The End of Territory? The Re-Emergence of Community as a Principle of Jurisdictional Order in the Internet Era
19 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2014
Date Written: October 30, 2014
Territoriality has historically been a political construction that prevailed over ancient community-based visions for jurisdictional order, while not being able to sideline them in their entirety. With today’s fast international travel, near-instant worldwide communication, and the possibilities to interact socially, commercially or otherwise in an entirely novel way where space and time appear to collapse, it can be argued that we have seen the heyday of nation-state jurisdiction based on sovereignty and territoriality, and that the pendulum is swinging back toward a more community-based jurisdictional order. New technological communities, which have little or nothing to do with the constructed communities that are nation-states, are emerging, coalescing around technological corporations and digital platforms, which sometimes rival the nation-state in power and influence. As a result of this evolution, jurisdiction may no longer be radiating outward from a territorial point, but from a group to which individuals belong, or of an activity in which they participate. In this model, functionally different communities exercise jurisdiction over distinct, de-territorialized legal spheres and ‘slices of life’, without claiming exclusivity. These spheres can co-exist peacefully, but can sometimes forcefully collide.
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