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Navigating the Rights of Nature in times of socio-environmental conflicts and planetary crises

We are currently living in times of an ever-escalating planetary crisis: forests burning, rising acidity in the oceans, dried rivers, extinguishing species, and food shortages are now part of our every day. ‘Rights of Nature’ – RoN has emerged as an epistemic category that encapsulates paradigmatic encounters as much as contradictions: from the indigenous cosmologies in South America to the non-governmental organizations’ sociolegal advocacy, the movement for ‘Rights of Nature’ has brought to the place of law discussions about the nature of ‘rights’ (what means to have a ‘right’? and who/what ought to have ‘rights’?), the ‘sources’ of law (can nature tell us about law?), the meaning of ‘nature’ and ‘life’, and the relationship between human worlds and other-than-human ones. Moreover, as time has passed and legal recognitions of RoN around the world have taken place amid intensifying environmental harms, questions about the ‘ends’ (why to pursue RoN?), the potentiality of the category (what effects does it have?), and the interests that are at play (who benefits from RoN?) have arisen. In this seminar, we will study: 1. the theoretical and philosophical approaches to the rights of nature; 2. different cases of recognition of RoN around the world; 3. the social mobilization for (or against) the rights of nature; 4. the incidence of these in socio-ecological conflicts where the defense of nature meets with extractive exploitation, the financialization of the natural worlds and other economic activities of global scale; and 5. other existent approaches to talk and think about the human-nature relationship in times of ecological crisis. This seminar is divided into an introductory session and two main blocks each consisting of two days. Through discussions and interactive group work around both academic and non-academic resources, students will acquire knowledge on different aspects that surround ‘Rights of Nature’ and be able to situate them in relation to approaches around the relationship between human and other-than-human worlds.


Dozent/inAngela María Sánchez Alfonso
SemesterSose 2024
Beginn19.04.2024 | 14:00

Sose 2024