Research Methods in Environmental Law
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Research Methods in Environmental Law

A Handbook

Edited by Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos and Victoria Brooks

This timely Handbook brings innovative, free-thinking and radical approaches to research methods in environmental law. With a comprehensive approach it brings together key concepts such as sustainability, climate change, activism, education and Actor-Network Theory. It considers how the Anthropocene subjects environmental law to critique, and to the needs of the variety of bodies, human and non-human, that require its protection. This much-needed book provides a theoretically informed analysis of methodological approaches in the discipline, such as constitutional analysis, rights-based approaches, spatial/geographical analysis, immersive methodologies and autoethnography, which will aid in the practical critique and re-imagining of Environmental Law.
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Chapter 5: Speculative entropy: dynamism, hyperchaos and the fourth dimension in environmental law practice

Lucy Finchett-Maddock


This chapter seeks to approach environmental law education through a ‘speculative’ methodology of entropy in environmental law practice. It is suggested that entropy as the basis of a theory of ‘complexity’ is helpful in teaching environmental law, accounting for the complex myriad of relations between humans, non-humans and their environment, as well as relations and rights that we are yet to understand. Processes of entropy are speculative as they take in to account the dynamism and preponderance of chaos, uncertainty (‘hyperchaos’) and the unknown within and outside law and its surrounding environment. This is important in teaching environmental law, given the ever-changing and interconnected nature of the world around us. A speculative understanding of entropy therefore is argued as supporting both understandings of linear and nonlinear time, or in forms that we may not even have the words as yet to describe, thus placing understandings of space and time at the heart of environmental legal education and practice. Clinical legal education is presented as offering new possibilities of speculative environmental law practice that account for a speculative understanding of entropy, using the pedagogies of ‘Skill City’ and ‘Walking the Lawscape’ as illustrative examples.

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