Between socio-spatial and urban justice: Rawls’ principles of justice in the 2011 Israeli Protest Movement

Nurit Alfasi, Tovi Fenster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The occupy movement of summer 2011 provides an opportunity to examine practical and theoretical implications of the notion of planning justice and human rights. Analyzing the discourse by activists in a planning team associated with the Israeli Protest Movement reveals inner conflicts and debates regarding the meanings of justice and human rights in planning. The discourse exposes an ongoing rift between spatial professionals (mainly geographers, planners, and architects) and subfields (municipal and governmental bodies, nongovernmental organizations, and academia) related to applying ideas of just planning in the Israeli context. Specifically, two opposing schemas of planning justice appear—that of socio-spatial justice and urban justice. A further investigation links each schema with a different principle of justice, as defined in Rawls’ Theory of Justice: The first schema is associated with the principle of difference and the second with the principle of fair equality of opportunity. Together, the unsettled conflicts hint at an inconsistency occurring when the theory is interpreted in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-427
Number of pages21
JournalPlanning Theory
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2014.


  • Rawls’ principles of justice
  • just planning
  • planning in Israel
  • socio-spatial justice
  • urban justice


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