The Immigration Crisis' Challenge to the Universality of Intergenerational Justice

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This essay raises the question whether the intergenerational justice (IGJ) debate is entering a new phase, in which cultural identity matters are gaining more weight. After the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development failed, in 2012, to adopt the institution of the Ombudsman for Future Generations, the IGJ debate in its traditional form, i.e. centered upon environmental quality and natural resources, faded. A new intergenerational ‘good’ is now capturing the attention of societies and policy makers. Concern for cultural preservation is widespread among European host societies in the context of the actual immigration crisis, and is at the same time enshrined in the Budapest Memorandum (2014) as an intergenerational duty. Integrating massive numbers of migrants originating from cultures very different from the one of the host country is a challenge to cultural preservation, and thus to the understanding of IGJ declared by the signatories of Budapest Memorandum. Inspired from the international law mechanism of diplomatic protection, this essay proposes that inter-national, rather than universal intergenerational justice, should be aimed at as a first step, under these circumstances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Identity and Migration Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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