Justice and the Environment: Conceptions of Environmental Sustainability and Theories of Distributive Justice

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Oxford University Press, 1998 - Political Science - 280 pages
Environmental sustainability and social, or distributive, justice are both widely regarded as desirable social objectives. But can we assume that they are compatible with each other? In this path-breaking study, Professor Dobson, a leading expert on environmental politics, analyses thecomplex relationship between these two pressing objectives. Environmental sustainability is taken to be a contested idea, and three distinct conceptions of it are described and explored. These conceptions are then examined in the context of fundamental distributive questions such as: Among whom or what should distribution take place? What should bedistributed? What should the principle of distribution be? The author critically examines the claims of the 'environmental justice' and 'sustainable development' movements that social justice and environmental sustainability are points on the same virtuous circle, and concludes that radicalenvironmental demands are only incompletely served by couching them in terms of justice.

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Three Conceptions of Environmental Sustainability
The Dimensions of Social Justice

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About the author (1998)

Andrew Dobson is Professor of Politics at Keele University. From 1984-1987 he was a Postdoctorate Research Fellow at St John's College, Oxford

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