Expanding anticipatory governance to legislatures: The emergence and global diffusion of legislature-based future institutions

Paper by Vesa Koskimaa et al: “Global challenges from climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic have raised legitimate questions about the ability of democratic decision-makers to prepare for such crises. Gradually, countries throughout the world have established state-level foresight mechanisms. Most operate under the executive branch, but increasingly such institutions have started to emerge also in legislatures, expanding anticipatory governance towards democratic publics. Drawing on a global survey, official documents and expert interviews, this article presents the first comprehensive analysis of the emergence and diffusion of legislature-based future institutions. We show that, despite the early emergence of a pacesetting institution, such committees have spread slowly and only very recently, and they still exist in only a few countries. For diffusion, the findings highlight the importance of the pacesetter, semi-formal networks of like-minded individuals and personalized agency. Most especially, the role of Members of Parliament (MPs) seems crucial, suggesting that expanding anticipatory governance to legislatures is largely in the hand of legislators…(More)”.