Research team

Law and Development

Expertise

My primary line of research focuses on the relation between political authority, society, and nature in the Anthropocene, with particular attention to the judicial apprehension of environmental issues. I teach various courses, including Legal Philosophy, Chinese Legal History, Comparative Law, and Law & Ecology in several universities in China, Poland, and Russia. At the UAntwerpen, I will complete a research project on the socio-legal perspective of China's pursuit of Ecological Civilization, which employs mainly qualitative methods.

China: The (not so) Gentle Ecological Civiliser. 01/11/2020 - 31/10/2023

Abstract

I propose to conduct unique, multidisciplinary research to the content, scope, and construction of the Chinese version of sustainability, by focusing on the experience of the legal and institutional framework produced by 'Ecological Civilisation' (EC). It fits into the traditions of Law & Society and Law in Context. EC has been promoted in the last years by the Chinese government as a new and alternative way of looking at the relationship between nature and humanity in the context of the Paris Agreement on climate change. China as an ecological civiliser will project attitudes towards the states, society, and species, and eventually create laws, institutions, and social realities that fit these attitudes. I will focus on the legal dimension of EC in ordinary life and empirically unfold the struggles and contradictions that accompany its installation. To achieve this goal, I will conduct fieldwork in Jiangsu Province, observing trials and interviewing people. Based on this survey, I will identify (1) the holistic and hierarchical view regarding the State, society, and nature, (2) the de facto mechanism of multicentric governance, and (3) the urgent need of adapting national laws to local realities. This research will apply methods inspired by Law in Context and Bourdieu's sociology, with the support of the multidisciplinary approach of Law Faculty and the IOB at the UAntwerp.

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