Futuribles Journal n° 417

Institutions - Territoires, réseaux

Political Visions and Civilizational Challenges: The Example of Local Policies


The theme of lack of vision has become a recurrent one in commentaries on French political life. This is why, a few weeks from the presidential elections (which one might wish to see as an opportunity to offer real medium/long-term future visions to French citizens), Futuribles has decided to delve into this question with a series of articles on the lack of political vision, the reasons behind it, and possible remedies. Jean Haëntjens gives us his analysis, drawing on the lessons to be learned from local policy.

After stressing the many civilizational challenges facing societies, particularly European and Western societies, challenges their leaders need to rise to, he shows how, at the local level, city and district authorities have held out against the dominant paradigm of development at all costs and have proposed new civilizational models. Acting concretely in unison with actors from all walks of life to co-produce policies, these authorities have developed initiatives in the cultural and ecological fields and in the area of mobility etc. that offer their residents new visions of the future, based on different values. These new political models, which one finds in many European countries, represent an initial base level the European Union might build on, drawing inspiration from them in its search for a civilizational model attuned to the imperative tasks currently facing us (global warming, transition, human rights and freedoms etc.), if indeed the political leaders of its member states are capable of getting a collective handle on these tasks…

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