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Strategies for GoverningReinventing Public Administration for a Dangerous Century$
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Alasdair Roberts

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501714405

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501714405.001.0001

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Present or Future

Present or Future

(p.107) Chapter 17 Present or Future
Strategies for Governing

Alasdair Roberts

Cornell University Press

This chapter looks at how leaders also think about another border as they formulate a strategy for governing. This is the temporal divide between present and future, the invisible line that separates the present generation from the generations that follow. Institutions can be designed to give more weight to the interests of future generations. Indeed, leaders have built institutions with a vested interest in tending to future threats. In the United States, the Department of Defense regularly reviews threats to national security that will likely face the next generation. However, leaders are often driven toward shortsightedness, because they must also respond to more immediate challenges. Any state, democratic or authoritarian, must deal with the reality of competition within the system of states. To maintain security and influence, leaders must keep their national economies growing, even if it causes long-term environmental damage.

Keywords:   state leaders, governance strategies, present generation, future generations, state institutions, national security, competition, system of states, national economies, environmental damage

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