1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Law and the Anthropocene

Edited By Peter D. Burdon, James Martel Copyright 2023
    386 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    The Routledge Handbook of Law and the Anthropocene provides a critical survey into the function of law and governance during a time when humans have the power to impact the Earth system.

    The Anthropocene is a “crisis of the earth system.” This book addresses its implications for law and legal thinking in the twenty-first century. Unpacking the challenges of the Anthropocene for advocates of ecological law and politics, this handbook pursues a range of approaches to the scientific fact of anthropocentrism, with contributions from lawyers, philosophers, geographers, and environmental and political scientists. Rather than adopting a hubristic normativity, the contributors engage methods, concepts, and legal instruments in a way that underscores the importance of humility and an expansive ethical worldview. Contributors to this volume are leading scholars and future leaders in the field. Rather than upholding orthodoxy, the handbook also problematizes received wisdom and is grounded in the conviction that the ideas we have inherited from the Holocene must all be open to question.

    Engaging such issues as the Capitalocene, Gaia theory, the rights of nature, posthumanism, the commons, geoengineering, and civil disobedience, this handbook will be of enormous interest to academics, students, and others with interests in ecological law and the current environmental crisis.

    Interrogating the Anthropocene

    Peter Burdon and James Martel

    First Laws

    The Problem with Sustainable Development in the Anthropocene Epoch: Reimagining International Environmental Law’s Mantra Principle Through Ubuntu

    Louis J. Kotzé, Sam Adelman and Felix Dube

    The Sovereign Order of Tiƞa: Enduring Traditions of Earth Jurisprudence in Africa

    Anatoli Ignatov

    The Super-factual Anthropocene and Encounters with Indigenous Law

    Kirsten Anker and Mark Antaki

    Subjects of the Anthropocene

    The Anthropocene Archive: Human and Inhuman Subjects and Sediments

    Kathleen Birrell

    We, Earthbound People: Constituent Power in Entangled Times

    Daniel Matthews

    Chastened Humanism in a Necrotic Anthropocene: Transcendence toward Less

    Ira Allen

    Lawscapes of Hope and Despair

    Biodiversity: The Neglected Lens for Reimagining Property, Responsibility and Law for the Anthropocene

    Paul Govind and Michelle Lim

    The Law of the Sea: Oceans, Ships and the Anthropocene

    Renisa Mawani

    Ocean Acidification and the Anthropocene: An Emergency Response

    Prue Taylor

    Outer Space in the Anthropocene

    Emily Ray

    Ecological and Earth Systems Law

    Taming Gaia 2.0: Earth System Law in the Ruptured Anthropocene

    Rakhyun E. Kim


    Collapse or Sustainability? Ecological Integrity as a Fundamental Norm of Law

    Klaus Bosselmann

    Making Ecological Integrity Human-inclusive in the Anthropocene

    Geoffrey Garver

    Dignity and Human Rights

    The Anthropocene and Human Rights: A New Context and the Need to Revisit Collective Human Concerns

    Karen Morrow

    Dignity in the Anthropocene

    Erin Daly and Dina Lupin

    Regulating Nature and Nature Regulates

    Regulating Nature and the Rule of Law

    Han Somsen

    Solar Geoengineering and the Challenge of Governing Multiple Risks in the Anthropocene

    Kerryn Brent

    The Transformative Power of Receptivity: Building a Smart Political Energy Grid in Response to Planetary Ecological Crisis

    Romand Coles and Lia Haro

    Imagination and Utopia

    Imagined Utopias

    Benjamin J. Richardson

    Myth for the Anthropocene

    Peter Burdon and James Martel

    The Nomos of Creativity in the Anthropocene

    Afshin Akhtar-Khavari and Lachlan Hoy

    Learning Ecological Law: Innovating Legal Curriculum and Pedagogy

    Kate Galloway and Nicole Graham


    Law, Responsibility and the Capitalocene: In Search of New Arts of Living

    Anna Grear, Sally Wheeler and Peter Burdon


    Peter D. Burdon is Associate Professor at Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide, Australia.

    James Martel is Professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University, USA.

    "This book opens up along a new horizon of what Anthropocene might mean for human juridical responsibility. Exceptionally interdisciplinary, this is a tapestry of perspectives that eschews romanticisation and remains critical throughout, reaching back to the indigenous roots of first laws and extending to new takes on geoengineering. This is a truly planetary book and perhaps its main lesson is this: that human exceptionalism must and can be translated into human responsibilisation with regards to our planet. If you want to find the tools to do this, read this book." Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, The Westminster Law & Theory Lab, London 

    "Burdon and Martel have brought us an exciting and diverse collection of interdisciplinary essays that address today’s most urgent and critical questions. The authors marshal a strikingly wide range of conceptual resources, inspiring us to reimagine the human and the rules by which we live. It is abounding in creativity when we most need it!" Hasana Sharp, McGill University, Canada