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Law's Spatial Turn: Geography, Justice and a Certain Fear of Space

Law, Culture and the Humanities, Vol 5, 2010

17 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2009  

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos

University of Westminster, Westminster Law & Theory Centre

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Date Written: October 27, 2009

Abstract

This is a critical reading of the current literature on law and geography. The article argues that the literature is characterized by an undertheorization of the concept of space. Instead, the focus is either on the specific geography of law in the form of jurisdiction, or as a simple terminological innovation. Instead, the article suggests that law's spatial turn ought to consider space as a singular parameter to the hitherto legal preoccupation with time, history and waiting. This forces law into dealing with a new, peculiarly spatial kind of uncertainty in terms of simultaneity, disorientation, materiality and exclusionary corporeal emplacement. The main area in which this undertheorization forcefully manifests itself is that of spatial justice. Despite its critical potential, the concept has been reduced by the majority of the relevant literature into another version of social, distributive or regional justice. On the contrary, if the peculiar characteristics of space are to be taken into account, a concept of justice will have to be rethought on a much more fundamental level than that.

Keywords: Law and Geography, Law and Space, Spatial Justice

JEL Classification: K49

Suggested Citation

Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Andreas, Law's Spatial Turn: Geography, Justice and a Certain Fear of Space (October 27, 2009). Law, Culture and the Humanities, Vol 5, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1494897

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (Contact Author)

University of Westminster, Westminster Law & Theory Centre ( email )

School of Law, University of Westminster
4-12 Little Titchfield Street
London, W1W7UW
United Kingdom

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