Fairness and Justice in Environmental Decision-Making
Water under the Bridge
To Be Published October 24th 2013 by Routledge – 224 pages
By crossing disciplinary boundaries, this book uniquely connects theories of justice with peoples lived experience within social conflicts over water sharing arrangements. These types of social problem are often considered intractable due to long-standing institutional arrangements and water-use practices combined with “up-stream and down-stream” tensions about water extraction.
The book focuses on two social conflicts that took place in the Murray-Darling Basin of Australia during a time of extreme drought and relates these conflicts to international cases. These two conflicts are typical of water-sharing and other natural resource conflicts experienced in many countries around the world, particularly in the context of uncertainty faced with climate change. The book puts emphasis on portraying the different perspectives held by people involved in the conflicts and how these tap into their thoughts and experience of fairness and justice. These empirical and practically-based findings are then related back to ideas and constructs of justice from disciplines such as social psychology, political philosophy, the law and jurisprudence.
The book shows why practical considerations of different aspects of fairness and justice are important in environmental decision-making. It explains why justice is important not only to those directly affected by decisions, but also to onlookers and those indirectly affected. Finally, the book proposes that natural resource management should operate within a broadly-understood theory of justice that is applied practically in every-day decision-making processes.
With a strong empirical focus, this book unlocks the great potential of a plethora of justice ideas for researchers, students and practitioners in environmental governance, participatory resource management, community consultation, and sustainable development as well as people in government and corporations who interface and consult with communities where natural resources are being used.
1. Searching for Fair and Equitable Solutions 2. Theories of Justice 3. An Adaptive Research Approach 4. Context – Water in Australia 5. Water Conflict in NSW: “Changing Rules” in a Time of Drought 6. Water Conflict in Victoria: a Pipeline and a City 7. Finding Injustice and Seeking Justice 8. A sense of Justice – Processes and Outcomes 9. Muddying the Waters—Worldviews, Institutions and Change 10. Justice as a Means and an End
Dr Catherine Gross is Visiting Fellow, The Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Australia.