Category Archives: Paradigms

David Bollier, Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons – Book Review (A. Grear)

Author

Anna Grear

Keywords

business as usual, collective commons, commoners, digital commons, dispossession, market, neoliberal ideology, norms, property rights, urban food production, values

Abstract

At a time when there is widespread disillusionment with ‘business as usual’, attention is turning, thanks in part to the high-profile publication of books such as Jeremy Rifkin’s, The Zero Marginal Cost Society, towards the notion of ‘collective commons’ as an
alternative paradigm to neoliberal free-market economics.

David Bollier’s book broadens the focus to identify the centrality of commons (and ‘commoning’) to an epochal shift in consciousness now emergent across the world. Such scholarship suggests that a fundamentally different mode of being appears to be surfacing from beneath neoliberal market hegemony and the assumptions of ‘business as usual’ – presenting a renaissance of something much more ancient in the light of which the free market economy and the rise of homo economicus stand revealed as a historical anomaly.

This book provides a short, engaging and important introduction to the commons and to the dynamics of commoning, while unsettling important mainstream assumptions underlying life in the ‘real world’ of neoliberal globalization and the duopoly of the state-market complex.

Citation

(2014) 5/2 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 213-9

Paper

David Bollier, Think Like a Commoner – Book Review

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Law or World Re-form: The Problem of Environmental Rights (C. Giagnocavo and H. Goldstein)

Author(s)

Cynthia Giagnocavo and Howard Goldstein

Keywords

reform, paradigm shift, environmental law, Canada, legislation, judicial decisions

Abstract

Developments in the area of environmental law are proceeding at a rapid pace in Canada. More and more legislation is appearing, judicial decisions are being made and lawyers are actively involved, all to the point where environmental law, once an anomaly, is becoming a very prominent field.

Many environmentalists argue that this is not enough, that true guarantees of environmental protection will only come when society extends rights to the environment, to guarantee its equal status with other rights-bearing entities.

The authors here take a completely different approach. They argue that the environmental movement in Canada has been diverted from its original goals by the application of traditional legal solutions to the very un-legal problems of environmental degradation.

The extension of environmental rights would mark a final step in this process. The authors argue instead for the notion of rightness, a notion directed not at legal reform and its accompanying restraints, but world reform: the development globally of a whole new perspective on the interrelatedness of humankind and nature.

Citation

(1990) 35 McGill Law Journal 345

Paper

Law or World Re-form: The Problem of Environmental Rights

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Human Rights and the Environment (G. Alfredsson and A. Ovsiouk)

Authors

Gudmunder Alfredsson and Alexander Ovsiouk

Keywords

human rights, environmental protection, rules and regulations, environmental issues

Abstract

Environmental issues are being discussed and acted upon in a number of international, multilateral, regional, sub-regional and bilateral settings. Sensible rules and regulations aimed at maintaining or improving the environmental situation are multiplying and mechanisms allowing for prevention, reaction and remedies are coming into being. It is therefore a legitimate question whether the introduction of a human rights angle could possibly contribute something positive to these efforts.

Citation

(1991) 60 Nordic Journal of International Law 19.

Paper

Human Rights and the Environment

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Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights, and the Law of the Commons (B. Weston and D. Bollier)

Author

Burns H. Weston and David Bollier

Keywords

sustainability, ecosystems, environmental protection, economics, national sovereignty, international law, green governance, paradigm shift, human rights, public policy

Abstract

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. Green Governance 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.

Citation

Burns H. Weston and David Bollier, Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights, and the Law of the Commons (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Book

Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights, and the Law of the Commons

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New Norms and Knowledge in World Politics: Protecting People, Intellectual Property and the Environment (P. Stoeva)

Author

Preslava Stoeva

Keywords

Norms, international politics, international relations, environment, climate change, protection from torture, intellectual property rights

Abstract

This book examines the process of norm development and knowledge creation in international politics, and assesses these processes in case studies on protection from torture, intellectual property rights and climate change.

Drawing on the theories of constructivism and the sociology of scientific knowledge, author Preslava Stoeva demonstrates that international norms are a product of a sequence of closures and consensus reached at different social levels. She contends that it is this process which makes norms permeate the social and political fabric of international relations even before they become official principles of state behaviour. Proposing a theoretical model which indicates the stages of the development of norms, she studies the roles that various actors play in that process, together with the interplay of various types of power. Through this endeavour, this book succeeds in providing the reader with a better understanding of the social processes that lead to normative change in international relations.

New Norms and Knowledge in World Politics will be of interest to students, scholars and practitioners of international relations, comparative politics, globalization, sociology and anthropology.

Citation

Preslava Stoeva, New Norms and Knowledge in World Politics: Protecting People, Intellectual Property and the Environment (Taylor & Francis, 2009)

Book

New Norms and Knowledge in World Politics: Protecting People, Intellectual Property and the Environment

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