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Forests, development and the globalisation of justice

Forsyth, Tim and Sikor, Thomas (2013) Forests, development and the globalisation of justice. Geographical Journal, 179 (2). pp. 114-121. ISSN 0016-7398

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Identification Number: 10.1111/geoj.12006


Norms of justice are often invoked to justify the globalisation of forest policies but are rarely critically analysed. This paper reviews elements of justice in the values, knowledge, access and property rights relating to forests, especially in developing countries. Rather than defining justice in general terms of distribution of benefits and recognition of stakeholders, we argue that these processes are mutually defining, and can foreclose what is distributed, and to whom. Much recent forest policy, for example, emphasises forest carbon stocks and the benefits to indigenous peoples; but these terms de-emphasise livelihood outcomes for forests, and non-indigenous smallholders. Accordingly, we argue that current operationalisations of justice in forest policy based on John Rawls' principles of fair allocation to known actors need to be replaced by Amartya Sen's more deliberative and inclusive vision of justice that focuses instead on how different users experience different benefits, and seek to achieve multiple objectives together.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors. The Geographical Journal © 2013 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2013 09:47
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 01:54

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