Antje Linkenbach presents a working paper on ‚Value Discourse, Normative Conflicts and the Politicization of Nature‘

Nature has become explicitly politicized since the second half of the 20th century: hegemonic forms of human-nature relationships started to be critically challenged, and alternatives emerged in public debates, civil society, as well as on the level of state policies. Environmental ethics as an academic field of reflection on values and norms emerged, and soon radiated into larger society and inspired environmental movements.

The paper explores conflicts as well as value- and normative transformations in the field of human-nature relationships. On a theoretical level it will discuss concept and phenomenon of politicization, and the relationship between values and norms. Empirically it will focus on different strands of environmental ethics, including environmental pragmatist ethics; on debate and practices of environmental and ecological justice, and on attempts to impinge on the legal order through juridification of nature (rights of nature-debate). Finally, the paper makes a plea for re-territorializing humans in nature. Starting from pointing out affinities between pragmatist environmental ethics and indigenous worldviews, it argues for situated, localized and contextualized ethics and praxis of care.