Environmental justice as scalar parity: lessons from nuclear waste management

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of major infrastructure projects, such as power stations, waste facilities or transport networks, commonly raises concerns of how to ensure environmental justice within policy and planning. Environmental justice has been divergently theorised, though procedural/participative, distributive and recognition-related elements are commonly cited. With growing inter-disciplinarity between normative ethics and the geographic social sciences, there is a renewed interest in the scalar aspects of environmental justice (particularly in relation to infrastructure projects)—how the framing of environmental decisions at multiple and conflicting scales results in disparities between locally affected communities, and regional and national decision-making authorities. In analysing this problem, the paper has three principal aims. The first is to outline the problem of scalar environmental justice. The second is to explore a practical case of scalar environmental justice, by examining the decision-making processes surrounding radioactive waste management in the UK. The third is to outline a new concept of “scalar parity” derived from the radioactive waste policy process, whereby local communities and regional and national political stakeholders are charged with balancing their competing interests through the “fulcrum” of a partnership organisation, to fairly resolve environmental justice disputes. This scalar parity model is used as an exemplar of good practice in environmental justice resolution that could be applied to other major infrastructure projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-259
JournalSocial Justice Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Environmental justice as scalar parity: lessons from nuclear waste management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this