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

van Dijk, N 2021 , 'The capability approach as a road map for re-thinking intergenerational justice', in J Linehan and P Lawrence (eds.), Giving Future Generations a Voice: Normative Frameworks, Institutions and Practice , Edward Elgar Publishing, United Kingdom, pp. 42-61.

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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 Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:van Dijk, N
Keywords: capability approach, future generations, climate change, institutions for future generations
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
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Copyright 2021 Edward Elgar Publishing

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