A Radical New Paradigm for Ecological Governance
The Commons Law Project is a bold attempt to imagine a new architecture of law and public policy that can effectively address climate change and other urgent ecological problems while advancing human rights and social empowerment.
The vast majority of the world’s scientists agree: We have reached a point in history where we are in grave danger of destroying Earth’s life-sustaining capacity. But our attempts to protect natural ecosystems are increasingly ineffective because our very conception of the problem is limited; we treat ‘the environment’ as its own separate realm, taking for granted prevailing but outmoded conceptions of economics, national sovereignty, and international law. The Commons Law Project aims to challenge this counterproductive paradigm with a radical new framework for thought and action.
Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights, and the Law of the Commons, to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2013, is a direct response to the mounting calls for a paradigm shift in the way humans relate to the natural environment. It opens the door to a new set of solutions by proposing a compelling new synthesis of environmental protection based on broader notions of economics and human rights and on commons-based governance. Going beyond speculative abstractions, the book proposes a new architecture of environmental law and public policy that is as practical as it is theoretically sound.
The Commons Law Project is the brainchild of Burns Weston and David Bollier.
Burns H. Weston is the Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus and Senior Scholar of the Center for Human Rights at The University of Iowa. A long-time – now honorary – member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, he has authored and co-authored many books and articles, especially in international human rights and related international law fields. He also is known as an ‘engaged scholar’. For his activism and scholarship bridging human rights and environmental law, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) by Vermont Law School in 2009.
David Bollier is an author, activist and independent scholar of the commons. He is the author or editor of twelve books, including four on various aspects of the commons. He is co-founder of the Commons Strategies Group, an international consulting project, and co-founder of Public Knowledge, a Washington advocacy group for the public’s stake in copyright and Internet policies. Bollier is also Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; winner of the Bosch Prize in Public Policy at the American Academy in Berlin, fall 2012; and a long-time rapporteur for the Aspen Institute.