Justice and the spatial imagination - École des Ponts ParisTech Access content directly
Journal Articles Environment and Planning Year : 2001

Justice and the spatial imagination


Introduction In an article published almost two decades ago, G H Pirie (1983, page 472) wrote: ``It would be a pity indeed if the busyness of political philosophers was to go completely unnoticed by spatial theorists and applied researchers. Equally, it would be a pity ... if this essay were to stand alone as a review of implications of that busyness.'' In that article, entitled On spatial justice'', Pirie reflected on the desirability and possibility of fashioning a concept of spatial justice from notions of social justice and territorial social justice'' (page 465). The present paper offers yet another reflection on the notion of justice as it relates to space and spatiality, to point to the ways in which various forms of injustice are manifest in the very process of spatialization, and the ways in which an increased awareness of the dialectical relationship between (in)justice and spatiality could make space a site of politics in fighting against injustice. As will become clear further through the text, the conceptualizations of both justice and space differ from the ways Pirie once viewed them. The paper is organized in five sections. The first section is a brief review of the geography literature which engages with the notion of justice, and serves to outline the theoretical position assumed in this paper. The second section provides an urban context in which a notion of spatial justice may be conceptualized. The third section is devoted to such a conceptualization. The fourth section presents the case of French urban policy in order to make the arguments more concrete. The concluding section is an attempt to define an ethico-political ground on which emancipatory politics in an urban spatial framework may be defended. The paper is conceptual in nature. Examples, however, are provided to stir the imagination as to the ways in which the dialectical relationship between (in)justice and spatiality may be conceived. The examples, therefore , are used to make this relationship more concrete, rather than attempting to provide a thorough discussion of the cases selected. Abstract. I attempt in this paper to conceptualize a notion of spatial justice in order to point to the dialectical relationship between (in)justice and spatiality, and to the role that spatialization plays in the production and reproduction of domination and repression. I argue that the city provides a productive ground for the formation of a spatially informed ethics of political solidarity against domination and repression. A `triad' is articulated to inform such politics, which brings together three notions: the spatial dialectics of injustice, the right to the city, and the right to difference. The notion of spatial justice is employed as a theoretical underpinning to avoid abusive interpretations of Lefebvrian rights in a liberal framework of individual rights. The case of French urban policy is used for illustrative purposes. Finally, the notion of e¨aliberteïs introduced as a moral ground on which the triad may be defended.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
mdikec_01_justice.pdf (187.29 Ko) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Files produced by the author(s)

Dates and versions

hal-01258169 , version 1 (18-01-2016)



Mustafa Dikec. Justice and the spatial imagination. Environment and Planning, 2001, ⟨10.1068/a3467⟩. ⟨hal-01258169⟩
196 View
3292 Download



Gmail Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More