Political Representation of Future Generations

Sustainability in Political Language, France 1780–1850

Project Description

In a technologically potent society, our impact on future people and their conditions of life increase. This has spurred a growing discussion in the fields of political theory and political science. The issue is intertwined with a fundamental notion underpinning our political culture, namely that of political representation. In this project, the issue of political representation of future generations and the nature of our obligations towards them is approached from a historical perspective.

Using methods from conceptual history, this study examines the changing concern for future generations as embedded in French discussions on forestry 1780–1848. Since forests grow slowly, planning for them inevitably directs attention to posterity. Forest management is therefore an area in which changing concerns for future generations can be studied. The inquiry is carried out in relation to the conceptual historical theory of a general transformation in European political languages between 1750 and 1850. This was a time of great political change, both reflected in and affected by the political language.


About the Project

Project Duration



The Swedish Research Council

Last modified: 2022-12-29