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The Capability Approach as a Road Map for Re-thinking Intergenerational Justice


van Dijk, NA, The Capability Approach as a Road Map for Re-thinking Intergenerational Justice, Giving Future Generations a Voice: Normative Frameworks, Institutions and Practice, Edward Elgar Publishing, J Linehan and P Lawrence (ed), UK, pp. 42-61. ISBN 9781839108242 (2021) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 Edward Elgar Publishing

DOI: doi:10.4337/9781839108259


While most agree that the current generation has some obligations towards the future, the precise scope and nature of these obligations are unclear. Theorising about such intergenerational obligations is important because it is unlikely that our short-term focused democratic processes can consider the interests of future people in a fair and unbiased way. This chapter uses the capability approach to specify a capability set for young people growing up and future generations. It shows the importance of focusing on capabilities (instead of for example resources or welfare), and of acknowledging human agency and diversity, to prevent institutionalising a bias towards majority or privileged groups in society in the future. Specifying our intergenerational obligations in terms of capabilities can be used to evaluate the intergenerational justice of our political institutions and policy reform proposals.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:future generations, intergenerational obligations, democratic processes, human agency, institutionalising
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Environmental and resources law
Research Field:Climate change law
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Mitigation of climate change
Objective Field:Climate change mitigation strategies
UTAS Author:van Dijk, NA (Ms Nicky van Dijk)
ID Code:148396
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2022-01-05
Last Modified:2022-07-15

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