There seem to be good reasons that democratic institutions must be reformed in order to minimize the danger of unsustainable policy decisions infringing upon duties of intergenerational justice. This is why there exist a number of different proposals of how to reform democratic states in order to foster their duties towards the future. However, the debate lacks a systematic assessment of these suggested reforms within a coherent theoretical and normative framework. This paper aims at developing such a framework.
We suggest two conceptual dimensions defining the spectrum of different justifiable institutional reforms: the relation between democracy and justice as one dimension and the conditions considered relevant for viewing democracies as responsible collective agents as the other. Depending on how we understand this relation and these conditions, it is possible to substantiate a set of types of institutional reforms that will promote democracies’ capacities to comply with their responsibilities towards the future.