1st Edition

Justice and Cities Metro Morals

By Mark Davidson Copyright 2023
    272 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores different theories of justice and explains how these connect to broader geographical questions and inform our understanding of urban problems.

    Since philosophers like Socrates debated in the ancient agora, cities have prompted arguments about the best ways to live together. Cities have also produced some of the most vexing moral problems, including the critical question of what obligations we have to people we neither know nor affiliate with. The first part of this book outlines the most well-developed answers to these questions: the justice theories of Utilitarianism, Libertarianism, Liberalism, Marxism, Communitarianism, Conservativism, and recent "post" critiques. Within each theory, we find a set of geographical propensities that shape the ways purveyors of the theories see the city and its moral problems. The central thesis of the book is therefore that competing moral theories have distinct geographical concerns and perspectives, and that these propensities often condition how the city and its injustices are understood. The second part of the book features three studies of contemporary urban problems – gentrification, segregation, and (un)affordability – to demonstrate how predominant justice theories generate distinctive moral and geographical interpretations.

    This book therefore serves as an urbanist’s guide to justice theory, written for undergraduates and postgraduates studying human geography, urban and municipal planning, urban theory and urban politics, sociology, and politics and government.

    Chapter 1 – Introduction: Justice Theory for the Urbanist

    Part One – Theories of Justice

    Chapter 2 – Utilitarianism

    Chapter 3 – Libertarianism

    Chapter 4 – Liberalism

    Chapter 5 – Marxism

    Chapter 6 – Communitarianism

    Chapter 7 – Conservativism

    Chapter 8 – Post Critiques

    Part Two – Urban Applications of Theories of Justice

    Chapter 9 – Gentrification

    Chapter 10 – Urban Segregation

    Chapter 11 – Housing Affordability

    Chapter 12 – Conclusions (via Camus)


    Mark Davidson is a Professor in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University.