Environmental Law and Governance

Environmental Law and Governance in an age of increasing isolationism

The focus of the last few decades has been ever-increasing globalisation and global cooperation. In the environmental law context, this can be seen within global efforts to combat climate change; conserve wildlife; and protect our common resources. However, this stream looks at whether this age of environmental globalisation is truly still upon us. For example, the USA’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in 2016 and the potential environmental impacts (if any) from the UK’s departure from the European Union in 2019, pose questions as to whether global cooperation in environmental law and governance remains at the foreground of environmental protection. It could be argued that we are entering into a newfound age of isolationism – where nationalistic interests are taking precedence.

This stream would therefore particularly welcome papers on environmental law and governance that respond to and/or challenge this theme. This would include papers with either a national or international environmental law focus and would include papers considering specific environmental regimes, or those that consider broader concepts of environmental governance.

More specifically, some of the themes and questions that the papers might want to explore include:

  • Could human rights protections in environmental law survive an isolationist age?
  • The role/ influence of politics and policy in environmental protection.
  • Historical perspectives on environmental law.
  • The role of multi-national corporations and market mechanisms in environmental law.
  • The various approaches to environmental protection (for instance, regulation, criminalisation etc) and their differing roles in jurisdictions.
  • The different voices heard (or not heard) in environmental protection discourse (for instance, corporate, indigenous, feminist, intergenerational etc).



Amy Lawton (a.lawton1@lancaster.ac.uk) and Ben Mayfield (b.mayfield@lancaster.ac.uk)