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  • Author or Editor: Corine Wood-Donnelly x
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As a pivotal institution within Arctic governance, the Arctic Council is often perceived as an institution at the forefront of global governance norms. Yet despite the innovative nature of Arctic governance, which is inclusive of Arctic states, Indigenous representation and other states from the near Arctic and beyond, issues remain with regards to questions of justice within these structural arrangements and the broader structure of governance for the region. Positioned within the International Relations theory of Constructivism, which emphasizes rules, agents, interests and identities, this chapter reflects on the structure of Arctic governance arrangements through Iris Marion Young’s conceptions of structural injustice, five faces of oppression and designations of responsibility for (in)justice.

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Environmental justice (EJ) is one of the most robust applied justice discourses rooted in social justice, ecological justice, and international environmental concerns. This chapter details how this wide body of scholarship has emphasised the distributive, procedural, retributive and recognitional features of justice across various social categories, especially race, ethnicity and class. The social movement for EJ connected to conceptualisations of EJ similarly seeks to address the disproportionate impact of environmental harms and amenities on marginalised populations, as well as inequalities in decision-making processes and power structures. Wood-Donnelly argues that for this movement and set of discourses to be most effective, EJ must consider both human and non-human aspects of environmental care and protection, and it must be applicable across geographical scales and timeframes. In doing so, it may better contribute to the improvement of human life as well as the protection of the environment as a whole.

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Environment, Society and Governance

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Offering a unique introduction to the study of justice in the European, North American and Russian Arctic, this collection considers the responsibilities and failures of justice for environment and society in the region.

Inspired by key thinkers in justice, this book highlights the real and practical consequences of postcolonial legacies, climate change and the regions’ incorporation into the international political economy. The chapters feature liberal, cosmopolitan, feminist, as well as critical justice perspectives from experts with decades of research experience in the Arctic. Moving from a critique of current failures, the collection champions an ethical and sustainable future for Arctic development and governance.

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The introduction, apart from presenting the succeeding chapters and connecting them, focuses on the overarching issue of justice – which is deeply interconnected to injustice – in the Arctic, the global, European and circumpolar contexts. In particular, it discusses the complexity of a notion such as justice, where one of the most central understandings includes framing issues of sustainable development as closely connected to issues of justice and justness, but also considers the particular challenges that arise by doing so. By stressing and recognizing the breadth and width of the notion of justice, and the various ways in which justice is commonly understood and the various ways in which the Arctic is defined – varying from more shallow, yet important, signposting or intuitive symbolism to deeper, highly nuanced accounts of oppression and domination – the chapter situates the notion of justice to the themes in the following chapters. The chapter also shows the potential of using justice and injustice as central notions for different analytical perspectives on developments in the Arctic. Hence, the introduction provides an overview of the chapters, contributes a critical discussion of the notions of justice and injustice, and positions this in the unique conditions of the Arctic region.

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Justice is for many a reiterative and ongoing process. To see where, for whom and how justice can be achieved begins by identifying both existing and potential future injustices that form the epicentre from where transformation can emerge. The work of this volume has intended to introduce justice to the conversation on development and research on the Arctic, but also to flag injustice and to bring forth new ideas. In this conclusion, we discuss some of the key findings of the chapters, and how the chapters relate and speak to each other, and this final chapter concludes with a few ideas for further research. In this chapter, we are returning to the notions of justice and injustice, and we address how these concepts have been useful in the analyses in the preceding chapters.

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This chapter examines the mainstream libertarian theory of justice and its criticisms. Its focus is on the tradition’s protection of individual rights and the enforcement of contracts, as well as a re-examination of historical property acquisitions and state arbitration. The authors encourage justice thinkers to consider the diverse range of alternatives to mainstream (conservative) libertarian thought, such as those originating in anarchist thought, to account for the ecological limits of natural resources, for example, and how such arguments present primary constraints on libertarian perspectives on absolute rights of liberty.

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