1st Edition

Showing Social Solidarity with Future Generations

By Marianne Takle Copyright 2025
    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    Today’s generations can affect the future ecosystem more than any previous generations and aggravate the welfare of future people. People who have not yet been born are excluded from political decisions important to their lives. Due to the future generations’ lack of influence, current generations have a responsibility to act.

    The current generation's responsibility for the well-being of future generations has been used as an argument for an increasing number of legislative and policy measures across the world but are rarely followed up in practice.

    This book examines when commitments to future generations are followed up in practice and in what situations they are not.

    A concept of solidarity with future generations is developed and applied to four policy areas:

    The UN 2030 Agenda, national political institutions for future generations, constitutions and climate lawsuits, and regulations of economic debt or savings for future generations. Germany and Norway are selected as cases to evaluate what the commitments might entail in practice.

    The book highlights where the gaps emerge, and what needs to be done. The failing transition from the global to the national level highlights a need for stronger cosmopolitan elements in the international political system. Institutional bindings are generally weak at the national level. Financial restrictions show it is possible to establish strong institutional constraints, but the focus on financial resources is too narrow. Both national and global institutional bindings must be strengthened to show social solidarity with future generations.

    1.Introduction.  Part I – Solidarity in Theory.  2.What is solidarity?  3.Temporality, narratives, and generations.  4.Solidarity with future generations.  Part II – Solidarity in Practice.  5.The UN 2030 Agenda and future generations.  6.National political institutions for future generations.  7.Constitutions, protection clauses and climate lawsuits.  8.Economic debt and savings for future generations.  9.Conclusion.


    Marianne Takle is a research professor at Norwegian Social Research at Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway. She has been a visiting fellow at POLIS, University of Cambridge and Europa-Kollege, Universität Hamburg. She has co-edited two books newly published by Routledge: Falch-Eriksen, A., Takle, M. and Slagsvold, B. (Eds.) (2021). Generational Tensions and Solidarity Within Advanced Welfare States. Takle et al. (Eds.) (2023). Citizenship and Social Exclusion at the Margins of the Welfare State.