The PALO project had four work packages (or WPs) that each followed the key themes of the project: long-termism and deliberative citizen participation. The fifth work package focused on societal influence and interaction.
The project utilised several different approaches and methods, such as experimental research methods, survey questionnaires and participatory observation.
Foundations of long-term decision-making (WP1)
The first work package utilised philosophical research methods and focused on the so-called “all-affected principle” and its normative justification and connections to democratic theory. The work package analysed how democratic decisions can be made while taking the interests of future generations into account as well as how future interests can be represented in decision-making. The package also focused on the veil of ignorance between generations and the role that empathy plays in long-term decision-making.
The empirical part of the work package utilised experiments designed in the fields of psychology and behavioural economics. The goal was to find out how people become aware of the distortions related to decision-making and how these distortions could be alleviated. In addition, the work package assessed the effects of deliberative discussion on the distortions that people experience and whether norms could help promote the inclusion of long-term perspectives in decision-making.
WP leader: Kaisa Herne, Tampere University, kaisa.herne(at)tuni.fi
Problems in present patterns of long-term decision-making (WP2)
The second work package focused on the main actors in Finnish society and the factors that affect their time horizons. The work package analyzed factors contributing to future-regarding and long-term policymaking in the Finnish political system. The goal was also to assess the future orientation among citizens and policymakers.
The work package used surveys and interviews. In addition to the population-based survey of Finnish citizens, PALO conducted a survey and interviews among the policymaking elite in Finland.
WP leader: Lauri Rapeli, Åbo Akademi University, lauri.rapeli(at)abo.fi
Activating citizens in long-term decision-making (WP3)
The third work package focused on the different forms of citizen participation and the role they play in decision-making. The goal was to assess whether citizen deliberation can be used to promote the detection of long-term effects in decision-making.
The work package included three pilot projects on citizen participation. The first concerned whether a Citizens’ Jury can act as a source of reliable voter information in the context of a government-initiated (top-down) referendum. The second pilot featured a Citizens’ Assembly that was organized in Satakunta region. The third pilot included a Citizens’ Jury on Climate Actions.
WP leader: Maija Setälä, University of Turku, maija.setala(at)utu.fi
Instruments for long-term environmental governance (WP4)
The fourth work package focused on long-term perspectives in environmental governance, especially in the land use planning process. The goal was to develop discursive operating models that are suited for the land use planning process and that can be used to strengthen the commitment of all parties to the long-term goals of the planning process.
The work package focused on the participation of officials, stakeholders and citizens in the drafting process for regional land use plans. Special emphasis was placed on the process that determines which needs and interests are included in regional land use plans.
WP leader: Juha Hiedanpää, Natural Resources Institute Finland, juha.hiedanpaa(at)luke.fi.
The fifth work package (WP5) focused on societal influence and interaction. The research was implemented in collaboration with societal stakeholders. These key partners included different public administration organisations, such as municipalities, counties and ministries.
WP leader: Henri Vogt, University of Turku, henri.vogt(at)utu.fi.