Constitutionalizing in the Anthropocene

Call for papers from "Constitutionalizing in the Anthropocene" (CitA) Research Group

Published: 27th July 2023 Last updated: 02nd October 2023

Constitutionalizing in the Anthropocene (CitA), is a collaborative research project based at Tilburg Law School's Department of Public Law and Governance, exploring the manifold ways that law is (or could be) challenged by the ‘Anthropocene. CitA is an open and purposefully critical space of inquiry aiming to grapple with the legal and normative complexities and controversies that arise whenever legal questions are asked about the Anthropocene.

The Anthropocene marks an unprecedented epoch in history in which the human condition is characterized by a fusing of social, technological, and natural regulatory processes and by a succession of ecological and humanitarian crises. In the context of its Constitutionalizing in the Anthropocene (CitA) research project Tilburg Law School's Department of Public Law and Governance invites scholars to explore the law/technology/environment nexus that defines the Anthropocene. 

We are particularly interested to discuss how this entanglement affects our perceptions of technologies, nature and law, i.e., ideas about their respective roles, authority and regulatory agency.   ‘Technologies’, ‘Environment’ and ‘Law’ being the interconnected themes we hence debate, we welcome the full range of pertinent disciplinary perspectives to help us delve into these and other questions. Among our primary objectives is to encompass a diverse array of scholarly approaches, engaging with the extensive body of literature on the interplay between technology and the Anthropocene in a legal, regulatory or governance context. 

The Journal of Law, Innovation and Technology (LIT) has expressed interest in publishing contributions in a special issue. CitA will organize a one-day event for the Special Issue during the Constitutionalizing in the Anthropocene Research Week in April 2024 hosted by Tilburg University. Authors of accepted abstracts will be given priority for the event and the limited funds for travel and accommodation.


Important dates:

  • Deadline for abstracts (max.1500 words)    02.01.2024 
  • Deadline for the complete daft for review    02.08.2024
  • Estimated date of publication                      2025 (Q1)

(Please submit abstracts to For further queries you may contact Emre Bayamlıoğlu (


Examples of areas of interest


Conceptual explorations

  • Legal, constitutional, or regulatory implications of the law/technology/environment/nexus in the Anthropocene.
  • Conceptualisations, taxonomies, or typologies of technologies within the context of environmental policy and sustainability goals.
  • The regulatory and governance responses to risks and ambiguities of novel technologies in the Anthropocene.
  • The impact of technology on the (modernist) distinctions between nature/culture, local/global and public/private in the legal and constitutional context.
  • 'Systemic approaches'in environmental law (e.g., the Earth System Law, Geo-constitutionalism, and Lex Anthropoceane) in light of the Anthropocene-technology relationship.


Fundamental rights and constitutional framings: Future prospects

  • Re-engineering ‘a safe operating space of humankind’: a human rights obligation?
  • Should there be limits to ‘environmental improvement’ through technologies in the Anthropocene?
  • The future of the notion of ‘common heritage of mankind’ in an engineered planet.
  • Reclaiming cyber-, data- and environmental commons in the Anthropocene
  • 'Citizens science' in environmental policy and law. The impact of digitalization on participation in environmental policy and decision-making.
  • The role and impact of technologies regarding the coexistence of non-humans and machines in more-than-human polities/collectives.


Technology in the Anthropocene: intergenerational and interspecies justice

  • Bio-technological applications such as gene editing (CRISPR), in-vitro meat, neural interfaces, synthetic biology — implicating intergenerational and interspecies justice.
  • The population size of the earth and possible regulatory approaches to advances in reproductive medicine (synthetic embryo, artificial womb), longevity (life-extension), and cryonics.
  • Who are future people, cyborgs, hybrids, chimeras? How biotechnology and life sciences—conceptually and normatively— affect the legal perception about future generations.
  • Extending 'legal subjectivity': AI personhood and Rights of Nature —comparative perspectives.
  • Perils and promises of species-engineering (for ecological restoration, de-extinction, rewilding) and the possible regulatory approaches.


AI and data-driven systems in the Anthropocene

  • AI and data-driven technologies to mitigate the ecological impact of products and services (e.g., smart household applications, smart grid etc.).
  • Perils and promises (e.g., participation, transparency, biases) of using AI-based systems for environmental monitoring, compliance, and decision-making. 
  • Anticipatory and real-time regulation of environmental risks through AI technologies.
  • AI-based technologies for rule enforcement (e.g., environmental crypto-governance, 'self-executing Rights of Nature'). Techno-regulatory (law as design) perspectives. 
  • The legal and regulatory implications of the sustainability and energy consumption of AI and data-driven technologies.
  • Systemic risks inherent to AI-based technologies and the liability implications.


Technology design and deployment as an economic freedom in the Anthropocene.

  • The design, construction, and operation of technologies as an economic freedom— redefining the balance between individual rights and communal stewardship in the Anthropocene. 
  • IP and other exclusive rights on information (as instruments of commodification and commercialisation) accelerating wealth extraction and thus intensifying income inequality.
  • The role of financialisaton and financial markets in the process of wealth extraction and the regulatory approaches to AI-based financial technologies (Fin-Tech) in the Anthropocene.


Emerging legal frameworks: European Green Deal

  • European Green Deal and the planetary thresholds— the broader impact of EU economic activities and biophysical mass consumption at the global scale. 
  • The use of (clean) digital technologies (e.g., to improve energy and resource efficiency, facilitate the circular economy) under the European Green Deal. 
  • Possible legal experiments and regulatory tests that may be conducted on the digital twin of the earth (Destination Earth Initiative