|Title||Responsible Institutions – Responsible Individuals?|
|Event||10th PERL International Conference, Paris, 2015-03-10/2015-03-11|
Public Administration and Policy
|Publication type||Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings|
|Abstract||The importance of personal choice and commitment for responsible living in order to transform societies towards more just and sustainable ones is undeniable. Likewise it is undeniable that unless individuals bring those responsible choices with them into their institutional setting the possibilities for individuals to live responsibly will severely constrained; the physical, social, cultural etc. infrastructure required will not be created.
In this paper I focus on the role of institutions in enabling responsible living by proposing the way institutions relate to international norms. The international community of states have a good track record of agreeing on setting goals for what a ‘Future We Want’ should like and formulating obligations, albeit often vague, for what states should do to contribute to such a future. Currently only states are formally obliged to comply with international law in its different forms. In a situation when states do not take their responsibility for achieving these visions sufficiently seriously and when states are not be able to achieve them without serious commitment from other institutional actors and individual citizens, it is time to reconsider what responsibility institutions beyond states have towards international norms, including in the domain of sustainability and justice. In this paper I will do three things: firstly in more detail outline the rationale for non-state institutional actors to take on responsibility towards implementing international norms; secondly review relevant normative theories for allocating responsibility in a governance system; and thirdly identify some practical strategies for how to facilitate such responsibility.