This article provides a review of radical environmental justice (EJ) through a political ecology (PE) lens. The authors suggest areas for cross-fertilization with respect to the four forms of justice detailed in the radical environmental justice framework: distributive justice, recognition, procedural justice, and (more recently) capabilities. While these concepts are not explicitly discussed in the context of just transitions, these lessons and insights can be applied to the field.
With respect to recognition, the authors illustrate how this kind of justice can often result in stereotyping and paternalism in both EJ and PE. To avoid this, they recommend an increased focus on “sense of justice” and “critical knowledge production” to ensure that the heterogeneity of communities is accurately reflected and that community members have the knowledge to formulate and express their views.
In addition, they find that the EJ literature fails to explicitly discuss power theories despite its emphasis on procedural justice and the associated topic of participation. Thus, they argue the radical EJ field could benefit from discussing participation and engaging with the power theories found in prominent PE literature.