both concepts along the following main lines 1 their binary linear narrative

Both concepts along the following main lines 1 their

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both concepts along the following main lines: (1) their binary linear narrative constructs an unrealistically neat demarcation between ‘good’ and ‘bad’; (2) both conceal more than they reveal; and (3) both represent instances of the modern epistemology of the centre. The first problem that analysing environmental law through this binary produces is that it lacks critical purchase, even though it simplifies an analytically complex situation, and hence makes this complexity intelligible and tractable. The binary in fact situates environmental law along a polarity that is unrealistically linear and dichotomous. 54 Imagining environmental law along a linear path progressing from darkness to enlightenment, from ‘traditional’ anthropocentrism to ‘modern’ ecocentrism55 whereby the two concepts stand in a relation of ‘paradigmatic dichotomy’, 56 fail s to capture – and this is my central argument – the highly complex, non-linear, and irreducibly genealogical field of discourse and practice that environmental law is .57 Secondly, both concepts in the binary conceal as much as – or indeed more – than they reveal . Anthropocentrism , while purportedly referring to an undifferentiated global humanity, operates as an exclusionary mechanism. Anthropocentric law , in its imbrication with capitalism,58 traverses humanity and selects only certain human beings as the beneficiaries of current regimes of ecological accumulation .59 As some critical (legal and non-legal) scholarship60 has begun to emphasize, anthropocentrism , with its undifferentiated reference to humanity or mankind, masks the very differentiated realities within which human individuals and communities live . Indeed, as Anna Grear explains cogently and at length,61 the Anthropos set up as the universal representation of humanity is ‘far removed from [referring to] human beings in any rich and inclusive sense’, 62 and is rather a placeholder for a very narrow instantiation of ‘the human being’. Anthropocentrism , on this view, refers to a particular subset of
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humanity that historically has colonized, exploited and plundered both other human communities and the non-human world, reflecting what Grear calls ‘vectors of oppression linking intra- and inter-species hierarchies’. 63 The concept of anthropocentrism conceals, in short, very specific mechanics of exclusion and power relations (operating, crucially in and through law and the rule of law)64 through which both ‘other’ humans and ecosystems are ‘systematically disadvantaged’. 65 Ecocentrism also requires ‘particular critical attention’, 66 and for at least three reasons. First, ecocentric approaches and articulations rarely problematize the otherwise problematic, unstable and contested concept of ‘nature’. 67 Secondly, and relatedly, ecocentrism’s legal trajectory remains thickly embedded within modernity, at least to the extent that ecocentrism is often associated with the ethical and legal framework of rights (eg ‘rights of nature’ 68 – but of what ‘nature’?). A rights-based strategy risks lock ing the framework of legal analysis within a cultural and legal horizon premised on a subject-object grammar and
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