Research Handbook on Global Climate Constitutionalism
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Research Handbook on Global Climate Constitutionalism

Edited by Jordi Jaria-Manzano and Susana Borrás

Climate change is causing traditional political and legal concepts to be revisited. The emergence of a global polity through physical, economic and social interaction demands global responses which should be founded upon new principles and which cannot simply be modelled on traditional constitutionalism centred on the nation-state. This Research Handbook explores how to build this climate constitutionalism at a global level, starting from the narrative of Anthropocene and its implications for law. It provides a critical approach to global environmental constitutionalism, analysing the problems of sustainability and global equity which are entwined with the causes and consequences of climate change. The Handbook explores how to develop constitutional discourses and strategies to address these issues, and thereby tackle the negative effects of climate change whilst also advancing a more sustainable, equitable and responsible global society.
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Chapter 3: Law in the Anthropocene

Jordi Jaria-Manzano

Abstract

The social metabolism of the capitalist world economy has transformed the biophysical foundation of social reproduction. As we enter the Anthropocene era, hegemonic social processes at a global level are modifying the planet in a comprehensive, irreversible and uncertain way, causing disturbance and social unrest. The geological transition to an era defined by human transformation of the Earth has produced a civilizational crisis in terms of sustainability and justice. This demands a profound debate on the constitutional principles to govern the global socioecological processes that human evolution has arrived at. An exploration of a global constitutionalism to address this socioecological crisis should draw on current legal fundamentals and evolve from principles such as precaution, cooperation and responsibility, moving from the atomistic framework of modernity to an interdependence scheme informed by the holistic perspective required to confront the geological transition. By overcoming modern key political concepts, such as sovereignty and the political utopia that is embedded in the culture of human rights, new approaches to constitutionalism should develop interdependence into a fluent, intertextual and evolving constitutional discourse.

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