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Environmental Values

The Relationship between Intragenerational and Intergenerational Ecological Justice

Stefanie Glotzbach and Stefan Baumgärtner

Environmental Values 21 (2012): 331-355. doi: 10.3197/096327112X13400390126055


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.


Sustainable development, ecosystem services, intragenerational justice, intergenerational justice, ecological justice, sustainability research

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Saving Nature, Feeding People and Ethics. Robin Attfield

Distributive Justice in International Environmental Policy: Axiomatic Foundation and Exemplary Formulation Carsten Helm and Udo. E. Simonis

Sustainable Development and Social Justice: Expanding the Rawlsian Framework of Global Justice Oluf Langhelle

Global and Ecological Justice: Prioritising Conflicting Demands. Marcel Wissenburg

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Conservation and 'Nature+'. Mark Whitehead

Sharing the Earth: Sustainability and the Currency of Inter-Generational Environmental Justice. Allen Habib

Equity and ITQs: About Fair Distribution in Quota Management Systems in Fisheries. Ralf Doering, Leyre Goti, Lorena Fricke, Katharina Jantzen

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