Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 September 2022
This chapter interrogates trends in how the natural world is taken up, governed and constituted by international law, in particular the growing marketisation of environmental governance. This chapter suggests it is fruitful to understand these contemporary forms of governance as constituted by the co-articulation of two older anthropocentric modalities of exercising power over nature: appropriative domination and stewardship. It provides a background to both these modalities, showing that though these are often understood as opposites, on a deeper level they are similar. It suggests that the ‘offset’ relation is the paradigmatic example of the co-articulation of these two modalities, as the ‘offset’ establishes a relationship between activities that damage the environment at one site and activities intended to protect, repair, or improve the environment elsewhere. This chapter situates such mechanisms as one element of a broader project to make nature legible in economic terms. In closing, this chapter considers the effects of the rise of ‘green governmentality’ and maps the terrain against which struggles for different nature/human relations take place.