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Concerns over distribution are still the driving force of many social movements and environmental disputes. The theoretical and policy debates concerning distribution call for attention to fairness in allocation or distribution of either public assets such as resources, wealth, entitlements, benefits, and burdens of infrastructure and development projects, or outcomes of processes. While different theories of distribution have been formulated by different scholars in the past century, some of the most influential ideas were initiated in the social justice theories of John Rawls. In his classic book Justice as Fairness, published in 1958, Rawls argues that the fundamental idea in the concept of social justice should be fairness in distribution of primary goods (such as liberties, rights, wealth, income, and opportunities) and benefits.

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