Engagements and entanglements of legal and more-than-human worlds 1: Resource politics

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Legal Geography Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Water Resources Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Roosevelt 4, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Organizers: Alida Cantor, Chris Knudson
Chairs: Chris Knudson


Legal geographers are increasingly examining issues of how law interacts with biophysical environments and more-than-human actors (Delaney 2017; Cantor and Emel 2018), while political ecologists have begun to pay greater attention to legal arenas in their examinations of environmental contestations (Andrews & McCarthy 2015; Kay 2016; Cantor 2017). Recent years have seen novel approaches to environmental law that offer openings to rethink human-environment relationships. For example, in New Zealand, Ecuador, India, and Colombia, rivers have been granted legal personhood, the right to stand in court (Cano Pecharroman 2018). In the US, the public trust doctrine is being leveraged in multiple ways-- for example, to protect atmospheric resources for future generations (Blumm and Wood 2017) and to restore streamflow for Indigenous cultural uses in Hawaii (Sproat 2018). These efforts are grounded in a variety of principles, including deeply-held Indigenous traditions, post-anthropocentrism, the precautionary principle, and legal pluralism (Cantor and Emel 2018; Roth et al 2005). Meanwhile, the biophysical world continues to change, requiring legal systems to adapt in response (Craig 2010). This session focuses on the intersections between legal geography and the more-than-human environment, broadly defined. Papers focus on the mobilization of law in novel ways to advance the interests of ecological justice and human and environmental rights. We include a range of topics and perspectives from those who may or may not identify as ‘legal geographers’ per se.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter David Hughes*, Rutgers University, Who owns the wind? The property and justice of eolian energy 20 2:35 PM
Presenter Carol Hunsberger*, University of Western Ontario, Stuck in a pipe? Possibilities for expanding Canadian energy project reviews 20 2:55 PM
Presenter Alida Cantor*, Portland State University, Sugar water: The shifting dynamics of land use, water rights, and social and environmental justice in Maui, Hawaii 20 3:15 PM
Presenter Nicolas Bergmann*, Montana State University, Prior Appropriation and Instream Flow: Tracing the Legal Legacy of Montana’s Yellowstone River Water Reservations 20 3:35 PM
Discussant Jacque (Jody) Emel Clark University 20 3:55 PM

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