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Title: Rights of Nature as a potential framework for the transformation of modern political communities
Authors: Houart, Carlota
Keywords: International Relations
Political Community
Rights of Nature
Non-Human Beings
Climate Crisis
Issue Date: Jun-2022
Publisher: OBERVARE. Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa
Abstract: This article focuses on the present context of the climate and environmental crises and how these fundamentally challenge the inherently anthropocentric norms, conceptions and practices of international politics and IR. I argue that, in order to confront the hegemonic, anthropocentric mode of relationship with non-human nature that has led to these crises, alternative frameworks need to be developed that might lead to a gradual transformation of modern political communities. Departing from Critical IR Theory, I suggest that Andrew Linklater’s and Robyn Eckersley’s critiques of Westphalia and proposals for its transformation might be useful to understand how the emergent Rights of Nature movement may promote such transformation. I look at two paradigmatic cases from the Rights of Nature movement – the Whanganui River case in Aotearoa New Zealand, on a local level; and Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution, on a national level – to briefly reflect on the alternative understandings of concepts such as community, subjecthood, agency, voice, rights, participation and representation that they encourage. By expanding these concepts as to include the more than-human world, these RoN frameworks invite a transformation of modern systems of thought and practice, and – to a certain extent – constitute a potential for the transformation of modern political communities in ways that might enable a better response to the global climate and environmental crises.
Peer Reviewed: yes
ISSN: 1647-7251
Appears in Collections:OBSERVARE - JANUS.NET e-journal of International Relations. Vol.13, n.1 (May - October 2022)

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