The Ecology of Law

Toward a Legal System in Tune with Nature and Community

I am delighted to announce that my new book The Ecology of Law, coauthored with my friend and colleague Ugo Mattei, professor of law at Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, and at the University of Turin, Italy, will be published by Berrett-Koehler in November 2015.

This book is the result of many years of dialogues between Ugo and myself, and of two joint seminars about “the laws of nature and the nature of law” at Hastings College. It is the first book to present jurisprudence — the theory and philosophy of law — as an intellectual discipline with a history and conceptual structure that shows surprising parallels to those of natural science.

Ecology of LawIn particular, we show how jurisprudence, together with science, has contributed significantly to the mechanistic modern worldview; and since modernity produced the materialistic orientation and extractive mentality of the Industrial Age, which lies at the roots of today’s global crisis, we argue that both scientists and jurists must share some responsibility for the current state of the world.

At the forefront of science, meanwhile, a new paradigm has been emerging that involves a fundamental change of metaphors, from seeing the world as a machine to understanding it as a network, as well as the realization that nature sustains life through a set of ecological principles that are generative rather than extractive. A corresponding paradigm shift has not yet happened in jurisprudence, nor in the public conception of law. But it is now urgently needed. In our book we call for a profound change of legal paradigms, leading to a new ecological order in human law.

For more details about The Ecology of Law, please visit the publisher’s website.