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The Relationship between Intragenerational and Intergenerational Ecological Justice

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The principle of sustainability contains two objectives of justice regarding the conservation and use of ecosystems and their services: (1) global justice between different people of the present generation ('intragenerational justice'); (2) justice between people of different generations ('intergenerational justice'). Three hypotheses about their relationship - independency, facilitation and rivalry - are held in the political and scientific sustainability discourse. Applying the method of qualitative content analysis to important political documents and the scientific literature, we reveal six determinants underlying the different hypotheses: quantity and quality of ecosystem services, population development, substitutability of ecosystem services, technological progress, institutions and political restrictions.
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Keywords: ecological justice; ecosystem services; intergenerational justice; intragenerational justice; sustainability research; sustainable development

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-08-01

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 a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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