Evaluating Social Justice in Transport: Lessons to be Learned from the Capability Approach

Beyazit E.

TRANSPORT REVIEWS, vol.31, no.1, pp.117-134, 2011 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/01441647.2010.504900
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.117-134
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Recent theoretical and empirical studies show that there is a growing interest in considering wider social and economic impacts of transport. Since transport has an important role in distributing socio-economic benefits or losses created by different means or by transport itself, it has a crucial role in the discussion of social justice. This importance occurs from transport's different effects depending on the levels or the types of equity in the distribution: transport can help develop socially just societies or cause disparities between different or within same geographies. Therefore, for the system to be efficient, the distribution needs to be socially just. This paper provides a synthesis of social justice and transport literature in terms of equal rights and shares, freedom, capabilities, opportunities and choices by making use of contemporary approaches in the social justice theory and considering the varieties in different geographies, individuals and markets. Using the Capability Approach (CA), this paper first highlights the areas which need to be discussed in transport studies in terms of social justice, and second suggests a methodology which considers social justice norms in transport research by engaging the CA with existing methods.