Justice, rights and inclusion are central to debates on sustainable development and environmental change. This panel invites papers that consider how they can be used for achieving sustainability goals, as well as in more radical alternatives to conventional sustainability discourses.
Issues of justice, rights and inclusion are gaining traction within debates on sustainable development and environmental change. They are a discrete goal in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and are seen as important dimensions of potential win-wins and trade-offs across the SDGs. Discussions around justice, rights and inclusion often depart from an assumption that increasing their scale, or embedding their principles within institutions, will be required for achieving multiple SDGs. How this could be done in different societies, and with what possible effects, are open questions. How to include conceptualisations of justice, rights and inclusion into popular analytical frameworks on sustainability, such as social-ecological systems or common-pool resources, has similarly led to lively academic debate. This instrumental approach to issues of justice, rights and inclusion can be contrasted with debates on radical alternatives to the current narrative of sustainable development, where justice, rights and inclusion are seen to be at the heart of creating post-carbon economies. Examples include place-based, cooperative ways of producing food, de-growth agendas, traditional ethics of stewardship or direct democracy. Within the development sector we need to reflect on our own notions of justice, rights and inclusion and how we incorporate diverse worldviews into our research and practices when engaging with sustainability and environmental change issues. The panel will create a space for dialogue between scholars and practitioners exploring these questions using different frameworks and with diverging theoretical or empirical foci. The panel is organised by the DSA Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change Study Group.