SEC Lecture / BOKU LAW, 28.11.2023

Foto: Kartenhaus, fragil (Bild von Willi Heidelbach auf Pixabay)

Investigating the legal formalization and governance of social metabolism


This presentation is about ongoing research investigating the legal formalization and governance of social metabolisms towards the deep and badly needed socioecological metamorphosis that would allow mankind to overcome the Anthropocene predicament. The first endeavour is to draft a legal theory of socioecological regimes and their transitions, which means describing social metabolism in legal terms and concepts. The second challenge is to make this formal approach a tool to design blueprints for norms, institutions and policies contributing to the transformation of epochal scale that has to be thoroughly achieved in the coming decades. If we are to do that with the least troubles and conflicts and with the highest environmental and social standards, there is a need for coordinated decisions at every level. I hope to contribute with transdisciplinary transformative science and a pluralistic ethos allowing this long-winded transition to occur in a democratic manner (i.e. compatible with political changeover).

Benoît Schmaltz

Associate Professor in Public Law at Jean Monnet University, Saint-Etienne, France
CERCRID (Centre for Critical Research on the Law)

Benoît Schmaltz has a background in public law – his PhD, Les personnes publiques propriétaires (Université Jean Moulin, Lyon 3, 2014), was about property and the public/private divide. He is now involved in Anthropocene studies, trying to contribute to the needed transformation with his legal skills. On the one hand, he is working in operational projects pertaining to building efficiency (how to massify rehabilitation works with concession contracts) or circular agriculture (how to develop public networks and services collecting and treating human excreta). On the other hand, he is contributing to a legal theory of socioecological regimes and their transformations. Translating theories and knowledge of social ecology and ecological economics in legal vocabulary and concepts, the research aims to facilitate the design of public policies in accordance with a strong sustainability perspective.

Presentation: Benoît Schmaltz

Commentary: Daniel Ennöckl

Moderation: Helmut Haberl

Time: Tuesday, November 28th, 2023, 06 p.m.

Place: Institute of Social Ecology, SR 3a, Schottenfeldgasse 29, 1070 Wien & Zoom: Meeting-ID 945 4263 0233

The Lecture is a public event, jointly organised by the Institute of Social Ecology and the Institute of Law.

During the event at BOKU, photographs and/or video recordings including audio recordings will be made and used within the legally permissible framework (e.g. § 78 Austrian Copyright Act) and published in particular on the BOKU website and in social media channels as well as in print media (e.g. BOKUMagazin) for the purpose of informing the public about the fulfilment of the tasks of the universities (public relations) and documenting the
activities at BOKU.