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  • Author or Editor: Johanna Ohlsson x
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How does a Forstian theory of transnational justice help us understand regional governance structures of the Arctic, such as the Arctic Council, and how could it contribute to implementing procedural aspects of justice? The purpose of this chapter is to discuss transnational justice for the Arctic, taking into account the regional, indigenous and environmental aspects of this specific region. Based on literature reviews on normative traditions of justice, the account suggested here draws on Critical Theory, primarily the work of Rainer Forst (2001, 2014 and 2020). The suggested framework proposes normative criteria required for a comprehensive theory of Arctic justice. In addition, it also recommends an analytical structure for assessing justice in the Arctic. The guiding principles suggested as the backbone for a theory of Arctic justice are reciprocity, generality, transparency and responsibility. Inherently important in the current structure are also the principle of sovereignty and the ‘all affected’ principle, which are discussed and assessed in this chapter.

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This chapter draws from Indigenous scholars and authors to identify general Indigenous perspectives on justice. The chapter begins by discussing Indigenous ontologies and epistemologies which are concerned with harmonious relations with human and non-human natures. It then examines the function of rights as tools towards realising justice by discussing legal and political literatures regarding the struggle and respect for specifically Indigenous rights to recognition and self-determination. In highlighting a range of perspectives on justice, the chapter suggests that Indigenous approaches to justice critically challenge the western dominance of justice theorising, by expanding alternative ways of understanding what just human/non-human relations can look like.

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Centring on responsibility in relation to the temporalities of justice, this chapter examines the distinct qualities of an intergenerational justice approach, as well as noting how it overlaps with other positions (such as climate justice and just transitions). It engages with a variety of issues, such responsibility for the compound effects of cumulative acts of pollution, the non-identity of future beings, as well as prospects for greater youth participation in decision-making. Ohlsson and Skillington highlight the implementation challenges and critique that has been brought forward by intergenerational accounts of justice, where emphasis is placed on actualizing the principles of various international treaties and state constitutions affirming the rights of, or duties owed to future generations, as well as new political and legal opportunities. They conclude by highlighting how an intergenerational justice perspective redefines what has traditionally been thought of as imaginable in justice terms, stretching its boundaries to encompass the ‘not yet’ moment of various democratic potentials.

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This chapter introduces readers to the contents of the volume by identifying three categories through which to make sense of the diversity of justice theories. We suggest that thinking about justice through the ‘forms’, ‘aspects’ and ‘realms’ of justice enables readers to concentrate on how and why specific features of justice theories are better applied to problems within traditional social and political science research.

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Theorising Justice surveys philosophical and normative theories of justice and their application within more empirically based social and political science research. Together, the chapters highlight the multifaceted nature of justice as an analytical and political concept and avoids advocating ‘correct’ approaches to justice theorising. Each chapter provides overviews of the background, main tenets and critiques of dominant justice traditions. Part I examines theories of liberalism, libertarianism, cosmopolitanism and the Capabilities Approach, in addition to approaches critical of these mainstream justice traditions, such as feminism, Marxism, postcolonialism and Indigenous perspectives of justice. Yet, a principal concern of the book is to promote further engagement with these differing conceptions of justice within social and political science scholarship. As such, chapters in Part II survey scholarship on environmental, climate, energy, spatial and landscape justice along with intergenerational as well as just transitions approaches. In doing so, the volume illustrates multiple methodological and conceptual approaches for analysing justice, illustrating how applied justice theories may usefully analyse problems of inequity, oppression and domination within more empirically focused research. As justice becomes increasingly important to the discourses within social science and policy scholarship, Theorising Justice will be a valuable reference for students, instructors and practitioners seeking to address the social, political, economic and ecological challenges we face today.

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Theorising Justice surveys philosophical and normative theories of justice and their application within more empirically based social and political science research. Together, the chapters highlight the multifaceted nature of justice as an analytical and political concept and avoids advocating ‘correct’ approaches to justice theorising. Each chapter provides overviews of the background, main tenets and critiques of dominant justice traditions. Part I examines theories of liberalism, libertarianism, cosmopolitanism and the Capabilities Approach, in addition to approaches critical of these mainstream justice traditions, such as feminism, Marxism, postcolonialism and Indigenous perspectives of justice. Yet, a principal concern of the book is to promote further engagement with these differing conceptions of justice within social and political science scholarship. As such, chapters in Part II survey scholarship on environmental, climate, energy, spatial and landscape justice along with intergenerational as well as just transitions approaches. In doing so, the volume illustrates multiple methodological and conceptual approaches for analysing justice, illustrating how applied justice theories may usefully analyse problems of inequity, oppression and domination within more empirically focused research. As justice becomes increasingly important to the discourses within social science and policy scholarship, Theorising Justice will be a valuable reference for students, instructors and practitioners seeking to address the social, political, economic and ecological challenges we face today.

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A Primer for Social Scientists

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Bringing together divergent approaches to justice theorising, this volume connects normative and philosophical theories with the more empirically focused approaches emerging today in the social and political sciences and policy scholarship. The chapters overview a variety of mainstream approaches and radical critiques of justice to illustrate their value in addressing the pressing problems of climate change and economic development.

Stressing the value of assessing justice theories in light of the material conditions of our changing world, the book concludes with an in-depth synthesis of how these wide ranging approaches to justice will be useful for students, scholars and practitioners concerned with realising justice.

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This chapter surveys anarchist, utopian socialist and Marxist approaches to social justice from their foundation in the 19th century to their elaboration within two influential centres of western Marxist thinking that have proved to be especially influential in the social sciences: the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory and the spatialisation of Marxist thought in the work of David Harvey (among others). As Mitchell and Ohlsson show, radical approaches to justice have been particularly important in encouraging a strong focus on the conditions of injustice. They note that these approaches cohere around the roots of injustice in the social relations of production rather than procedure or distribution. By moving from injustice, which is what ‘actually-existing’ justice looks like on the ground, to questions of just modes and relations of production, coupled with people’s fundamental right to justification, the authors argue that radical theories of justice have profound implications for the social sciences for how they reorient how we conceive of the project of justice theorising and especially the struggle for justice.

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Postcolonial approaches to justice focus on injustice and on the conditions of possibility for being free from domination. This chapter identifies the contribution of postcolonial theories as being crucially important for theorising justice for the ways in which they seek to create means for peoples previously and currently oppressed to speak for themselves, and to be listened to. As Ohlsson and Mitchell show, by including the voices of women, people of colour, people from the Global South, people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and so forth, the implicit and sometimes explicit masculinist, White, colonialist and elite foundations of western justice theorising are highlighted, bringing to light the production of past, present and future injustices. Postcolonial theorising, they argue, requires a critical rethinking of our conceptions of justice, their aspects (subject, object, domain, social circumstances, principles) as well as their silences, absences and possible complicity in social structures of domination and oppression.

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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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