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Natures, Rights and Political Movements

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NATURES, RIGHTS AND POLITICAL MOVEMENTS

Natures are partly composed of rights and rights are partly composed of natures. Every history of natures is a history of rights, and vice versa. Thus private property rights in land tend to come with a particular nature associated with hedges, fences and cadastral surveys. Similarly, the rights to global carbon-cycling capacity that are today parcelled out to industrialized countries under international agreements are tied to a novel, partly computer-engendered nature called β€œthe global climate”.

Emerging political movements for β€œrights of nature” aimed at countering evolving capitalist movements for β€œrights to nature” need to be aware that such contrasting regimes of rights/natures are constantly in play, and are being used by all sides, on the β€œmiddle ground” that defines this conflict.

First published on September 24, 2018.Β 

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