An Ombudsman for Future Generations, Legitimate and Effective?
Publication year: 2017
Beckman, Ludvig & Fredrik Uggla
in: Institutions For Future Generations, Iñigo González-Ricoy and Axel Gosseries (red.), Oxford: Oxford University Press. 117-134.
This chapter examines the possibility to establish ombudsmen as instruments for the protection of the interests of future generations. We argue that such an institution would be advantageous on grounds of feasibility and democratic legitimacy. As an ombudsman does not have the power to sanction or compel, such an institution would be both more acceptable to parliaments and governments and more consistent with various conceptions of democratic legitimacy. However, this does not mean that the institution would be inconsequential. Drawing on examples of ombudsmen in other contexts, we argue that such institutions can in some cases make a political difference despite its lack of powers to sanction or compel. In sum, we argue that an ombudsman for future generations could turn out to be a solution that is feasible, democratically acceptable, and potentially effective.