Environmental harm is of increasing concern to peoples and states all over the world, whether in relation to ensuring access to healthy air, water, food, and sustainable livelihoods, or coping with the diversity of challenges posed by changing climates and ecologies. While international lawyers have focused on crafting solutions to environmental problems, less attention is paid to the disciplinary role in fostering harmful and unsustainable behavioural patterns. Environmental issues are usually relegated to the specialized field of international environmental law. This project explores instead the role of nature in the general discipline, arguing that the natural environment is a determinative factor in shaping international law, and that assumptions about nature lie at the heart of disciplinary concepts such as sovereignty, development, economy, property, and human rights.
* The ‘Locating Nature’ project is a collaborative research initiative of the Institute for Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School. We thank David Kennedy and IGLP for sponsoring this project and Judi Silverman for project support. We are grateful to Sheila Jasanoff, Balakrishnan Rajagopal, Thomas Skouteris, Mick Smith, and Robert Weller, for their helpful feedback, insights, and encouragement [[email protected]; [email protected]].