University of Jyväskylä

Dissertation: 9.8.2017: Justice in and to Nature: An Application of the Broad Framework of Environmental and Ecological Justice

Start date: Aug 09, 2017 12:00 PM

End date: Aug 09, 2017 03:00 PM

Location: The old lecture hall, S212

YTM Teea Kortetmäki defends her doctoral dissertation in Philosophy ”Justice in and to Nature: An Application of the Broad Framework of Environmental and Ecological Justice”. Opponent Professor Marion Hourdequin (Colorado College) and custos Professor Mikko Yrjönsuuri (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.


This dissertation applies and develops the broad framework of environmental and ecological justice. It is a new relational approach to justice, whose elements have been introduced by David Schlosberg in his works on environmental and ecological justice. The present study provides a systematisation of the framework and applies it to contemporary environmental topics using the methods of conceptual analysis and case-implication critique. The main outcome of this study is that the elements comprising the broad framework of environmental and ecological justice provide fresh and useful insights into topics like species extinctions and ecosystem wellbeing. In particular, the holistic and conflict-resolutive characteristics of the framework show promise. The dissertation consists of four original research articles and an introductory chapter. The introductory section outlines the context of the study, articulates its theoretical background and methodological choices, and sums up the research contributions of the essays. In the end, remarks on the limitations of the present study and on questions for future research are presented. The first article provides a comparative analysis of the broad framework of environmental and ecological justice with deep ecology. The article demonstrates that many central ideas of the broad framework are remarkably similar to those of deep ecology. The article situates the broad framework in the continuum of environmental normative theorising and demonstrates how the approaches can learn from each other. The second essay applies the broad framework in the context of global climate negotiations. The essay asserts that a focus on distributive justice cannot capture all the relevant aspects of climate injustice. The essay demonstrates how the notions of recognition and representation help reveal various forms of injustice, which is crucial for understanding the problems inherent in climate negotiations. In the third article, the capabilities-based elements of the framework are developed in the context of ecosystems. With reference to studies on ecosystem wellbeing, it is proposed that resilience comprises a central ecosystem capability. The implications of this argument for policymaking are also discussed. The fourth article examines whether species as groups can have capabilities. The outcome is that species as evolutionary groups can be viewed to possess capabilities, which enables but does not necessitate making the claim that species are recipients of justice.

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Teea Kortetmäki