The Anthropocene thesis, albeit not an unproblematic starting point, foregrounds the inadequacy of tacitly reproduced assumptions, theoretical dispositions, and conceptual repertoires which have supported a critical mass of legal thinking and praxis. Acknowledging the disruptive effects of the ‘Anthropocene’ for law, my aim in this article is to make explicit that re-imagining law for the Anthropocene requires letting go of dominant ways of thinking and doing law, while enabling more adequate conceptions and modes of engagement to take hold. I suggest that the process of re-imagining law for the Anthropocene requires navigating a space of continuity and break that demands the legal discipline to confront questions about disciplinary identity and responsibility. Reflecting on what the process of re-imagining law might entail and how it could unfold, I propose the ‘question of possibilities’ as a leitmotif and ask: What could law become? In so doing, I map out concrete strategies and commitments which might inspire and encourage engagement with this question. These include: a practice of radical self-reflection, the cultivation of a generative outlook, the acknowledgement of legal multiplicity, and a persistent commitment to meaningful change.
- Given its urgent implications for political decision-making, academic discourse on law and the ‘Anthropocene’ cannot be regarded as an eccentric thought experiment. Rather, decision-makers must acknowledge that scholarly discussions about law and the Anthropocene have immediate relevance.
- The project of re-imagining law for the Anthropocene presents an opportunity for academic communities, practitioners, civil society, and policymakers to collaboratively explore how decision-making processes and governance systems might more adequately respond to Anthropocene states of affairs.
- As discourse on law and the Anthropocene begins to spread beyond pockets of specialist academic communities, the task is to prepare for theoretical, conceptual, and methodological reconfigurations of law.
- Policy professionals can contribute to efforts of re-imagining law for the Anthropocene by facilitating alternative conceptions of law to find resonance in practice.
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