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Date of Award

Winter 2024

Document Type

Masters Field Project

Department or Program Affiliation

Urban and Environmental Planning & Policy

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Abel, Troy D.

Second Advisor

Darby, Kate J.


This research project utilizes the Narrative Policy Analysis framework to analyze print news media coverage of the Rights of Nature (RoN) movement in the United States. This burgeoning movement draws upon Indigenous principles of animism and interconnectedness to recognize the existence rights and legal personhood of non-human animals, plants, and ecosystems. This project highlights the legal and legislative challenges the RoN movement has faced. Including the complexities of attempting to incorporate Indigenous epistemologies into a colonialist legal system and highlighting the narrative strategies and emerging coalitions present in the U.S.-based movement.




Earth Jurisprudence, Narrative Policy Analysis, News Media Analysis, Rights of Nature, Earth Law, Ecocentric legal frameworks


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Rights of nature--Press coverage--United States; Environmental law--United States; Environmental policy--United States; Animal rights--United States; Nature--Effect of human beings on--United States; Nature conservation--Law and legislation--United States

Geographic Coverage

United States




masters theses




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