The Future-Oriented Franchise: Instituting Temporal Electoral Circles

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In representative democracies, the absence of responsiveness by elected officials to the interests of the represented often generates problems of legitimacy, accountability and effectiveness. However, responsiveness also tends to narrow the time horizons of democratic decision-making and promote short-termism. This paper advances the notion that responsiveness to interests involving distant time horizons is possible by reconfiguring the franchise in a time-sensitive and future-oriented way. It is divided into two parts. The first pinpoints a few inconsistencies in the available proposals for making responsiveness and the long term compatible (e.g., promoting youth turnout, narrowing the franchise to robust epistemic fitness, establishing future-oriented institutions). The second advances the creation of temporal electoral circles operating alongside territorial electoral circles in order to prompt responsiveness to multitemporal interests. The conclusion asserts that this kind of franchise design is the best available option for introducing temporal aspects into the character of democratic representation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Theory
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Apr 2023


  • Franchise design
  • Responsiveness
  • Temporal electoral circles
  • Democratic representation
  • Long term
  • Intergenerational
  • Short-termism
  • Future


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