Transnational Legal Theory
Published on 20 May 2021
Abstract: Writing on sovereignty has failed to address the challenges associated with planetary climatic change. As debates about the nature of sovereignty return to the fore, there remains little attention paid to how our newly unstable environmental conditions might call for sovereignty to be imagined anew. Drawing on Neil Walker’s account of the ‘sovereignty frame’–as a means of understanding the enduring relevance of sovereignty for contemporary law and politics – this article understands sovereignty as an aesthetic device which constitutively inures political subjects to the ecological forces and relations central to the climate crisis and the broader challenges associated with the Anthropocene. In taking up the task of reframing sovereignty in a way that properly attends to these issues, this article introduces how sovereignty’s spaces, subjects and modes of governance might be reimagined in light of the Anthropocene thesis and the various disruptions it heralds for social life.