future politics

Our Research

Climate and Ecosystem Breakdown

Our political systems have failed to prevent climate breakdown and ongoing ecosystem destruction. As the effects of this breakdown are felt more strongly, the challenges of governance will become ever more acute. How will our political institutions cope in a world marked by increasing desertification, heatwaves, droughts, flooding, hurricanes, food shortages, climate refugees and resource conflict? Could new democratic institutions help us to meet these challenges in an equitable way? What would such institutions look like and how could they be brought into being?

See also our research projects on Ethics in Climate and Development.

Technological Risk

Advances in emerging technologies offer significant new opportunities to humanity. At the same time, they create new risks that compound the challenges already posed by climate and ecosystem breakdown. Foremost among these are risks associated with new developments in artificial intelligence and biotechnology. Our research aims to understand the obstacles to effective governance of these risks and to develop a framework for ethical governance of technological risk at the national and international levels.

Democracy and Psychology

Democratic institutions harness particular psychological traits at the expense of others. Fear, short termism, and ingroup-outgroup thinking, for example, are all well represented at the ballot box. Yet other potentially helpful aspects of our psychology, such as the human capacity for empathy and our ability to reason, are not well harnessed by existing institutions. We aim to understand how democratic institutions could be reconfigured to draw on human psychology in ways that promote the long term flourishing of humanity instead of catalysing its demise.