The subjects of spatial statism: Reclaiming politics and law in international entanglement

International Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 18, Issue 1, January 2020, 36–44

6 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2019 Last revised: 13 Jun 2024

See all articles by Paul Linden-Retek

Paul Linden-Retek

Yale Law School; University at Buffalo School of Law

Date Written: September 9, 2019

Abstract

In their Foreword essay, Hirschl and Shachar challenge the supposed contemporary decline of state sovereignty and describe the enduring and expansive spatial reach of state power to counter threats to sovereign territorial control. This Afterword looks into the normative foundations of this account and its consequences for public international law and for international courts, in particular. 'Spatial statism' exposes, I argue, a disjunction between the concepts of state sovereignty and popular sovereignty-and thus disrupts the normative expectation that those subject to the law are also its authors. It is this expectation that international judicial review must seek to restore. The attempt to do so is burdened by difficult analytical questions. But the project is necessary. In confronting the new 'spaces' of international entanglement, judges must redeem the idea that citizens might yet reclaim those entanglements as a 'common world', not just a space in which they are brought together, unfreely, under the mantle of state coordination and coercion.

Keywords: public international law, state sovereignty, popular sovereignty, territory, spatiality, common world

Suggested Citation

Linden-Retek, Paul and Linden-Retek, Paul, The subjects of spatial statism: Reclaiming politics and law in international entanglement (September 9, 2019). International Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 18, Issue 1, January 2020, 36–44, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3450966

Paul Linden-Retek (Contact Author)

University at Buffalo School of Law ( email )

School of Law
528 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States

Yale Law School ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06510
United States

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