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Deliberative Forms of Democracy and Intergenerational Sustainability Dilemma

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  • Pankaj Koirala

    (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology, Kochi 782-8502, Japan
    Research Institute for Future Design, Kochi University of Technology, Kochi 782-8502, Japan
    Institute for Integrated Development Studies, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal)

  • Raja Rajendra Timilsina

    (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology, Kochi 782-8502, Japan
    Research Institute for Future Design, Kochi University of Technology, Kochi 782-8502, Japan)

  • Koji Kotani

    (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology, Kochi 782-8502, Japan
    Research Institute for Future Design, Kochi University of Technology, Kochi 782-8502, Japan
    Urban Institute, Kyusyu University, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan
    College of Business, Rikkyo University, Tokyo 171-8501, Japan)

Abstract

Intergenerational sustainability (IS) has emerged as the most serious social problem reflecting climate change and accumulation of public debt in modern democratic societies, undermining the potential interests and concerns of future generations. However, little is known about whether or not deliberative forms of democracy with majority voting help support at maintaining IS by representing future generations’ potential interests and concerns. We institute IS dilemma game with three forms of decision-making models with majority voting and examine how they maintain IS in laboratory experiments. In the IS dilemma game, a sequence of six generations is prepared where each generation consisting of three subjects is asked to choose either maintaining IS (sustainable option) or maximizing their own generation’s payoff by irreversibly costing the subsequent generations (unsustainable option) with anonymous voting systems: (1) majority voting (MV), (2) deliberative majority voting (DMV) and (3) majority voting with deliberative accountability (MVDA). In MV and DMV, generations vote for their choices without and with deliberation, respectively. In MVDA, generations are asked to be possibly accountable for their choices to the subsequent generations during deliberation, and then vote. Our analysis shows that a decision-making model with only majority voting generally does not address IS, while DMV and MVDA treatments induce more and much more generations to choose a sustainable option than MV, respectively. Overall, the results demonstrate that deliberation and accountability along with majority voting shall be necessary in models of decision-making at resolving IS problems and representing future generations’ potential interests and concerns.

Suggested Citation

  • Pankaj Koirala & Raja Rajendra Timilsina & Koji Kotani, 2021. "Deliberative Forms of Democracy and Intergenerational Sustainability Dilemma," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(13), pages 1-18, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:13:y:2021:i:13:p:7377-:d:586758
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    1. Raja Rajendra Timilsina & Yoshinori Nakagawa & Yoshio Komijo & Koji Kotani & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2021. "Imaginary future generations: A deliberative approach for intergenerational sustainability dilemma," Working Papers SDES-2021-12, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Nov 2021.
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    3. Timilsina, Raja R. & Kotani, Koji & Nakagawa, Yoshinori & Saijo, Tatsuyoshi, 2022. "Intragenerational deliberation and intergenerational sustainability dilemma," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).

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