Professor Christine Schwöbel-Patel is co-Director of the Centre for Critical Legal Studies at Warwick Law School. She is the author of two monographs Marketing Global Justice (CUP 2021) and Global Constitutionalism in International Legal Perspective (Brill 2011) and editor of Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law: An Introduction (Routledge 2014). Christine’s current research projects focus on the themes of aesthetics and international justice, imperial rentier capitalism in the green transition, and trials of rupture. Rosa Luxemburg’s work and influence runs like a red line through her research and pedagogy. Christine has won two competitive stipendiary fellowships for her work on the international law of the green transition: An Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers (2022-2023) and a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2023-2024).
During her stay at CRASSH, Christine will be researching the international law of the green transition. She argues that the extraction of minerals required for green transitioning, including in particular for electric vehicles, is supported by an infrastructure of legal norms (‘legal pipelines’) that support and legitimise the concentration of wealth known as rentier capitalism. This is marked by colonial frontier thinking of extraction and cultivation. Christine uses two case studies of ‘old’ and ‘new’ frontiers of extraction to demonstrate the imperial structures at play, namely the DRC and Greenland. A central aspect of the work is to visualise these legal pipelines of what she calls ‘imperial rentier capitalism of the green transition’. Ultimately, Christine intends to demonstrate with this work that the green transition, propped up by the international legal structures of neoliberal capitalism of the 21st century, is intended to save capitalism, not the planet.