Decision-Making in the Age of Emergencies. New Paradigms in Recognition and Protection of Rights [DeMa]
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Descrizione del progetto
How do constitutional democracies meet new challenges? In the last decades, a sequence of emergencies (international terrorism, economic and financial turmoil, pandemic or epidemic waves) has put pressure on democratic governments. These have also been confronted by the strengthening of two major trends originating in the 20th century, i.e. the decreasing national dimensions of law, on one hand, and the technological revolution, on the other. New decision-makers and decision-making processes emerged, affecting the core of contemporary democracies, that is the regulation of rights and freedoms. Given the proliferation of decision-makers, becomes very important to verify which bodies and branches govern and manage the emergencies. What are the methods, purposes and motivations in their decision-making process?
The project identifies five categories of cross cutting “rationales” interacting in this dynamic, complex environment. They all enter into the decisional process of States and international organizations, who are thus exposed to their combined effects:
- the political rationale: with the raise of democratic governments, the people’s representatives are constitutionally endowed with the main responsibilities in regulating rights – and so protecting them;
- the judicial rationale: the 20th century witnessed an exponential rise of the juridification of disputes, with a huge power wielded by courts; in the present complex scenario, courts maintain a crucial role as guardians of rights;
- the economic rationale: how does the economy impacts on rights has been a crucial welfare state issue; in recent decades, economic actors have acquired decision-making powers of their own too;
- the scientific rationale: emergencies produce the pressing need to rely on scientific expertise, how does the legislative, the administrative, and the judicial process gets it and acts on it?
- the technological rationale: human and non-human decision-making are interrelated; the use of technology incorporating automation does not exclude human intervention, which should be present in any case.
The research examines the impact that the age of emergencies has on rights and freedoms, and to so it advances the comparative study of these interrelated five “rationales” affecting the decisional processes in contemporary democracies, thus recognizing the complex nature of the challenges raised by emergencies.
The research purpose is to map the distance between the founding constitutional principles of our society and their reformulation, adaptation, and balancing under emergencies. The focus on the decision-making processes and their impact on rights and freedoms is justified because rights and freedoms are at the core of the constitutionalism, and consequently at the center of the legal systems based on the separation of powers and the protection of individual rights.