Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 1089–1104 | Cite as

Transformative Participation in Agrobiodiversity Governance: Making the Case for an Environmental Justice Approach

  • Brendan Coolsaet


This paper makes the case for an environmental justice approach to the practice and study of participation and effectiveness in agrobiodiversity governance. It is argued that, in order to understand the conditions under which participation leads to improved outcomes, the concept has to be rethought, both from a political and a methodological perspective. This can be done by applying an ex-ante environmental justice approach to participation, including notions of distribution, recognition and representation. By exploring the approach through empirical examples of participation in biodiversity and environmental governance, a research framework is outlined, attempting to bridge normative and practical approaches to environmental justice, and tested on two cases of agrobiodiversity governance in Western Europe.


Environmental justice Agrobiodiversity Participation Effectiveness Environmental governance 



I am grateful to Adrian Martin, Tom Dedeurwaerdere and the anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this article. I acknowledge funding from the European Commission, under the FP7 project GENCOMMONS (European Research Council, grant agreement 284).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Philosophy of LawUCLouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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