Futureproofing democracy: Principles of foresight-based policy analysis and stress-testing for national parliaments and governments

Futureproofing democracy: Principles of foresight-based policy analysis and stress-testing for national parliaments and governments
This policy brief focuses on how an increased strategic foresight and stress-testing capacity of national parliaments and governments can improve policy resilience.
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06 September 2022
Authors
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Douglas Thorkell
Introduction

In an exceedingly uncertain policy environment, national parliaments and governments face 
numerous challenges. Technological innovation of economies and new domestic and international political conditions, including societal disruptions related to the degradation of ecosystem services and natural resource depletion and to climate change, could very well result in a different future than the one envisaged in most predictions.

If governments fail to adapt to this new reality, democracy and freedoms are more than likely to worsen and impede effective governance. 

This policy brief focuses on the potential added value of strategic foresight (the practice of scrutinising possible policy options in an uncertain future in order to more adequately foresee potential changes and their respective impacts) and stress-testing practices (the assessment of the impact of policies in a range of potential future trajectories) for national parliaments and governments.