Rafi Youatt of the University of Chicago will discuss how rights for nature have sprung up in a number of countries around the world, including New Zealand, Ecuador, India, and the United States, and have been hailed as an expansion of environmental protection. They have taken a variety of political forms, from constitutional rights to local ordinances, and have had both secular and sacred valences. Looking widely across these developments, this talk will explore how they both push us to re-interpret the politics of collective personhood on the international stage and to think about the limited environmental imaginaries of global governance. In short, the rights of nature may be less about “rights” or “nature” than we assume.
Rafi Youatt (Phd, University of Chicago, Political Science, 2007) is associate professor of politics at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College and currently chair of the undergraduate Environmental Studies program. He is the author of Counting Species: Biodiversity and Global Environmental Politics (University of Minnesota Press, 2015). His work has appeared in a number of journals, including Millennium, International Political Sociology, Environmental Values, and Political Research Quarterly.
Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the department of political science.
Monday, April 16 at 4:30pm