The Commons and the Collective
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|Format:||Paperback, 392 pages|
|Published In: ||Canada, 15 August 2012|
International law has evolved over the course of the twentieth
century to protect human rights. But what are human rights? Does the
term have the same meaning in a world being transformed by global
warming and the effects of globalized trade? Are existing laws
sufficient to ensure humanity's survival?
Drawing on case law and practice and examples from philosophy, law,
and ecology, Laura Westra argues that the current system is not
adequate: international law privileges individual over collective
rights, permitting multinational corporations to overlook the
collectivity and the environment in their quest for wealth and power.
Unless policy makers redefine human rights and reformulate
environmental law and policies to protect the preconditions for life
itself -- water, food, clean air, and biodiversity -- humankind,
particularly indigenous peoples and local communities in the developing
world, will face the complete loss of the ecological commons, the
preservation of which is one of our most basic human rights.
Westra not only assesses the limitations of law, she also proposes
possible paths to an ecologically safer future, including a new kind of
cosmopolitanism, one that has the United Nations as a focal point for a
new international legal order.
Laura Westra holds doctorates in both philosophy and
jurisprudence, and has taught in the fields of philosophy, ethics, and
environmental law at several US, Canadian, and Italian universities.
About the Author
Laura Westra holds doctorates in both philosophy and jurisprudence, and has taught in the fields of philosophy, ethics, and environmental law at several US, Canadian, and Italian universities.
A key feature of this book is that it deals with both moral and legal arguments. It also draws on Greek philosophy. This reflects the author's strength as a scholar of both philosophy and law. There are few authors in the environmental and international law fields that can bring this breadth of material and thought to bear on such a critical subject.
- Prue Taylor, School of Architecture and Planning, University of Auckland
|Publisher: ||University of British Columbia Press|
|Dimensions: ||22.0 x 15.0 x 2.0 centimeters (0.52 kg)|