Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment

Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment

Research Handbooks in Human Rights series

Edited by Anna Grear and Louis J. Kotzé

Bringing together leading international scholars in the field, this Research Handbook interrogates, from various angles and positions, the fractious relationship between human rights and the environment and between human rights and environmental law. The Handbook provides researchers and students with a fertile source of reflection and engagement with this most important of contemporary legal relationships. Law’s complex role in the mediation of the relationship between humanity and the living order is richly reflected in this timely and authoritative collection.

Chapter 1: An invitation to fellow epistemic travellers – towards future worlds in waiting: human rights and the environment in the twenty-first century

Anna Grear and Louis J. Kotzé

Subjects: environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, human rights


Every book, in an important sense, ‘frames’ its subject area – not just between two covers but also – inevitably – within a set of epistemic choices or parameters. This book, in particular, is a Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment and such a title announces a particular aim. The title ‘research handbook’ implies a kind of authoritative overview – a certain degree of expert epistemic stability and validity. The term ‘frames’ the contribution of the book in a particular way: surely, a reader might think a ‘research handbook’ provides a relatively comprehensive and thoroughgoing initiation into a body of well-accepted, soundly constructed knowledge, covered by experts in its field. It might be comforting to think so – and certainly, many of the contributors to this handbook are world-leaders in the general field of ‘human rights’, and specifically, in the field of the deeply troubled, increasingly important legal nexus between ‘human rights’ and the ‘environment’ – yet matters are not nearly so stable as the term ‘handbook’ implies. For a start, even the term ‘human rights’ (so central to our subject matter) is fraught with ambiguities – as this handbook fully suggests.