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The capability approach as a road map for re-thinking intergenerational justice


van Dijk, N, 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), United Kingdom, pp. 42-61. ISBN 9781839108242 (2021) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2021 Edward Elgar Publishing

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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:capability approach, future generations, climate change, institutions for future generations
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Philosophy
Research Field:Environmental philosophy
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Mitigation of climate change
Objective Field:Mitigation of climate change not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:van Dijk, N (Ms Nicky van Dijk)
ID Code:148477
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Office of the COO
Deposited On:2022-01-13
Last Modified:2022-06-15

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