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 22: F#cking research ethics through radical method: autoethnography and the field of environmental law

Victoria Brooks


In the now official epoch of the ‘Anthropocene’, it is crucial that researchers adopt methodological strategies that are radical enough. This ‘radical enough’ is the demand of an environment which is not just ‘somewhat problematic’, but is falling apart, body-by-body. Only by really stepping into the field that is environmental law can we convincingly tell our story as though we are heading the urgency of the situation, as the more-than-humans we claim to be. Any step into the field is beset by ethical challenges and, occasionally, obstructions. This chapter arises from lessons learned autoethnographically in the field of sexuality and a challenge brought to the ethical basis of thresholds of participation. This personal method, which claims to bridge the chasm between the individual and the collective concern is fraught with ethical challenges, which I claim are not specific to sexuality research. Attractions and transgressions belong to all kinds of more-than-human desiring bodies. This means that a traditional ethical human framework inhibits the possibility of radical methodologies. ‘F#cking’ is not a banal and profane cry of resistance, but a radically orgasmic research ethic underpinning radical methodological strategies for the Anthropocene epoch.

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