Vita

Xenia Chiaramonte is a jurist and a socio-legal scholar. She graduated in Law from the University of Milan where she also defended her doctoral dissertation in 2017. She spent a semester at the Center for the Study of Law & Society (CSLS) at the University of California, Berkeley. She has been a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bologna and Roma Tre as well as a CAS SEE (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe) fellow at the University of Rijeka. She recently published her monograph Governare il conflitto: La criminalizzazione del movimento No TAV [Governing conflict: The Criminalization of the No TAV Movement](2019), which analyses the criminalization of one of the most longstanding and high-profile environmental movements in Western Europe. In her research, she developed a deep ethnographical approach blended with a theory-oriented vision.

Xenia Chiaramonte has been broadly interested in the intersection of law and social movements. Her research has gone from the ‘negative’ relationship between public law (criminal and administrative) and protests to a project on new social institutions designed to enhance the legal capacity to craft a fictional conception of nature. Her recent publications include a co-authored book on political justice (Il caso 7 aprile: il processo politico dall’Autonomia Operaia ai No TAV, 2019), a co-edited book on political violence (Violenza politica: Una ridefinizione del concetto oltre la depoliticizzazione, 2018) and several articles in Italian, German, French, and North- and South-American journals.

Instituting the Nature: A Wittingly Reductionist, Fictional, and Casuistic Approach to Law and Social Movements
ICI Project 2020-22

The concept of nature implies complexity: nature is the total system of living beings, animals, plants, and inanimate things. This complexity needs to be reduced through conceptualization. A new strand of research is addressing the relationship between nature and law, following the hypothesis of a new ecology of law. However, legal scholars tend to conceive nature as mother and house of the living, following a conservative vision shared with certain scholars of ecology too.

The modern message seems to be to save and restore nature as if it were a prehistoric Eden destroyed by culpable human beings. Yet, as Donna Haraway would say, ‘there is no garden and never has been.’ And, if human beings are perhaps not the primary, guilty agent of the world, they might in turn be more inclined to share agency. Non-human beings have agency. All living beings share an ongoing process of metamorphosis and no living beings are supposed to have their own house to come back to or a specific ecosystem where they must stay.

Chiaramonte’s proposal is to blend the most radical approach to ecology with a fictional conception of the law as a social technique. The law is a creative form that functions as an art of radical reduction and denial of reality. Is the law, thus understood, compatible with the radical ecological approach? How can non-human agency register in legal terms? What could be an amodern approach to the law?