Environmental Law and Contrasting Ideas of Nature

Environmental Law and Contrasting Ideas of Nature : A Constructivist Approach

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Law's ideas of nature appear in different doctrinal and institutional settings, historical periods, and political dialogues. Nature underlies every behavior, contract, or form of wealth, and in this broad sense influences every instance of market transaction or governmental intervention. Recognizing that law has embedded discrete constructions of nature helps in understanding how humans value their relationship with nature. This book offers a scholarly examination of the manner in which nature is constructed through law, both in the 'hard' sense of directly regulating human activities that impact nature, and in the 'soft' manner in which law's ideas of nature influence and are influenced by behaviors, values, and priorities. Traditional accounts of the intersection between law and nature generally focus on environmental laws that protect wilderness. This book will build on the constructivist observation that when considered as a culturally contingent concept, 'nature' is a self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing social creation.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1 map
  • 1139990136
  • 9781139990134

Review quote

'Would nature exist without property law? ... this is the kind of inquiry Keith Hirokawa and his collaborators ... ask us to explore as a way of gaining deeper appreciation of law's construction of nature as a human concept. Every chapter in this volume reminds us that nature is not the world without humans, it is a part of the world humans construct through law and other social institutions. ... This collection of essays offers a bounty of fresh, innovative, and insightful expositions on that immensely important question. It will change the way you think law should think about nature.' J. B. Ruhl, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law, Vanderbilt University Law School 'By exploring how we construct and change nature by our laws, the contributors to this book demonstrate the importance of new policy debates and the need for changing our constructs, especially in a climate altered world. To have a new way of looking at the world, we have to understand how we got where we are. This book does this beautifully.' Victor B. Flatt, Director, Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation, and Resource, University of North Carolina
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About Keith H. Hirokawa

Keith Hirokawa is an Associate Professor of Law at the Albany Law School. His scholarship has explored convergences in ecology, ethics, economics and law, with particular attention given to local environmental law, ecosystem services policy, watershed management and environmental impact analysis. He has authored dozens of professional and scholarly articles in these areas and has co-edited (with Dean Patricia Salkin) Greening Local Government (2012).
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Table of contents

1. Nature in a constructed world: grounding the constructivist method Rik Scarce and Keith H. Hirokawa; 2. An unnatural divide: how law obscures individual environmental harms Katrina Fischer Kuh; 3. Defining nature as a common pool resource Jonathan D. Rosenbloom; 4. Property constructs and nature's challenge to property perpetuity Jessica Owley; 5. Perceiving change and knowing nature: shifting baselines and nature's resiliency Robin Kundis Craig; 6. Animals and law in the American city Irus Braverman; 7. Boundaries of nature and the American city Stephen R. Miller; 8. Constructing nature the radical way: extreme environmentalism and law Rik Scarce; 9. Wilderness imperatives and untrammeled nature Sandra B. Zellmer; 10. Native American values and laws of exclusion Catherine Iorns-Magallanes; 11. Challenging what appears 'natural': the environmental justice movement's impact on the environmental agenda Shannon M. Roesler; 12. The transformation of water Dan A. Tarlock; 13. Framing watersheds Craig Anthony Arnold; 14. The last, last frontier Michael Burger.
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