Earth system law: Exploring new frontiers in legal science

Marie-Catherine Petersmann, Louis Kotzé, Rakhyun E. Kim, Catherine Blanchard, Joshua Gellers, Cameron Holley, Harro van Asselt, Frank Biermann, Margot Hurlbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The Anthropocene requires of us to rethink global governance challenges and effective responses with a more holistic understanding of the earth system as a single intertwined social-ecological system. Law, in particular, will have to embrace such a holistic earth system perspective in order to deal more effectively with the Anthropocene's predicaments. While a growing number of scholars have tried to reimagine law and legal scholarship in a more holistic way, these attempts remain siloed. What is required is a shared epistemic framework to enable and enhance collaborative intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary research and co-learning that go hand in hand with thorough transdisciplinary stakeholder engagement. We argue that the nascent concept of earth system law offers such an overarching epistemic framework. This article serves as an invitation to fellow explorers from various legal fields, other disciplines, and from a wide range of stakeholders to explore new frontiers in earth system law. Our aim is to further stimulate the study of earth system law, and to encourage collaboration and co-learning in a fertile epistemic space that we share.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100126
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEarth System Governance
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Anthropocene
  • Earth system governance
  • Earth system law
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Transdisciplinarity
  • Intradisciplinarity


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