Sustaining Human Well-Being Across Time and Space—Sustainable Development, Justice and the Capability Approach



The politically influential idea of sustainable development (SD) is closely tied to the concept of intergenerational justice without clarifying what exactly is to be sustained across time and space. In developing an account of human development, the capability approach provides a partial theory of justice with a focus on intragenerational justice. This chapter first offers insights into the history of modern SD. Focusing on the ends rather than means of SD, it secondly analyses the appropriateness of using capabilities as sustainability goals. The chapter then examines how the Capability Approach (CA) could contribute to extending an intra- to an intergenerational theory of justice, before providing a summary of the contribution that the CA could make to the discussion on SD.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.University of Applied Sciences BielefeldBielefeldGermany
  3. 3.University of HamburgHamburgGermany
  4. 4.Munich School of PhilosophyMunichGermany

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