Populism, Environmental Law, and the Post-Pandemic Order

Alessandra Lehmen


Environmental Law is particularly prone to being antagonized by populist politics. This assertion entails relevant theoretical and practical implications, yet it has received scarce attention from scholars and policymakers. This paper aims at analyzing the dynamics of this opposition, as well as its manifestations in the Global South. Furthermore, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, this article explores the correlations and causal links between the environment and epidemiological outbreaks. Lastly, the future of Environmental Law in the post-pandemic world order is discussed, considering in particular how the inherent tension with populism should play out in this scenario. In doing so, this study hypothesizes that a widespread health emergence could potentially change the public’s risk perception so significantly that populist politics would no longer be able to eschew the environmental agenda and its public health implications.


Populism. Environmental Law. Environmental governance. Climate change. Public health. COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5102/rdi.v17i2.6682

ISSN 2236-997X (impresso) - ISSN 2237-1036 (on-line)

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