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Law and Governance in the Anthropocene
Organised by Cameron Harrington and Olivia Woolley

Al Qasimi cropped 200 px

In May 2019, the Anthropocene Working Group of the International Committee on Stratigraphy voted in favour of formalising the Anthropocene as a unit within the Geological Time Scale in view of extensive human alteration of the Earth. ‘Anthropocene’ is also used in several academic disciplines as a noun or adjective to signify that humans have become a force of change at the planetary scale. For those concerned with law, governance, and international relations, the reality of human-driven planetary-wide change to the environmental conditions of the Holocene raises questions about the adequacy and durability of established modes of thinking and practice. How, if at all, does the Anthropocene challenge assumptions on which they are founded? Can they, or should they, evolve to match the pace of anthropogenic changes in the fabric of the planet? What are the consequences?

The purpose of the invitation-only, two-day workshop is to enable interaction between scholars who examine the ramifications of the Anthropocene for global governance and international law in their research. We aim to foster dialogue on future research directions for Anthropocene scholarship in international law and global governance and on research which builds on this scholarship by developing practical responses to ways in which the Anthropocene undermines the adequacy of existing governance arrangements and related laws for meeting the challenges which it presents.