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Open AccessArticle

Theorizing Social Sustainability and Justice in Marine Spatial Planning: Democracy, Diversity, and Equity

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Technology and Environmental Studies, School of Natural Sciences, Södertörn University, 141 89 Huddinge, Sweden
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Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology, LV1007 Riga, Latvia
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Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Human Dimensions of Coastal Areas; 21502 Geesthacht, Germany
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Faculty of Economics, University of Gdańsk, 81-824 Sopot, Poland
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Maritime Institute in Gdańsk, Gdynia Maritime University, 80-831 Gdańsk, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2560; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062560
Received: 9 March 2020 / Revised: 17 March 2020 / Accepted: 19 March 2020 / Published: 24 March 2020
This article elaborates a conceptual framework to examine social sustainability in marine spatial planning (MSP). Based on a critical literature review of key texts on social sustainability in MSP and the broader sustainable development literature we show the need to elaborate a cogent and comprehensive approach for the analysis and pursuit of social sustainability linked to the sea. We then theorize social sustainability by developing a conceptual framework through integrating three dimensions: Recognition, Representation and Distribution. While these three social sustainability/justice features clearly overlap and are interdependent in practice, the conceptual thinking underpinning each of them is distinctive and when taken together they contribute towards conceiving social sustainability as a pillar of sustainability. Our approach can support an analysis/evaluation of MSP in that, first, its broad scope and adaptability makes it suitable to examine the wide range of claims, demands, and concerns that are likely to be encountered across different practical MSP settings. Second, it acknowledges the opportunities and challenges of assessing, implementing, and achieving social justice within a broader sustainability framework. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine governance; social sustainability; social justice; conceptual framework; participation; representation; democracy; equity; distribution; recognition; distribution marine governance; social sustainability; social justice; conceptual framework; participation; representation; democracy; equity; distribution; recognition; distribution
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Saunders, F.; Gilek, M.; Ikauniece, A.; Tafon, R.V.; Gee, K.; Zaucha, J. Theorizing Social Sustainability and Justice in Marine Spatial Planning: Democracy, Diversity, and Equity. Sustainability 2020, 12, 2560.

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