Saturday, June 22, 2013

Recovering from the Recovery Narrative

SSRN has "Recovering from the Recovery Narrative: On Glocalism, Green Jobs and Cyborg Civilization", another paper from Michael Burger (see an earlier post here) on the interactions between American cultural-environmental history and current legal issues. The abstract:
Climate change has fundamentally disrupted the traditional stories and narrative structures that underlie modern environmental law in the United States.
This Essay, one in a series of pieces adopting a Law & Literature approach to environmental law, identifies emerging storylines that have begun to predominate in environmental law discourse and that will prove influential in the coming years. The Essay elaborates on 1) how new perceptions of scale are re-defining human beings’ attachments to a sense of “place” or “dwelling,” and are shaping new attitudes about what constitutes the local, posing potential problems for existing federalism schemes; 2) how America’s long history of nationalizing nature manifests in the discourse surrounding energy security, energy independence, and the “green economy,” a discourse which has quickly come into conflict with existing place-based preservationist storylines; and 3) how climate change impacts and the demand for adaptation can produce a reimagining of nature and culture as a kind of cyborg. The Essay concludes by noting commonalities and distinctions between new and old environmental stories, and reflecting on how more radical transformations may lay ahead.

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