Faculty Author Type

Current Faculty [Natasha Affolder]

Published In

Transnational Environmental Law

Document Type


Publication Date



Non-state actors, Agents, Experts, Transnational law scholarship, Life writing


Legal scholars rely heavily on vocabularies of ‘actors’, ‘agents’, and ‘experts’ to account for the fact that law does not develop by itself. However, the identities, idiosyncrasies, and individual professional contributions of law’s people are rarely illuminated. This article suggests that the relative absence of people in transnational legal scholarship helps to explain some of its gaps. The task of bringing ‘human actors back on stage’ creates some new opportunities for transnational environmental law scholarship. It invites attention to both dominant and excluded voices. It offers a way of bridging the gap between the bureaucratic language of law and its lived reality. It also provides an understanding of why, despite ferocious attempts to roll back the advances of environmental law in some places, many scholars and practitioners find reason to be optimistic about the future of environmental law.



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