Program3 Seminar
"Future Publics: Democracy, Deliberation, and Future-Regarding Collective Action."

Date and Time: June 4th 9:30-11:00
Venue: Zoom
* Please contact the person in charge for the URL, ID and password.
Organized: Program3, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
Language: English
Speaker: Assistant Professor Michael Kenneth MacKenzie, Department of Political Science University of Pittsburgh

Scholars have often claimed that democracies, whatever their virtues, are functionally short-sighted. The evidence is clear: we have been unable to manage many long-term issues including climate change, nuclear waste disposal, natural disaster preparedness, infrastructure maintenance, and budget deficits. If voters and influential actors, such as interest groups and corporations, have dominant short-term interests, it may be difficult for elected politicians to act in the long-term interests of society, even if they think that it would be the right thing to do. To solve long-term problems, do we need political systems that are less democratic, or even authoritarian?

This idea, which Michael K. MacKenzie calls the ""democratic myopia thesis,"" is a sort of conventional wisdom; it is an idea that scholars and pundits take for granted as a truth about democracy without subjecting it to adequate critical scrutiny. In Future Publics, MacKenzie challenges this conventional wisdom and articulates a deliberative, democratic theory of future-regarding collective action. Specifically, MacKenzie argues that each part of the democratic myopia problem can be addressed through democratic--rather than authoritarian--means. At a more fundamental level, once we recognize that democratic practices are world-making activities that empower us to make our shared worlds together, they should also be understood as future-making activities. Despite the short-term dynamics associated with electoral democracy, MacKenzie asserts that we need more inclusive and deliberative democracies if we are going to make shared futures that will work for us all.

Book Information from Oxford University Press

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