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Participation and protest in environmental law: civic space and uninvited participation

Publié le 15 janvier 2024 Mis à jour le 15 janvier 2024

Evènement en partenariat entre iiTSE et le Centre de Droit Européen

Our various environmental crises interact with contemporary democratic challenges in multiple ways. Neither the survival of our democratic values and institutions in a world shaped by these crises, nor the ability of democratic institutions to avert catastrophe, can be taken for granted.  

In this paper, we explore environmental democracy as it manifests in ‘civic space’, the physical or virtual space available for people and groups to participate in and to contest the exercise of power.  

Environmental law creates protected spaces for public engagement in environmental decision-making. Building on our earlier work on the legally institutionalised processes of participation, our aim in this paper is to consider the broader environmental civic space. A desire to influence the decisions of the powerful escapes and exceeds the institutions and approaches of participation, developing as acts of protest in various forms.  

In this paper, we examine the interconnected practices of environmental democracy – from ordinary public consultation to civil disobedience - and their relationship in a time of environmental crises, as well as the crucial role of law in restricting or protecting practices on the continuum from invited participation to uninvited or forbidden protest. This is a crucial part of understanding the shrinking of civic space in the environmental arena. 

Le 6 février 2024

De 14h30-15h30


Institut d'études européennes, Salle Geremek