PRIN 2022 Next Generation Ita

Title of the project: Next Generation Ita. Increasing Trust, Making Future Generations Possible

Research unitsTiziana Andina (PI), Università di Torino; Barbara Pozzo, Università degli Studi dell’Insubria; Attilio Pisanò, Università del Salento.

Brief description of the project

The constitutional law of 11 February 2022, n. 1, amended articles 9 and 41 of the Italian Constitution by including an explicit reference to an obligation toward future generations. The amended article speaks of “the protection of the environment, biodiversity and ecosystems, also for the interest of future generations”. In this way, the legislator recognizes the validity of the principle of transgenerational responsibility, according to which the actions we take today may have important consequences for the world of tomorrow and future generations.
The research hypothesis of the present project is that societies are constitutively transgenerational devices, i.e. they are complex artefacts created by human beings that allow the capitalization of knowledge and resources by transferring them over time between generations. Some problems that are distinctive of the current historical phase, as for example the climate and environmental crisis or the sustainability of national public debts and welfare systems, make two things clear: first, the control of time is at least as urgent as that of space, hence the need to update the Constitution with reference to future generations on issues such as the environment and welfare. Second, many social practices carried out by means of information technologies create value: the so-called documedia capital (Ferraris, 2020), i.e., the value of data generated by the processing and sharing of traces we produce by using the web. Documedia capital is increasingly exploited by digital platforms but is rarely conceptualised or capitalised for the benefit of the community or future generations (Andina 2022, Ferraris, 2020). An integration between the theory of transgenerationality and the theory of documedia capital then seems promising in order to identify resources that policymakers can use to support the implementation of transgenerational policies.

Unlike most research on transgenerationality, which only favours the ethical perspective, the NEXT-ITA project inaugurates an innovative approach, able to put together a metaphysical, ethical, historical and juridical perspective on this issue. NEXT-ITA will use a methodology in which philosophy (metaphysics, ontology and ethics) will investigate the structure of transgenerationality together with the ways to strengthen it, while philosophy of law and jurisprudence will investigate the history of the legal devices used to implement transgenerationality in civil law, comparatively exploring the updates of some European constitutions on the issues of environmental protection and future generations and, finally, pointing out possible legal devices aimed at the representation of future generations. Additionally, NEXT-ITA proposes a policy to successfully implement our obligation toward future generations also through the resources of documedia capital.

PRIN Grant:  278.715 €