The Psychology of Environmental Law
Psychology and the Law
Published by: NYU Press
352 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 1 b/w illustration
- ISBN: 9781479891863
- Published: February 2021
Offers psychological insights into how people perceive, respond to, value, and make decisions about the environment
Environmental law may seem a strange space to seek insights from psychology. Psychology, after all, seeks to illuminate the interior of the human mind, while environmental law is fundamentally concerned with the exterior surroundings—the environment—in which people live.
Yet psychology is a crucial, undervalued factor in how laws shape people’s interactions with the environment. Psychology can offer environmental law a rich, empirically informed account of why, when, and how people act in ways that affect the environment—which can then be used to more effectively pursue specific policy goals. When environmental law fails to incorporate insights from psychology, it risks misunderstanding and mispredicting human behaviors that may injure or otherwise affect the environment, and misprescribing legal tools to shape or mitigate those behaviors.
The Psychology of Environmental Law provides key insights regarding how psychology can inform, explain, and improve how environmental law operates. It offers concrete analyses of the theoretical and practical payoffs in pollution control, ecosystem management, and climate change law and policy when psychological insights are taken into account.
How many books create a whole new field? Rowell and Bilz have done exactly that -- and produced, at once, brilliant theoretical insights and terrific practical suggestions. (World, please take notice.) Their book is a landmark. ~Cass R. Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University, and coauthor, Nudge
Synthesizing a large body of evidence, Rowell and Bilz offer a forthright description of the extraordinary difficulties environmental conflicts pose and the hope that awareness of psychological barriers can help decision makers respond more effectively. ~Holly Doremus, University of California, Berkeley
Rowell and Bilz pull off two impressive feats: they present a novel and penetrating survey of legal regulation of the environment; and they add an important member to the list of legal domains insightfully illuminated by psychological methods. ~Dan M. Kahan, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law & Professor of Psychology, Yale Law School