Reframing Sociolegal Contexts: law in more-than-human worlds
Sociolegal scholars challenge the assumptions within law and the way it is structured to support a particular social order and value system. But rarely have sociolegal scholars questioned the re-lationship law structures between humans and more-than-human worlds. Since early colonialism, this relationship has been built on a human-nature divide and an exploitative relationship of pos-session and extractivism. Today, this relationship has culminated in human-driven climate change, catastrophic fires and floods, and the looming extinction of multiple species including the human. This talk seeks to reframe sociolegal contexts to better recognize and include what has always been present – law’s relations with more-than-human worlds. I ask why sociolegal scholars have overlooked this field of legal relations, what this oversight suggests about the limits of sociolegal scholarship, and how could we reframe our research to ensure its future relevance in the context of ecological crisis
Dr. Eve Darian-Smith is Professor and Chair of Global & International Studies at the University of California, Irvine USA. Trained as a lawyer, historian, and anthropologist, she is broadly interested in postcolonialism, legal pluralism, global governance and socio-legal theory. Her new book Global Burning: Rising Antidemocracy and the Climate Crisis analyzes the convergence of global authoritarianism and escalating climate catastrophes. She is on the editorial boards of the journals Social & Legal Studies and Canadian Journal of Law and Society and is a former associate editor of the Law & Society Review and American Ethnologist.