The Dimensions of Social Justice
WITH the business of the previous chapter complete, half of the framework we needed for our account of the relationship between environmental sustainability and social justice is in place. My task in this chapter is to construct the other half. The analytic method described and deployed in Chapter 2 in the context of environmental sustainability is in practice applicable to any political-theoretical concept. What follows here is the outcome of its application in the context of social justice theory. This involves readings of a number of texts with one overriding intention in mind: to distil from them the principal questions to which any theory of justice would have to have an answer. The results of this enquiry are summarized in Table 5, where the four emergent questions are registered across the top of the table as column headings. The body of the table contains the various answers that have been given to these questions in the social justice literature. I should point out right away that not all the answers to these questions that one can find in social justice theory are represented here--but pretty nearly all of them are. i have left out some because they, while interesting in themselves, do not enable us to make much headway in our study of sustainability/justice compatibility. An example might be 'chance' as an answer to the question 'what is the principle of distribution?' This principle was been ably defended by Barbara Goodwin ( 1992), but the likelihood of it being compatible with any of the conceptions of environmental sustainability developed in y the previous chapter are so slim as to make extended discussion of it here unhelpful.
I had anticipated, as I indicated in the Introduction (p. 10), developing a series of distinct conceptions of social justice from this table