Environmental Resistance in the Anthropocene

19 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2019 Last revised: 16 Apr 2019

See all articles by Lynda Margaret Collins

Lynda Margaret Collins

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Date Written: December 11, 2018

Abstract

English abstract: Scientists describe the current “Anthropocene epoch” as one of profound anthropogenic disruptions in the ecosphere that place humanity at an unacceptable risk. This unprecedented ecological moment in human history is rooted in profoundly unsustainable patterns of production and consumption protected by liberal power structures expressed through law. The exigencies of the Anthropocene call us to expand the subjects of resistance to include future generations of humans, plants, non-human animals, ecosystems and “non-living” natural entities (such as water, air and climatic systems). Since these constituencies cannot resist in a socio-political sense, their representation in current socio-political systems will depend upon “an insurrection of subjugated knowledges” (Foucault 1980, p. 81) including Indigenous law, pre-modern holistic traditions of Western legal thought, and emerging theories of ecological law. This article will explore these approaches as possible paths forward in the Anthropocene, employing a comparative law perspective that considers relevant jurisprudence and policy developments from around the globe.

Spanish abstract: Los científicos describen la época antropocena actual como una época de profundas perturbaciones antropogénicas en la ecosfera, situando a la humanidad ante un peligro inaceptable. Este momento ecológico hunde sus raíces en modelos insostenibles de producción y consumo, protegidos por estructuras de poder liberales. Las exigencias del Antropoceno nos urgen a incluir entre los sujetos de la resistencia a generaciones futuras de humanos, plantas, animales no humanos, ecosistemas y entes “no vivos” (como el agua, el aire y los sistemas climáticos). Como esas entidades no pueden ejercer resistencia en un sentido sociopolítico, su representación dependerá de “una insurrección de conocimientos subyugados” (Foucault 1980, p. 81), incluyendo leyes indígenas, tradiciones holísticas premodernas de pensamiento jurídico occidental y teorías jurídicas ecológicas emergentes. Este artículo examina tales enfoques, utilizando una perspectiva jurídica comparativa que toma en consideración jurisprudencia relevante y desarrollos de políticas en todo el mundo.

Keywords: Ecological law, Indigenous law, environmental governance, Anthropocene, Derecho ecológico, derecho indígena, gobernanza medioambiental, Antropoceno

Suggested Citation

Collins, Lynda Margaret, Environmental Resistance in the Anthropocene (December 11, 2018). Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3299387

Lynda Margaret Collins (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada
613-562-5800 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
38
Abstract Views
185
PlumX Metrics