Liberalism and the Environment

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The article scrutinises the complex relation between late twentieth century liberal and environmental thought. It concludes that if the key values of contemporary liberal and environmental thought are compared then the prognosis looks gloomy. There are implicit and deep tensions over most value questions. In order to provide a coherent focus for this analysis, the paper addresses the issue of liberal justice, namely, can liberal theories of justice be sensitively applied to environmental questions? The answer to this question is that for much environmental thought, it is the very values and practices implicit within liberal justice theory which now constitute the key environmental danger.

Keywords: distributive justice; environmentalism; individualism; liberalism; procedural justice

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1998

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2013) of 1.739.
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