From just transitions to reparative transformations

Erin Fitz-Henry, Elise Klein

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This article reflects on one aspect of the rapidly growing body of research on just transitions that we think has not been robustly enough explored: the difference that more explicitly reparative approaches to historical injustice rooted in racial capitalism might make to how these transitions are conceptualized and enacted. To advance this argument, we turn to recent scholarship on reparations, and particularly reparations for slavery, colonization and Indigenous genocide, to draw out critical insights that might helpfully expand and redirect just transitions work to more fully address the ongoing legacies of what Olufemi Taiwo has recently called, ‘global racial empire.’ Specifically, we examine the reparative demands embedded in the Cochabamba People's Declaration in Bolivia (2010) and the Black Hive's Black Climate Mandate in the US (2022). Through close analysis of these two documents, we draw out and expand four principles that we see as critical to the development of more reparative policy options for just transitions at both national and international scales. Specifically, we draw attention to the need for just transitions work to 1) draw on broader temporalities that foreground the long afterlives of colonial genocide and slavery; 2) more thoroughly recognize geographical interconnectedness across nation-state boundaries, including the powerful persistence of neo-colonial relationships of exploitation and expropriation; 3) redirect processes of highly racialized global (mal)distribution; and 4) attend to more ‘pluriversal’ possibilities for rectifying these inequalities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    JournalPolitical Geography
    Publication statusPublished - 2024

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