© 2012

Efficiency, Sustainability, and Justice to Future Generations

  • Klaus Mathis


  • Combines research from three disciplines: law, philosophy and economics

  • Covers the hot topics of climate change, sustainability, and eco-justice

  • Puts future generations at the forefront

  • Investigates the key requirement of sustainable development


Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 98)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Law and Economics

  3. Law and Sustainability

  4. Law, Economics and Sustainability

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 163-163
    2. Klaus Mathis
      Pages 165-180
    3. Balz Hammer
      Pages 211-235
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 237-240

About this book


Fifty years after the famous essay “The Problem of Social Cost” (1960) by the Nobel laureate Ronald Coase, Law and Economics seems to have become the lingua franca of American jurisprudence, and although its influence on European jurisprudence is only moderate by comparison, it has also gained popularity in Europe. A highly influential publication of a different nature was the Brundtland Report (1987), which extended the concept of sustainability from forestry to the whole of the economy and society. According to this report, development is sustainable when it “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

A key requirement of sustainable development is justice to future generations. It is still a matter of fact that the law as well as the theories of justice are generally restricted to the resolution of conflicts between contemporaries and between people living in the same country. This in turn raises a number of questions: what is the philosophical justification for intergenerational justice? What bearing does sustainability have on the efficiency principle? How do we put a policy of sustainability into practice, and what is the role of the law in doing so?

The present volume is devoted to these questions. In Part One, “Law and Economics”, the role of economic analysis and efficiency in law is examined more closely. Part Two, “Law and Sustainability”, engages with the themes of sustainable development and justice to future generations. Finally, Part Three, “Law, Economics and Sustainability”, addresses the interrelationships between the different aspects.


Adam Smith's Invisible Hand Grows Green Fingers Climate Change Consequences of Human Action upon Nature Cost-Benefit Analysis Discounting and Sustainable Development Economical, Social and Ecological Discussions of Sustainability Economics for the Environment Ensuring Justice for Future Generations Environment as a Tradable Commodity Environmental Commodities Environmental Ethics Global Climate Policy Debate Legal Pluralism and Globalization Principles of Coase's Bargaining Solution Requirements of Sustainable Development Social Distributive Justice Solving Environmental Problems Status Quo Theory Sustainable Development The Efficiency Principle The Kyoto Protocol Tradable Emissions Allowances Trade in Emissions Transnational Climate Protection United Nations Conference on Environment and Development Unleashing Environmental Destruction Value of Social Projects Weak Versus Strong Sustainability World Commission on Environment and Development World Summit for Sustainable Development

Editors and affiliations

  • Klaus Mathis
    • 1
  1. 1.Rechtswissenschaftliche FakultätUniversität LuzernLuzern 7Switzerland

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