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Impending environmental crises have led to general consensus within green political thought that liberal principles of justice and green concerns make for uneasy bedfellows. Rawls and the Environmental Crisis critiques the contextual framework within which Rawls's political liberalism is assessed as suitable or unsuitable for 'greening'. It provides a detailed and comprehensive overview of the research done on the subjects of Rawls and environmental concerns. It challenges an emerging consensus within the existing literature that Rawls's political philosophy can only incorporate minimal green concerns by offering an alternative communitarian reading of Rawls's 'well-ordered society' that allows for the possibility of a 'darker' green, Rawlsian stewardship ethic.
Rawls and the Environmental Crisis outlines the plurality of methodological and ethical approaches undertaken by green political theorists in analysing the contribution Rawls's theory makes to environmental concerns. The variety of approaches undertaken by theorists in this area highlight a certain arbitrariness of the 'tests' or 'standards' used to measure the green credentials of Rawls's political theory. Finally Rawls and the Environmental Crisis argues that attempts to rule out the green credentials of Rawls's theory form part of a wider disquiet, and even frustration, with the inability of liberal and procedurally-neutral polities to instil the requisite virtues and qualities of character to develop a new generation of environmental citizens able to address environmental crises.
Rawls and the Environmental Crisis fills the gap for a much needed reassessment of 25 years of critiques of Rawls. This inspiring book is of great interest to researchers in contemporary political philosophy, environmental ethics, green political theory, stewardship theory and all those interested in renewing existing conceptions of deliberative democracy.
1. Rawls and the Environment
2. Towards Extensionist Environmental Philosophy
3. Three Rival Environmental Ethics
4. Political Liberalism and the Plight of Non-human Species
5. Intergenerational Justice: From Stewards of Liberalism to Environmental Stewards
6. The Meta-Ethical Challenge to a Rawlsian Stewardship Ethic
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Dr. Dominic Welburn is a Visiting Fellow at the School of Politics and International Studies, The University of Leeds, UK.
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