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From the Author’s Introduction: This Essay addresses four of the challenges facing academics in this field, two of which are logistical and two conceptual. The two logistical challenges briefly addressed here are endemic in teaching environmental law—choosing what to teach and deciding how to teach it. Today some rough generalizations on strategies for curricular coping can be made, emerging from the evolution of environmental law courses at many American law schools over the past twenty-five years. The conceptual challenges may be even more difficult to tackle, and are addressed here at a greater length: first, how to frame and define this sprawling field, and then, how to understand environmental law’s real life political dynamics—its practical realities and its unique role in societal governance. This Essay proposes a new way to address these conceptual challenges, the construct of “three economies,” splitting the realm in which environmental law and economics operate into three overlapping spheres. This model seeks to analyze the fictional civic role of governmental law, the inherent political tensions and contending forces that shape environmental law in daily practice, and, perhaps, how we are to conceptualize civic governance in the new millennium.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
8 Sep 2022
1.74 MB



  • Subject
    • Economics

    • Environmental Law

    • Legal Education

    • Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

  • Journal title
    • Harvard Environmental Law Review

  • Volume
    • 23

  • Pagination
    • 359-392

  • Date submitted

    8 September 2022