Right Relations is the term the researchers, Irmelin Gram-Hanssen, Nicole Schafenacker, and Julia Bentz, invoke in their 2021 paper 'Decolonizing Transformations Through “Right Relations"'. 'Through our experience in research and activism,' they explain, 'we have heard the emerging term "right relations" used orally and colloquially to describe the antithesis to colonialism.' We cannot attend to urgent climate needs, they explain, without understanding the role of colonialism. For instance, there are attempts to 'transform' research, and design, that end up repeating the same extractive, and exploitative practices of colonialism.
So, there is the need for the literal decolonisation: returning colonies back to independence. And, '[t]aking the concept of decolonization a step deeper,' the authors explain, 'it also refers to the unsettling of colonial mindsets and assumptions among both colonizing and colonized peoples and institutions.’
The authors explain that ‘if colonization implies extraction and oppression, decolonization implies ‘right relations’ with an emphasis on respect, reciprocity and just actions.’ '"Right relations," then, can be seen as an obligation to live up to the responsibilities involved when taking part in a relationship—be it to other humans, other species, the land or the climate.”