Project

Territorialization of Ungoverned Spaces

Goal: The international system of states deals with ungoverned spaces by territorializing these spaces and integrating them into the territorial order. Why and how are states doing this?

Methods: Historical institutionalism, Comparative case studies

Updates
0 new
12
Recommendations
0 new
3
Followers
0 new
30
Reads
0 new
281

Project log

Daniel Lambach
added an update
I'm happy to report that one of my papers has been accepted for publication at Political Geography. It is called "Technology and the Construction of Oceanic Space: Bathymetry and the Arctic Continental Shelf Dispute" and it covers how science and technology make the construction of the Arctic seabed as a political space possible. I argue that the story can neither be told purely in terms of human agency utilizing technology nor in terms of technologies opening up spaces for exploration, but rather through the interaction of human agencies, technologies and environmental conditions.
 
Daniel Lambach
  • 22.46
  • Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
And here is the published version, forthcoming in Political Geography Vol. 98. If you'd like a copy or have any comments, just contact me. I'd be happy to chat or give a talk about the paper.
 
Daniel Lambach
added an update
I've just published a new paper as part of this project. It is part of a special issue of Politics and Governance on "Constructing Ocean and Polar Governance". It is also open access so feel free to download and share it.
 
Daniel Lambach
added a research item
Global Commons sind Gemeingüter in Räumen jenseits nationalstaatlicher Kontrolle: die Ozeane und der Meeresboden, die Atmosphäre, der Weltraum und die Polregionen. Während die Forschung zur Regulierung von Global Commons vor allem deren Effektivität zur nachhaltigen Ressourcennutzung untersucht, ist wenig über ihre Entstehung oder Nicht-Entstehung sowie ihre Dynamiken bekannt. In diesem Aufsatz argumentieren wir, dass die Territorialisierung von Global Commons, also ihre Parzellierung und Aufteilung unter staatliche Kontrolle, heute anders abläuft als in früherer Zeit. Während es lange üblich war, dass durch Territorialisierung souveräne Ansprüche auf Commons-Räume entstanden, vollzog sich Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts ein Normwandel, so dass Territorialisierung seither fast ausschließlich auf funktionale Kontrollrechte begrenzt wird. Ein Vergleich von 13 Fällen in den fünf Domänen der Global Commons deutet an, dass Prozesse der De- und Reterritorialisierung bestehender Arrangements durch technologischen Wandel und die daraus entstehenden Nutzungskonflikte und sicherheitspolitischen Rivalitäten angestoßen werden.
Daniel Lambach
added a research item
The governance of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) is shifting. As governance institutions expand and thicken, there is a multiplication of functional spaces governing conservation, the sustainable use of marine resources, and safety at sea in ABNJ. In contrast to enclosure approaches, which focus on economic exploitation in near-shore areas, this paper uses the concept of functional territorialization to survey and describe the area-based management and use of the high seas. It argues that this drive to territorialize the high seas is not primarily due to a particular effectiveness of area-based management tools but is driven by deeper-lying trends towards the managerialization or “taming” of maritime spaces to make them safe for human activity and exploitation. The future of the oceans will be a polycentric patchwork of functional governance areas.
Daniel Lambach
added an update
My paper "Space, Scale, and Global Politics: Towards a Critical Conceptualization of Space in International Relations" has just been published in Review of International Studies. Let me know if you would like a copy!
 
Daniel Lambach
added an update
I'm doing a lot of new research on digital politics and the role of technology in international relations that departs from the Territorialization frame which is at the center of this project. Hence, I've started a new project over at https://www.researchgate.net/project/Transformations-of-the-Digital-State that collects some of these writings. There may be some overlap between these two projects, but if you're interested in this newer work, I would recommend following the other project, too.
Also, "good news everyone" (Farnsworth 1999): My article on the functional territorialization of the high seas has just been published by Marine Policy! It's available for free until 6 July through this link: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1d4~W,714MjKkj. If you have questions or comments or would like me to give a talk about this somewhere, do contact me!
 
Daniel Lambach
added an update
Work on this project has continued apace. The various papers are working their ways through various journals and I've received some very encouraging reviews, but nothing has been formally accepted as yet.
Nonetheless, I've been busy. The most recent product is a paper co-written with my (former) MA student Luca Wesel on the problem of space debris, approaching low-earth orbit from a global commons perspective. This was presented at the ESA 8th European Conference on Space Debris and we will revise it for publication afterwards.
I also had the opportunity to give a presentation where I tried to come up with a concept of "spatial orders/spatial arrangements" of the global. This is still a very unformed avenue of thinking but something that I would like to explore further theoretically. If you have ideas what works I should read/reference here, I am open for all suggestions.
 
Daniel Lambach
added a research item
This paper approaches the issue of space debris as a collective action problem in a global commons environment. Based on Elinor Ostrom’s research into commons management, we propose a system of polycentric governance that is no less effective and more politically feasible than the reform or creation of existing institutions like intergovernmental bodies or major treaties. Using Paul Stern’s “adapted design principles” we analyze shortcomings of the current governance structure relating to space debris and derive recommendations. The aim of these is to facilitate communication among governance nodes, empower lower-level decision-making, and build trust among stakeholders.
Daniel Lambach
added an update
Just a quick update to catch up with recent developments:
Over the past few months, I have uploaded two updated papers:
- The Functional Territorialization of the Oceans
- Science, Technology, and the Construction of Maritime Space: Bathymetry and the Arctic Continental Shelf Dispute
Both of them are now off to be reviewed at various journals - wish me luck.
In addition, there is a new German-language paper, "Die Territorialisierung der Global Commons", which is the first comparative paper emerging out of the project.
Please check them out and contact me if you are interested in learning more about my project, wish to share some of your work, or have ideas for collaboration.
 
Daniel Lambach
added a research item
Global Commons sind Gemeingüter in Räumen jenseits nationalstaatlicher Kontrolle: die Ozeane und der Meeresboden, die Atmosphäre, der Weltraum und die Polregionen. Während die Forschung zu den Global Commons vor allem deren Effektivität zur nachhaltigen Nutzung von Ressourcen erforscht, ist wenig über ihre Entstehung, Nicht-Entstehung und Dynamiken bekannt. Dieses Papier argumentiert erstens, dass die Territorialisierung von Global Commons, also ihre Parzellierung und Aufteilung unter staatliche Kontrolle, heute anders abläuft als in früherer Zeit. Während es lange üblich war, dass durch Territorialisierung souveräne Ansprüche auf ehemalige Allmenden entstand, vollzog sich seit dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs ein Normwandel, so dass Territorialisierung seither weitgehend auf funktionale Kontrollrechte beschränkt wird. Zweitens zeigt sich, dass die Entstehung und Territorialisierung von Global Commons pfadabhängige Prozesse sind und sich Veränderungen daher episodisch und nicht kontinuierlich ergeben. Dies wird anhand eines Vergleichs von 13 Fällen in den fünf Domänen der Global Commons gezeigt.
Daniel Lambach
added a research item
The governance of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) is shifting. As governance institutions expand and thicken, we see a multiplication of functional spaces governing conservation, the sustainable use of marine resources, and safety at sea in ABNJ. In contrast to enclosure approaches, which focus on economic exploitation in near-shore areas, this paper uses the concept of functional territorialization to survey and describe the many ways how the high seas are being territorialized. It argues that this drive to territorialize the high seas is not primarily due to a particular effectiveness of area-based management tools but is driven by deeper-lying trends towards the managerialization or ‘taming’ of maritime spaces to make them safe for human activity and exploitation. The future of the oceans will be a polycentric patchwork of functional governance areas.
Daniel Lambach
added a research item
My contribution to the volume "Navigating the Frontiers of Normative Orders: Interdisciplinary Perspectives" (Frankfurt: Campus-Verlag), edited by Matthias Kettemann, forthcoming im 2020.
Daniel Lambach
added an update
I've added an updated version of "Cooperation in the Cold", the paper about Search and Rescue cooperation in the Arctic. This is the final version that will be published in the Handbook on Geopolitics and Security in the Arctic, edited by Joachim Weber. If all goes well, the Handbook should be published by Springer in first half of 2020.
 
Daniel Lambach
added a research item
In spite of sensationalist accounts of Arctic geopolitics, states cooperate on a wide range of issue areas in the region. Accounts of this behavior usually take a rationalist approach where cooperation is explained variously by compatible national interests, interdependence, the work of regional institutions or the fact that these are 'low politics' issues. These explanations highlight useful variables but this paper argues that such a discussion should also include the material properties of the Arctic space and the human activities therein. I use a case study of the Arctic Search and Rescue (SAR) Agreement to illustrate this point. Negotiations towards the SAR Agreement went with noticeable smoothness and speed, starting in 2009 and culminating in the signing in 2011. This betrays an unusual confluence of interests among state parties which were at least partly determined by the environmental and economic properties of the region. Given the very limited SAR infrastructure in a vast region with harsh climatic conditions which was projected to see a rapid increase in shipping and exploitation, there was a huge pressure on states to quickly agree on a cooperative framework so as not to impede the commercial expansion of this economically underdeveloped region.
Daniel Lambach
added an update
I have uploaded an updated version of my paper "Kings of the Wild Frontier: International Society and the Territorialization of Empty Space" which I am due to present to the meeting of the German Political Science Association's International Political Economy Working Group in early June 2019. A lot has changed since the last iteration - the paper is more clearly situated in the literature, the theoretical framework has been overhauled and I have added another case study (the Scramble for Africa).
This is in danger of becoming a book project on its own so I'm struggling to keep it short and readable. I'm sure there are still many things to be tightened up and I hope to use the feedback from the conference to identify the more superfluous bits.
 
Daniel Lambach
added a research item
There are widespread worries about the impending fragmentation of the internet. Reviewing the IR literature on cyberspace and internet governance, this paper demonstrates that these debates rest on very traditional understandings of territory and the state, focusing on ways that hard-shelled “power containers” are recreated in cyberspace. Using a practice-oriented conceptual framework drawing on insights from critical geography, the paper highlights how state, corporate, and private actors deterritorialize and reterritorialize cyberspace. Results indicate that there are multiple ways to territorialize cyberspace beyond the reconstruction of the “national territory” and that a multitude of actors engage in territorializing practices. This allows for a more nuanced reevaluation of the “internet fragmentation” discourse.
Daniel Lambach
added a research item
Much of contemporary global politics has spatial dimensions but International Relations (IR) as a discipline has been remarkably reluctant to properly theorize space. This is due to a historical rejection of geopolitics, even though critical approaches from Political Geography have long broken with the geo-determinism of classical geopolitics, instead highlighting the dynamic nature of space. This article argues that IR has much to gain by taking up critical geographic writings on space, scale and territory. A spatial turn in IR would allow for a more systematic theorization how the natural and the built environment, and their respective changes, and the spatial conduct of politics affect each other. It would also make us more attentive to the spatial dimensions of governance. This article outlines a practice-oriented approach drawing on structuration theory to show how spaces are produced and illustrates the potential of this approach by showing how territory is enacted through territorial practices.
Daniel Lambach
added an update
Good news everyone! The "Territorialization of Cyberspace" paper has just been accepted by International Studies Review. I want to thank the editors and the three anonymous peer reviewers for helping me to improve the paper.
Seriously, this has been one of the best peer review experiences I have ever had. All three reviewers provided detailed and constructive feedback. They commented from their different fields of expertise but none of them became overbearing in the sense of "the paper *I* would've written...". The editors did not just pass on the reviews and the decision but offered guidance how I should address the reviewers' concerns. All of this pushed me to substantially revise the paper from initial submission to the final accepted version: I reframed the paper, took a different theoretical approach (De/reterritorialization), added private and corporate territories, and improved the presentation of the empirical bits.
One down, several more papers to go. I have picked up the "Kings of the Wild Frontier" paper again and will revise it for presentation at the conference of the German Political Science Association's International Political Economy section in the summer. My aim is to slim down the theory and situate the cases I look at more systematically in the universe of cases of territorialization and non-territorialization. The challenge is that, in terms of scope, this is actually a book project in disguise but I still want to make it an article (first).
 
Daniel Lambach
added an update
Just completed a revised version of "The Territorialization of Cyberspace", which took some doing given the detailed, extensive and helpful requests of the referees. Comments are still welcome, though.
 
Daniel Lambach
added an update
I have revised the paper for a departmental colloquium. It's still not quite finished as it's still missing one of the case studies and the feedback gave me some more homework before it's publishable. But it's improving.
 
Daniel Lambach
added an update
Just finished revising my working paper on "The Territorialization of Cyberspace". I hope that the argument has become a bit clearer. Feedback welcome!
 
Daniel Lambach
added a research item
The international system of states displays an inherent drive to territorialize and control ‘empty’ or ‘ungoverned’ spaces. There are historical examples (the Scramble for Africa, the American Frontier), contemporary ones (the territorialization of the high seas and of cyberspace) and probable future cases (outer space, Antarctica). States are the ‘kings of the wild frontier’ who lay claim to frontier spaces, establish control and defend it against rivals. Territorialization is not a continuous process but occurs in episodes. In this paper I compare two cases, the expansion of the territorial sea and the creation of Marine Protected Areas on the high seas, to advance a twofold argument about the nature of these episodes. First, a territorializing episode occurs a) when states construct a space as empty, b) when there are compelling economic incentives, and c) when the available technology makes cost-efficient control over the space possible. States take an active role in shaping these conditions, i.e. by deploying securitizing discourses or by commissioning the development of new technologies of control. Second, I argue that there are three systemic root causes of this drive to territorialize empty space: a global system of capitalism demanding the valorisation of unused resources, an international society for which spaces that are outside any kind of state authority are anathema, and modernity which demands that human rights are guaranteed wherever humans exist.
Daniel Lambach
added a research item
Territorialität, also die Ausübung von Macht über die Kontrolle von Raum, ist ein grundlegendes Ordnungsprinzip des internationalen Systems, welches so allgegenwärtig ist, dass kaum darüber gesprochen wird. Dies gilt für die Politik ebenso wie für die Politikwissenschaft, die mit Begriffen wie " Entgrenzung " oder " postnationaler Konstellation " relativ unreflektiert umgeht und damit einen Wandel herbeiredet, dessen Empirie aber alles andere als eindeutig ist. Überhaupt ist es schwer, Territorialität im analytischen Instrumentenkasten der Internationalen Beziehungen zu verorten – ist es ein Regime, eine Institution, eine Norm oder eine Praxis? Dieses Papier präsentiert eine Konzeptualisierung von Territorialität als eine internalisierte Norm und als eine korrespondierende Praxis. Im Gegensatz zu Regimen und Institutionen, die auf einer bewussten, deliberativen Schöpfung durch Akteure beruhen, ist die Dualität von Norm und Praxis für die Analyse von Territorialität hilfreich. Denn einerseits besteht ganz eindeutig eine Norm, um die es aber aufgrund ihrer Unumstrittenheit keinen aktiven Diskurs gibt. Besser lassen sich die Existenz und der Gehalt der Norm an Praktiken der Territorialität ablesen. Gerade diese sind jedoch in den letzten Jahrzehnten ambivalenter geworden: Während die Staatenwelt als solche vollkommen unangefochten bleibt, haben sich Regulierungsräume in vielen Politikfeldern zunehmend von territorialen Grenzziehungen abgekoppelt.
Daniel Lambach
added a research item
Seit etwa zwei Jahrzehnten wird im Westen der Wert territorialer Kontrolle zunehmend kleingeredet, gleichzeitig fürchten die wohlhabenden Nationen wenig mehr als unregierte Räume als potenzielle Brutstätten für transnationalen Terrorismus. In dieser Diskrepanz verbirgt sich der Entwurf für ein differenziertes Regelwerk für Territorialität, das nach Arm und Reich unterscheidet. Durch die Versicherheitlichung mangelnder territorialer Kontrolle verlieren arme Staaten zwar nicht ihren Anspruch auf formale Souveränität, werden aber vom Subjekt in der global governance zum Objekt von global governance degradiert. Abstract In recent decades, Western states have downplayed the utility of territorial control while at the same time securitizing ungoverned spaces as potential breeding grounds of transnational terrorism. This discrepancy evidences a system of rules about territoriality which differentiates between the rich and the poor. By securitizing a lack of territorial control, poor countries are not being stripped of their formal sovereignty but their role is demoted from being a subject in global governance to being an object of global governance.
Daniel Lambach
added a research item
There are widespread worries about the impending fragmentation of the internet. Reviewing the IR literature on cyberspace and internet governance, this paper demonstrates that these debates rest on very traditional understandings of territory and the state, focusing on ways that hard-shelled ‘power containers’ are recreated in cyberspace. Using a practice-oriented conceptual framework drawing on insights from critical geography, the paper highlights how state, corporate, and private actors deterritorialize and reterritorialize cyberspace. Results indicate that there are multiple ways to territorialize cyberspace beyond the reconstruction of the ‘national territory’ and that a multitude of actors engage in territorializing practices. This allows for a more nuanced re-evaluation of the ‘internet fragmentation’ discourse.
Daniel Lambach
added 5 project references
Daniel Lambach
added a project goal
The international system of states deals with ungoverned spaces by territorializing these spaces and integrating them into the territorial order. Why and how are states doing this?