From justice in planning toward planning for justice: A capability approach

Claudia Basta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses the relevance of Rawls’ Theory and Sen’s Idea of justice to contemporary planning theory by drawing on the writings of the two philosophers. Besides providing a comprehensive account of what the two respective frameworks imply for the foundation of public planning and for the relevant evaluative practice, this article proposes an interpretation of these theories that overcomes their polarization into competitive frameworks. The main position of this article is that the notion of capabilities set forward by Sen is in fact an extension of, rather than in tension with, the notion of primary goods set forward by Rawls. By discussing a number of simple planning cases, this article concludes that by connecting the sphere of just principles with deliberation on the actions which can advance those principles, Rawlsian “justice in planning” provides the basis for Senian “planning for justice.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-212
JournalPlanning Theory
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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