Amsterdam, Netherlands

Environmental Justice in Theory and Practice

when 22 July 2024 - 26 July 2024
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 995

This summer course will introduce students to environmental justice from a variety of perspectives. We will engage with philosophical attempts to identify normative standards for what can be considered a just allocation of the benefits and burdens of environmental action. This includes questions such as: Should everybody have equal access to vital ecosystem services? Should rich countries pay for climate change adaptation in poorer countries? If so to what extent? But we will also critically scrutinize the value of philosophical reasoning as an approach to environmental justice. Does philosophy provide us with much needed impartial principles to guide our actions or is it too much of an armchair discipline, removed from what is going on in the ‘real world’? Is listening to stakeholders’ claims and the demands of environmental justice movements and activists a more practically relevant way to make sense of environmental justice? What are their objectives and strategies and how successful are they?

We will also engage with environmental justice aspects of the assessment of impacts of conservation and other environmental policies and interventions. The Intergovernmental Platform of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has well laid out that people hold diverse values for nature, linked to the way they engage with nature and their worldviews. Then how to best assess such values? What are the advantages of expressing such values in monetary terms, and what are the counterarguments? What is the role of environmental economics and socio-cultural studies in assessing values of nature? How can the process of valuation be organized in a such a way that the resulting outcomes are supported by the people whose values are at stake?

Course leader

Dr. Marije Schaafsma and Dr. Ina Lehmann

Fee info

EUR 995: Tuition fees one-week course

VU Students/PhD candidates and employees of VU Amsterdam* or an Aurora Network Partner €525
Students at Partner Universities of VU Amsterdam €680
Students and PhD candidates at non-partner universities of VU Amsterdam €785
Professionals €995

Early Bird offer
Applications received before 15 March (14 March CET 23:59) receive €50 Early Bird discount!


VU Amsterdam Summer School offers two kinds of scholarships: the Equal Access Scholarship and the Photographer Scholarship. More information can be found on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.