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The relationship between intra- and intergenerational ecological justice. Determinants of goal conflicts and synergies in sustainability policy

  • Stefanie Glotzbach


    (Department of Sustainability Sciences, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)

  • Stefan Baumgärtner


    (Department of Sustainability Sciences, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)

The guiding principle of sustainability is widely accepted in today´s international policies. The principle contains two seperate objectives of justice with regard to the conservation and use of ecosystems and their services: (1) global justice between different people of the present generation ("intragenerational justice"); and (2) justice between people of different generations ("intergenerational justice"). Three hypotheses about the relationship between these objectives are logically possible and are, in fact, held in the political and scientific discourse on sustainable development: independency, facilitation and rivalry. Applying the method of qualitative content analysis we evaluate political documents and the scientific literature on sustainable development by systematically revealing the lines of reasoning and determinants underlying the different hypotheses. These determinants are the quantity and quality of ecosystem services, population development, substitutability of ecosystem services by humanmade goods and services, technological progress, institutions and political restrictions

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Paper provided by University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 141.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:141
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  1. Carsten Helm & Udo E. Simonis, 2001. "Distributive Justice in International Environmental Policy: Axiomatic Foundation and Exemplary Formulation," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 10(1), pages 5-18, February.
  2. Ekins, Paul & Simon, Sandrine & Deutsch, Lisa & Folke, Carl & De Groot, Rudolf, 2003. "A framework for the practical application of the concepts of critical natural capital and strong sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2-3), pages 165-185, March.
  3. John E. Roemer, 2005. "Intergenerational Justice and Sustainability under the Leximin Ethic," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1512, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Lawrence Goulder & Gretchen Daily & Paul Ehrlich & Geoffrey Heal & Simon Levin & Karl-Göran Mäler & Stephen Schneider & David Starrett & Brian Walker, 2004. "Are We Consuming Too Much?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 147-172, Summer.
  5. Elsasser, Peter, 2002. "Rules for participation and negotiation and their possible influence on the content of a National Forest Programme," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 291-300, December.
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