The Anthropocene thesis, albeit not an unproblematic starting point, foregrounds the inadequacy of tacitly reproduced assumptions, theoretical dispositions, and conceptual repertoires which have supported a critical mass of legal thinking and praxis. Acknowledging the disruptive effects of the ‘Anthropocene’ for law, my aim in this article is to make explicit that re-imagining law for the Anthropocene requires letting go of dominant ways of thinking and doing law, while enabling more adequate conceptions and modes of engagement to take hold. I suggest that the process of re-imagining law for the Anthropocene requires navigating a space of continuity and break that demands the legal discipline to confront questions about disciplinary identity and responsibility. Reflecting on what the process of re-imagining law might entail and how it could unfold, I propose the ‘question of possibilities’ as a leitmotif and ask: What could law become? In so doing, I map out concrete strategies and commitments which might inspire and encourage engagement with this question. These include: a practice of radical self-reflection, the cultivation of a generative outlook, the acknowledgement of legal multiplicity, and a persistent commitment to meaningful change.
Laura Mai, The ‘Question of Possibilities’ as a Leitmotif for Re-imagining Law for the ‘Anthropocene’. (2022) Global Policy, 1–11.