Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Politics and Government: Political Science
Several countries have adopted legal frameworks that recognize ‘nature,’ or nonhuman things in ‘nature,’ as rights-bearing entities in their own right. In this thesis, I ask what these laws can tell us about the possible political implications of post-humanist perspectives regarding nonhuman entities and ‘nature.’ To answer this question, I analyze the similarities and differences between recent post-humanist ecological perspectives (Bennett 2010; Latour 2014, 2004) and indigenous imaginaries that informed rights of nature laws in Ecuador, Bolivia, and New Zealand. This comparative analysis reveals a promising path for achieving sustainable relationships with nonhuman entities that promote environmental protection. Finally, I discuss some of the challenges involved in adopting post-humanist perspectives in the political and legal sphere. I conclude that while it is not without obstacles, the inclusion of post-humanist theories of ecology in legal frameworks can potentially encourage and reinforce ecologically-minded cultural attitudes.
Kent, Jaimie, "Rights of Nature and the Political Implications of Post-Humanist Ecologies" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 686.