Edited by Jordi Jaria-Manzano and Susana Borrás
Chapter 16: Capitalocene, Thermocene and the Earth system: global law and connectivity in the Anthropocene age
This chapter discusses the role of global law and constitutionalism in the ecological transition to the Anthropocene, focusing on the energy and financial-economic systems, which hold a fundamental responsibility in the transformation of the Earth’s system and cycles beyond the favourable conditions of Holocene that were conducive to the development of societies. Against this background, the chapter advances the argument that an epistemological coupling between two different theoretical approaches – on one hand, the reformulation of system theory in terms of ‘constitutionalization of connectivity’, as proposed by Poul Kjaer; and on the other, the new materialist onto-epistemologies – is both possible and useful. The reasoning for this coupling takes as its starting point the idea that the latter theoretical approach provides a specific focus on foundation and normative density; while the former brings a refined theory on the function of global law and the metamorphosis of constitutionalism. It is argued that, given the complexity faced by law in the Anthropocene era, the capacity of global legal norms to increase the probability of connectivity across diverse, legally entrenched contexts seems crucial. Earth system law emerges in response to this call for a new understanding of the role of law in the global realm, in order to facilitate the stabilization of social reproduction and to make its governance and production structures compatible with the Earth system.
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