The Law as an Epistemological Register: Conceptual Tools for Sustainability Transitions

Aktiviteetti: EsitelmäKonferenssiesitelmä


Sustainability transition refers to the idea that in order to attain various sustainability goals, core societal systems need to be completely overhauled. Incremental changes are not enough, but system-wide transformations are required. With regards to such transformations, the purpose of this presentation is three-fold. First, some examples of how basic principles and prevailing paradigms within law are actually counterproductive when it comes to achieving sustainability related goals will be outlined. These examples lead to the conclusion that often law is not part of the solution when pursuing a sustainability transitions but rather the problem itself. This is not surprising given the fact that current societal systems are deeply embedded with the functional logic of various fields of law (e.g. private law, IPR law, environmental law, administrative law). If complete societal systems need to be transformed, then surely the legal rules central for their operation need to undergo a transformation of similar extent? Second, after having thus outlined the problem, some conceptual tools on how law relates to sustainability transitions will be developed. These are presented through two dichotomies on the role of law: i) the law as an enabler and the law as a constraint of transition; ii) the law as an object and the law as an agent of transition. Third, in order to overcome the challenges thus presented, and so as to not present these dichotomies only as aporias, the law’s capacity to function as an epistemological register is then discussed. This will hopefully highlight the critical and emancipatory potential that law holds regarding sustainability transitions, and, what is more, open an avenue for reconstituting the building blocks of the system and to avoiding middle-range theorizing, which should be the case in case of a system-wide transformation.
Aikajakso26 elokuuta 2021
Tapahtuman otsikkoXIX Oikeustieteen päivät 2021: Kestävä ja vastuullinen oikeus
Tapahtuman tyyppiKonferenssi
SijaintiRovaniemi, Suomi
Vaikuttavuus / laajuusKansallinen