttl, Karen Wilson and Guntram Wolff  

10) For every child a fair chance The promise of equity: A Report by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

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1) Intergenerational Justice Prize 2015/2016 on the topic "Constitutions as millstones?"

01_12_15The FRFG and the Intergenerational Foundation (IF) invite entries for the Intergenerational Justice Prize 2015/2016 for young scientists. The topic of this prize is "Constitutions as millstones? Are regular national constitutional conventions the solution to give successive generations the flexibility they need?". This prize is endowed with a total of 10.000 Euro and funded by the Foundation Apfelbaum. The award ceremony will take place on 8 November 2016 in cooperation with the Demography Congress in Berlin.

The submitted papers have to address the tension between rigidity and flexibility, that is between: "Constitutions' eternity guarantees" and "Constitutions' automatically expiration dates". Innovative ideas are welcome, as for example a permanent constitutional convention under the participation of young people. Submissions will be accepted until 1 June 2016. You can request the formal requirements by email to the following email address: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it More information can be found here.

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2) Call for Papers: "Low Electoral Turnout among Young Voters – Consequences and Remedies" (IGJR, Issue 1/2016)

02_12_15The Intergenerational Justice Review (IGJR) invites submissions that focus on the comparatively low electoral turnout among young voters. As it is well known the global trend towards greater longevity means that the number of older voters is constantly increasing, and the proportional number of younger voters is decreasing. The result is that politicians tend to pander to the 'Grey Vote', and young people run the risk of being under-represented in parliament, and of seeing their issues ignored by governments. The principles of democracy are called into question if any group within become sidelined, while others are favoured. There will be consequences if young people perceive that they are being left out of the political process, and remedies are needed to ensure that this does not happen. There is wide scope here for close analysis of how these issues affect democratic representation around the world, and for innovative thinking in search of solutions.

The size limit of the final manuscript is up to 30.000 characters (including spaces, annotation etc.) and the manuscript submission deadline is 31 January 2016. The articles may be submitted electronically to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it More information can be found here.

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3) Call for Papers: "Constitutions and Intergenerational Justice" (IGJR, Issue 2/2016)

01_12_15The Intergenerational Justice Review (IGJR) invites submissions to the topic "Constitutions and Intergenerational Justice". The articles may be submitted electronically to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it The size limit of submissions is up to 30.000 characters (including spaces, annotation etc.), the manuscript submission deadline is 1 June 2016. More information can be found here.

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4) Aging electorates, intergenerational fairness and pro-elderly policy bias: An Article by Pieter Vanhuysse in E-Publica

04_12_15It is common knowledge that people in Western Europe have high life expectancy whereas they having fewer children. This has led to larger shares of elderly voters during elections. Many people now fear that elderly voters are becoming an immensely powerful political pressure group. After all, aging populations do not just entail more elderly people who are eligible to vote. These elderly electors also tend to go voting more often than younger voters. The rise of elderly citizen numbers among the electorate may have manifold implications for policy; not all of them are straightforward or intuitive. What is clear, is that the population aging has very significantly changed electoral and policy dynamics across all aging democracies.

Vanhuysse’s article reviews the state of the art in comparative politics and political sociology on the interplay between population aging and public policies in OECD democracies. It discusses findings from the Intergenerational Justice Index (IJI), a four-dimensional indicator developed with the Bertelsmann Stiftung in order to compare intergenerational justice in practice across 29 societies. Three of the IJI dimensions measure policy outcomes that leave legacy burdens towards younger and future generations (ecological footprint, child poverty, and public debt levels per child) whereas the fourth dimension measures policy inputs in the form of welfare states' overall pro-elderly spending bias. Demographic change provides urgent arguments for (re)activating the fiscal and human capital basis of aging welfare states and for investing in early human capital. But the institutional complexities and context-dependencies of generational politics do not justify blanket generational blame games.

For more information you can click this link.

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5) Meeting the needs of future generations: A Position Paper by Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice

05_12_15Although the principle of intergenerational equity is widely recognized in the international legal system in general and in the legal architecture concerned with climate change in particular, it is less clear what is required in practice to realise the principle and operationalise the concept. Growing inequality, extreme poverty and the threat of climate change bring into focus the fact that the actions (or inactions) of the present generation can jeopardize the rights and well-being of generations yet to be born. The Mary Robinson Foundation has the following position: Intergenerational equity is entirely consistent with a climate justice approach, which links human rights and development to safeguard the rights of the most vulnerable and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its resolution equitably and fairly.

Several global processes converge in 2015 with the potential to re-orientate development to be more sustainable, inclusive, low carbon and resilient. Incorporating the principles of intergenerational equity into the international processes taking shape in 2015, says Mary Robinson Foundation, requires an approach that considers a combination of strategies – some specific to these processes and some to enhance the standing of intergenerational equity more broadly within international dialogue.

The position paper takes into consideration the role of an intergenerational equity approach in relation to the two major agreements in 2015, the signing of the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the Climate Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at COP 21 in Paris.

For more information you can click this link.

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6) European economic and debt crisis: Children and young people are hardest hit: A Study by Bertelsmann Stiftung

06_12_15Children and young people have been hit the hardest by the European economic and debt crisis. In the EU, some 26 million children and young people – or 27.9 per cent of the population under 18 – are threatened by poverty or social exclusion, says the Bertelsmann Stiftung by a study. The future prospects of the 5.4 million young people who are neither employed nor in education or training are similarly bleak. The social justice gap in Europe runs most strongly between north and south and between young and old.

Observed over a long time, the intergenerational justice gap is also widening throughout Europe. This contrasting development between young and old is exacerbated by three Europe-wide trends: growing public debt is burdening the younger generations especially, future investments in education and also research and development are stagnating, and aging populations are putting increasing pressure on the financial viability of social security systems.

For more information you can click this link.

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7) Rethinking Capitalism for Intergenerational Justice in the Fin-De-Millénaire: A Paper by Julia M. Puaschunder

07_12_15Today's most pressing social dilemmas regarding climate change, overindebtedness and aging Western world populations demand rethinking capitalism. This is the position of Julia M. Puaschunder. Understanding the bounds of capitalism to avoid ethical downfalls beyond the control of singular nation states infringing on intergenerational equity has become a blatant demand. In a history of turning to natural law as a human-imbued moral compass for solving societal downfalls on a global scale in times of crises, we may capture the human natural drive towards intergenerational fairness in order to retrieve information on how to implement intergenerational justice, this is the point of Julia M. Puaschunder.

Her paper, based on the idea of intergenerational equity as a natural behavioral law, theoretically outlines the current societal demand for eternal equity and proposes intergenerational justice implementation strategies. Intertemporal connectedness and interaction of overlapping generations enables intergenerational benefits transfers and burden sharing. Intergenerational mobility within intertemporal networks is enhanced through intertemporal opportunities as well as meritocracy alleviating intergenerational inequality.

For more information you can click this link.

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8) Constructions of climate justice in German, Indian and US media: An Article by Andreas Schmidt and Mike S. Schäfer

08_12_15Climate change is often said to constitute a "global collective-action problem": societal reactions to tackle the problem involve the cooperation of many diverse actors. Research indicates that such cooperation is easier when the involved parties share basic moral beliefs and have a common understanding of what measures are "just". Accordingly, "climate justice" has received considerable attention in recent years – mainly from philosophers and ethicists.

The article by Andreas Schmidt and Mike S. Schäfer employs a sociological perspective on the concept of justice. Rather than developing normative ideals of justice, such approaches focus on how justice is perceived by different societies or stakeholders. Therefore, it will be analysed how climate justice is constructed in public debates about climate governance and it will be reconstructed the perception of climate justice in the leading media in three societies (Germany, India and USA), that is how the ultimate goals and rightful shape of climate governance are described in the "master forum" of these societies' public spheres and to what extent there is an agreement on common ideals and principles, both within societies and cross-nationally.

For more information you can click this link.

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9) The growing intergenerational divide in Europe: A Paper by Pia Hüttl, Karen Wilson and Guntram Wolff 

11_12_15During the economic and financial crisis, the divide between the young and the old in the European Union increased in terms of economic well-being and allocation of resources by governments. As youth unemployment and youth poverty rates increased, government spending shifted away from education, families and children towards pensioners. To address the sustainability of pension systems, some countries implemented pension reforms.

In the paper the three authors analyse changes to benefit ratios (the ratio of the income of pensioners to the income of the active working population) and find that reforms often favoured current over future pensioners, increasing the intergenerational divide. The authors also recommend reforms in three areas to address the intergenerational divide: improving European macroeconomic management, restoring fairness in government spending (so the young are not disadvantaged) and pension reforms that share the burden fairly between generations.

For more information you can click this link.

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10) For every child a fair chance – The promise of equity: A Report by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

10_12_15Giving a fair chance in life to every child – especially to the most disadvantaged children – offers the greatest hope of breaking intergenerational cycles of inequity and poverty in every society. That is the central proposition underlying UNICEF's "equity agenda". The principle of equity guides UNICEF's work with a sharp focus on the world's most vulnerable children: those from the poorest households, girls, children with disabilities, migrant and refugee children, those living in remote areas, and children from ethnic or religious groups facing discrimination. The paper below builds on evidence and experience from this work to make two main arguments for closing persistent gaps in equity.

First, the cycle of inequity is neither inevitable nor insurmountable and UNICEF works to break that cycle by tackling inequities in opportunity for children who have been marginalized. Second, the cost of inaction is too high. Failing to invest sustainably in essential services and protection for every child does not just deny today's children their rights but will have detrimental effects for upcoming generations, too. In the end, inaction will contribute to social and economic inequities affecting entire societies and will slow or reverse global development progress, this is the point of UNICEF.

For more information you can click this link.

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With best regards,
The Editors

Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations
(Stiftung fuer die Rechte zukuenftiger Generationen)
Mannsperger Str. 29
D-70619 Stuttgart

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Bernhard Winkler
Anna Braam
Wolfgang Gründinger
Adrian Schell (head of board)

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Hans-Ulrich Kramer

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