“Benefits-sharing agreements and nonideal theory: The warning signs of agreement co-optation”
Jovanna Rosen, Lisa Schweitzer
Community members seek benefits-sharing planning agreements to advance their own distributive justice goals by directing benefits to communities. Nonideal theory does much to explain the context and possibilities for these agreements. The agreements forged between communities and development interests seek to address, but not completely achieve, distributive justice via consensus about incremental changes in project benefit distribution. However, implementation and outcomes can vary widely. This article develops theory to conceptualize a practical framework for these planning agreements using nonideal justice theories, granted the triple concerns of inaction, tokenism, and rhetorical trickery posed by ineffective implementation. The Crenshaw Light Rail Project in Los Angeles illustrates the issues in play.
*This paper may require a library or personal subscription to the Planning Theory.