Nils Richterich (he/him) studied Political Science (Bachelor) and Sociology (Master) in Frankfurt and Maynooth (Ireland). After holding a position as a Research Associate at the Chair of Social Inequality in Frankfurt, he is now a PhD candidate at the DFG- funded Research Training Group „Fixing Futures. Technologies of Anticipation in Contemporary Societies.“ His research interests involve more-than-human (inequality) sociologies, ethnography, environmental sociology and Science and Technology Studies (STS).
In view of multiple developing crisis, with the loss of biodiversity being at the forefront, Rights of Nature (RoN) are being established in more and more countries (Ecuador, Bolivia, Spain). In this way, ’nature‘ is to be granted a legal personality that makes it possible to sue for ’nature‘ and to ‚better‘ (re)present it in the political sphere. In response to a proclaimed failure of classical environmental law, RoN can thus be understood as an anticipatory technology that attempts to make ’nature‘ legally governable by means of the concept of legal personhood. In my research project I take up this understanding and examine the future implementation of RoN based on the project ‚Embassy of the North Sea‘ (ENS). This RoN-inspired organization is pushing to endow the North Sea with subjective rights by 2030. My project mobilizes ethnography to research the preparation and materialization of these subjective rights by examining (1) problem-work within the apparatus of the ENS, (2) their campaigns, and (3) their connection with other political and civil society actors.