Where to from here? From law to place and back again

Robyn Bartel, Jennifer Carter

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Our space in the Universe - planet Earth - and our continued place on it, are currently challenged by human activities, particularly those governed by ontologies of human entitlement and exceptionalism, and despite decades of environmental laws tasked with limiting anthropogenic impact and protecting non-human life and systems. Successive regulatory failures and short-comings, supplemented and compounded by sub-optimal human behaviours, suggest that anthropocentric law may not be best placed to achieve the aims desired and engender the necessary shift in thinking required. Notwithstanding their environmental deterministic connotations, natural laws (Smith 2010), place laws (Bartel 2018), that acknowledge the influence of the biophysical world and of geography, and which reflect relational-material appreciations, and architecture (Lessig 1998), as here extended to moral architecture, may have potential. These more plural geocentric (Lynn 1998) and also omnicentric (Charpleix 2020) approaches may be better suited to answering the complex social and ecological questions of the Anthropocene, given that they decentre the human and provide greater recognition of non-human agency.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Space, Place and Law
EditorsRobyn Bartel, Jennifer Carter
Place of PublicationCheltenham UK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781788977203
ISBN (Print)9781788977197
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

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