ChapterPDF Available

Introduction: Expanding the Spaces of Law


Abstract and Figures

Legal geography takes the reciprocal interconnections between law and spatiality as core objects of inquiry. The introduction explores three broadly sequential modes of legal geographic research. The first mode of legal geography includes disciplinary work in law or geography that is modeled on the conventional image of import and export. The second is an interdisciplinary pursuit in which scholars in the eponymous fields draw on the work of one another and seek to contribute to the development of a common project. The third mode—which the authors encourage scholars to explore—begins to move beyond legal geography to transdisciplinary, even postdisciplinary, modes of scholarship. Ironically, then, the success of legal geography will be in its ability to transcend the bidisciplinary focus that has characterized this scholarship up to this point. A richer exploration of law and space becomes possible, as do more robust engagements with time and power.
No caption available
Content may be subject to copyright.
Electronic copy available at: Electronic copy available at: Electronic copy available at:
Electronic copy available at:
Legal Studies Research Paper Series
Paper No. 2013 - 032
The Expanding Spaces of Law:
A Timely Legal Geography
Irus Braverman
SUNY Buffalo Law School
Nicholas Blomley
Simon Fraser University
David Delaney
Jurisprudence and Social Thought, Amherst College
Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar
Haifa University, Israel
This paper can be downloaded without charge from the Social Science Research Network
Electronic Paper Collection at:
Electronic copy available at: Electronic copy available at: Electronic copy available at:
Expanding the Spaces of Law
Irus Braverman, Nicholas Blomley, David Delaney,
and Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar
legal geography: a dynamic definition
Legal geography is a stream of scholarship that takes the interconnections between
law and spatiality, and especially their reciprocal construction, as core objects of
inquiry. Legal geographers contend that in the world of lived social relations and
experience, aspects of the social that are analytically identified as either legal or
spatial are conjoined and co-constituted. Legal geographers note that nearly every
aspect of law is located, takes place, is in motion, or has some spatial frame of
reference. In other words, law is always “worlded” in some way. Likewise, social
spaces, lived places, and landscapes are inscribed with legal significance. Distinc-
tively legal forms of meaning are projected onto every segment of the physical
world. These meanings are open to interpretation and may become caught up in a
range of legal practices. Such fragments of a socially segmented world—the where
of law—are not simply the inert sites of law but are inextricably implicated in how
law happens.
Legal geography is not a subdiscipline of human geography, nor does it name
an area of specialized legal scholarship. Rather, it refers to a truly interdisciplin-
ary intellectual project. It is less a “field” than braided lines of inquiry that have
emerged out of the confluence of various intellectual interests. The now scores
of articles, books, collections, special issues, workshops, conference papers, and
courses that constitute this project evince a fairly wide range of topics and theo-
retical approaches. Some practitioners, such as the editors of this volume, may
identify themselves as legal geographers, but the majority are more casual or itin-
erant participants whose primary intellectual concerns are elsewhere. We there-
fore identify the lines of inquiry that constitute legal geography more with the
content of the work produced than with the self-declared identity of the scholar.
Legal geography shares important conceptual similarities with other interdis-
ciplinary and subdisciplinary endeavors, such as historical geography, law and
society, legal anthropology, and legal history. Whereas in law and society
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 1 27/01/14 1:56 PM
Electronic copy available at: Electronic copy available at: Electronic copy available at:
2 introduction
scholarship, interactions between the “legal” and the “social” are foregrounded,
and in legal history time serves as the major organizing concept, in legal geogra-
phy space is foregrounded and serves as an organizing principle. Unlike either of
these traditions, however, legal geography occupies little institutional presence: it
has no specialized journals, graduate programs, or professional associations, and it
is rarely taught in law schools or geography departments. This is the result, in part,
of the relative novelty of this project as well as the inertia in processes of academic
Our introduction identifies and elaborates on three modes of legal geographic
research. The first mode of legal geography includes disciplinary work in law or
in geography that is modeled on the conventional image of import and export.
The second is an interdisciplinary pursuit in which scholars in law and geography
draw on the work of one another and seek to contribute to the development of
a common project. The third mode moves beyond legal geography to transdisci-
plinary, or perhaps even postdisciplinary, modes of scholarship. Although these
three modes exist concurrently, the general trajectory over time has been from
disciplinary to interdisciplinary and, finally, to postdisciplinary orientations. This
triadic classification helps organize the rich yet eclectic legal geography scholar-
ship that has evolved over the past thirty years or so. It is, however, also limited
for two reasons. First, explorations of the relation between law and space occurred
even before the starting point of our review in the 1980s. Second, the linear depic-
tion of these modes as progressing in time—namely, of subsequent modes that su-
persede what preceded them—is not fully accurate. As discussed here, antecedents
of postdisciplinary work were discernible already in the 1980s, and much excellent
and necessary discipline-specific work continues to be done today.
While this volume contains elements of each mode, it also urges interested
scholars to move legal geography beyond the disciplinary boundaries into the
horizons of a post–legal geography. Ironically, then, the ultimate success of legal
geography will be in its ability to transcend the bidisciplinary focus that has char-
acterized so much of its scholarship up to this point. The following account, while
intended to provide a rich flavor of the legal geography enterprise, is by no means
The First Mode of Legal Geography: Cross-Disciplinary Encounters
In the 1980s and early 1990s, scholars such as Gerald Neuman, John Calmore, and
Gerald Frug found space without having found geography, in a disciplinary sense.
For example, Neuman (1987) attended to social space in the form of territorial-
ity. This attention explicated dimensions of discrimination—and so, instances of
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 2 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 3
violations of equal protection rights—that had previously escaped notice. Like-
wise, Calmore (1995) undertook a sophisticated and sustained legal analysis of
the spatial underpinnings of anti-black racism. Finally, the work of Gerald Frug
(1996) and Richard Briffault (1990a, 1990b) on the spatial dimensions of commu-
nity, the ideologies of localism and regionalism, and the effects of the city-suburb
distinction enriched the appreciation of the placedness of law. However, these le-
gal scholars were rarely interested in a full engagement with the problematic, com-
plex, and fluid nature of social space; nor were they usually interested in the range
of unconventional intellectual resources for thinking through the spatialities that
critical human geographers were developing at the same time.
One prominent exception to this generalization in sociolegal studies was
Boaventura Santos’s 1987 article “Law: A Map of Misreading—Toward a
Postmodern Conception of Law. In the midst of the disciplinary mode of pre–
legal geography, this article portended a postdisciplinary ethos. Specifically, Santos
opened up unconventional ways of understanding spatialities in the service of ini-
tiating “a new [postmodern] legal common sense” (279). The article brought the
work of theoretical cartographers such as Marc Monmonier to bear on questions
of representation and truth in law. “There are, Santos wrote, “many unresolved
problems in the sociological study of the law that may be solved by comparing
law with other ways of imagining the real. Maps are one such way” (286). Santos
deployed cartographic notions of scale, projection, and symbolization to look at
legal phenomena in new and startling ways. Especially prescient was his concep-
tion of interlegality, which sought to capture the ways in which “different legal
spaces [are] superimposed, interpenetrated and mixed in our minds as much as in
our actions, in occasions of qualitative leaps or sweeping crises in our life trajec-
tories as well as in the dull routine of eventless everyday life” (297). “Interlegality,
wrote Santos, “is a highly dynamic process because the different legal spaces are
non-synchronic and thus result in uneven and unstable mixings of legal codes”
(298). This exploration exploded conventional conceptions about the “where” of
law and, in so doing, questioned the very definition of law itself.
Alongside the inquiries into space by legal scholars, the first mode of legal ge-
ography may also be characterized by human geographers’ independent concern
with legal themes. Many of these human geographers have been informed by neo-
Marxist and, increasingly, poststructuralist epistemological commitments, and
they are therefore concerned with unraveling how space is produced rather than
merely assuming its existence. This line of scholarship has come to have a pro-
nounced effect on how legal geographers formulate questions about law. Studies
of redistricting in political geography and, more generally, studies of metropolitan
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 3 27/01/14 1:56 PM
4 introduction
governance are examples of geography scholarship that concerns itself with law.
Generally, however, these scholars understood law as a given and were not con-
cerned with debates about law within legal scholarship.
More notable, in hindsight, is the neglect of spatial concerns by the established
interdisciplinary field of sociolegal studies associated with the law and society
movement, which was established in 1964 and gained momentum in the 1970s
and 1980s. This vibrant international and interdisciplinary research community
was founded on the premise that social science can contribute much to the under-
standing of law and that legal scholarship is crucial to the investigation of social
processes and outcomes. The roots of this interaction can be tied back to the legal
realist movement of the 1920s and 1930s and to the antecedent sociological ju-
risprudence of Roscoe Pound in the early twentieth century. Initially, the law and
society community included sociologists, anthropologists, historians, political sci-
entists, and even psychologists—but it did not include geographers. A local aspect
of this story is conveyed by Hari Osofsky (2007), who argues that the US percep-
tion of academic geography as an intellectual backwater that emerged in the 1950s
and 1960s has resulted in the dismantling of geography departments in many of
the most elite universities in the country. This perception, Osofsky continues, has
also precluded law scholars at Yale University, and presumably elsewhere, from
availing themselves of geography’s potentially useful resources, despite their con-
cern with space.
The Second Mode of Legal Geography: Interdisciplinary Engagements
If the initial expressions of legal geography have been characterized by relatively
narrow disciplinary concerns and a relative lack of cross-disciplinary engagement,
the second mode of legal geography has been characterized by a strong and explic-
it commitment to interdisciplinary research and programmatic bridge building.
This shift was triggered by the rise of the critical legal studies (CLS) movement in
the 1980s and 1990s. The CLS movement challenged the functionalist social sci-
entism of legal scholarship, dramatically expanded the range of resources available
for asking questions about law, and took radical positions on questions of power.
The CLS movement had a strong impact on legal geography: working within neo-
Marxist and poststructuralist literatures, legal scholars and human geographers
were suddenly reading the same theorists, asking similar questions, and taking
account of one another’s scholarship (Blomley and Bakan 1992).
The work of economic geographer Gordon Clark is central to the second mode
of legal geography. In addition to his position as a geographer, Clark was also
affiliated with Harvard University, when Harvard Law School was at the center
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 4 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 5
of the CLS movement. Already in the early 1980s, Clark focused on models of
local autonomy, bringing to the geography literature a novel perspective on why
attending to law and new modes of legal theory would deliver important benefits
to geographers, especially to those geographers who had critical political and ethi-
cal commitments. In various articles (1982, 1984, 1986a, 1986b) and in his book
Judges and the Cities (1985), Clark demonstrated a familiarity and fluency with
sophisticated legal philosophical resources. Among the more lasting contributions
of this work is its sustained and nuanced attention to problems of interpretation
and to jurisprudential strategies that wish those problems away.
During this period, critical geographer Nicholas Blomley also published
a number of agenda-setting pieces. Blomley’s 1994 book Law, Space, and
Geographies of Power is arguably the founding treatise of the second mode of legal
geography. This book was published both when the “interpretive turn” (namely,
the heightened attention to the problematics of discourse or representation) was
having an enormous impact in human geography and as CLS reached its high-
water mark in law schools. This book and Blomley’s subsequent scholarship over
the following two decades are notable for their reflective allegiance to distinctively
critical modes of scholarly practice, their sustained suspicion of power, and their
normative commitment to a radical vision of social justice. Much of Blomley’s
work has sought to think through the geographies of property in land through
empirically grounded studies of particular conflicts, such as inner-city gentrifi-
cation, and has attempted to reveal (and critique) the presence of distinctively
liberal spatialities.
In the 1990s, American geographer Don Mitchell began a long career that
brought a strong commitment to neo-Marxist political analysis to topics as di-
verse as labor law, public space, and public housing. Much of Mitchell’s work takes
seriously the legal dimensions of struggles over public space in American cities,
particularly in relation to the plight of marginalized people, such as the homeless.
In an influential article from 1997, Mitchell traced the growing reach of local leg-
islation that targeted homeless people, arguing that its effect was to brutally “an-
nihilate space by law” (303). In that article, Mitchell argued that the spatial logics
of globalization and the desire to construct particular landscapes of accumulation
are crucial causal mechanisms in the creation of a purified public space. In subse-
quent work, Mitchell (2003) argues for a spatialized right to the city.
Another contribution from the 1990s, David Delaney’s (1998) Race, Place,
and the Law: 1836–1948 sought to bring a balance of critical legal, socio-
spatial, and historical interpretation to the understanding of anti-black racism and
racializations in the United States. Finally, Steve Herbert’s (1997) ethnographic
studies of the territorial strategies of policing and Benjamin Forest’s (2001, 2004)
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 5 27/01/14 1:56 PM
6 introduction
work on race and redistricting were also significant in broadening the reach of
geographic analysis into legal questions.
Alongside the deep engagement by geography scholars with social and legal lit-
erature, legal scholars also began engaging with space. British legal scholar Davina
Cooper’s (1998) Governing out of Order: Space, Law, and the Politics of Belonging
was notable for its spatio-legal sensitivity. Cooper focused on institutional excess
and political transgression, as manifested in, and disciplined through, legal and
spatial arrangements. Trained in law and anthropology, Eve Darian-Smith’s (1999)
Bridging Divides: The Channel Tunnel and English Legal Identity in the New Europe
offered a related reading of the anxieties occasioned by the building of the Tunnel,
which was caught up in particular representations of legal geography and identity.
An emphasis on representations of place and law is evident in much of Darian-
Smith’s continued scholarship.
Still during legal geography’s bridge-building era, Richard Ford (1994, 1999)
published two significant law review articles that pointed to the crucial organizing
work of jurisdiction in producing racialized spatial differences, work that enabled
racial segregation to persist absent overtly racist law. This racist legal geography
has escaped scrutiny, Ford argued, because of a widespread assumption that po-
litical boundaries are either neutral or prepolitical.
In 1996, a special issue of Stanford Law Review, “Surveying Law and Borders,
provided a sustained critical engagement with space and spatiality. It featured
articles by prominent legal scholars such as Gerald Frug, Keith Aoki, Gerald
Neuman, and Rosemary Coombe. While their work was deeply situated within
legal scholarship, these authors also drew heavily on the work of critical geogra-
phers. This issue also included an afterword by the prominent critical geographer
Edward Soja.
One notable feature of the trajectory of the legal geography work produced
by scholars trained as geographers and by CLS-oriented legal scholars is that its
orientation was, from the start, explicitly and normatively critical. This designa-
tion refers not only to avowed leftist or radical political commitments but also to
a broad skepticism toward the state and the pieties of many rule-of-law claims,
as well as a broad disinterest in reformist policy discussions. The radical norma-
tive commitment of many legal geographers has become a distinctive character-
istic of this tradition in the bridge-building era. Hari Osofsky (2012) has pushed
back against the tendency to yoke the terms critical and theory together, arguing
for the value of “applied” scholarship. Similarly, British geographer Rachel Pain
(2006) argues for the merits of applied research, contesting the stereotype of the
policy researcher as an acquiescent tool of power. There are, however, undeniable
challenges in such applied work, particularly in the legal context. Some worry,
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 6 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 7
for example, that arguments for “policy-relevant” research fail to acknowledge the
ways in which ethical perspectives may become blunted or discredited (see, e.g.,
Beaumont, Loopmans, and Uitermark 2005).
Following the initial bridge-building period, the twenty-first century saw an
escalation and stabilization of the legal geography tradition, manifested in nu-
merous collaborations. In 2001, Nicholas Blomley, David Delaney, and Richard
Ford edited The Legal Geographies Reader, and in 2002, the collection Law and
Geography, edited by Jane Holder and Carolyn Harrison, was released. This was
followed by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Umphrey’s (2003) The
Place of Law. These collections brought together contributions by geographers,
legal scholars, and others from Europe, North America, and Israel. The volumes
signified a turn in legal geography scholarship: it had by then become a recognized
project. The increased interest in legal geography also saw the publication of a
number of journal special issues, notably Historical Geography: Geography, Law,
and Legal Geographies (2000); Political and Legal Anthropology Review: Putting
Law in Its Place in Native North America (2002); Society and Space: Displacements
(2004); Law/Text/Culture: Legal Spaces (2005); Haifa Law Review: American
Quarterly: Legal Borderlands (2006); International Journal of Legal Semiotics: The
Spaces and Places of Law (2006); Santa Clara Journal of International Law (2007);
Griffith Law Review (2008); Law, Culture, and the Humanities (2010); and Hagar,
Studies in Culture, Polity and Identities: A Spatial Age: The Turn to Space in Law, the
Social Sciences and the Humanities (2010).
The impact of this now-sustained and still-expanding “spatial turn in legal
thought has been notable also in applied legal research. In international law, for
example, scholars such as Jean Connolly Carmalt (2007), Bruce D’Arcus (2014),
Carl Landauer (2010–11), Tayyab Mahmud (2010), Zoe Pearson (2008), and Kal
Raustiala (2004–5) have shown the value of looking more closely at the spatial
presuppositions that underpin the dominant narratives of international law and
its doctrines. They have also revealed the ways in which these continue to inform
both the scholarship of international law and humanitarian policies. In the words
of Zoe Pearson (2008, 495–96), “These critiques provide us with an opportunity
to see that spaces within the terrain of international law are not static, linear and
ordered, but rather, complex, fluid and uncertain, evolving continuously along
with the interactions of the different actors present, and emphasizing varying sites
of legal and non-legal regulation.” These international law scholars emphasize
that a contingent way of imagining space is foundational for international law
as a discourse and that reimagining and investigating the difference that space
makes may severely problematize the practices carried out under the auspices of
the conventionally imagined “international community.
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 7 27/01/14 1:56 PM
8 introduction
Another elaboration of legal spatiality in international law is Kal Raustiala’s
(2004–5) “The Geography of Justice,” which attends to the territorial conditions
of rights and the presence or absence of their protections. This work emphasizes
the role that spatial assumptions play in rendering some forms of violence le-
gitimate while withholding that honorific from other forms. Raustiala argues that
inherited legal spatialities are superseded by the proliferation of extraterritorial
legal operations, signaling a significant, but unheralded, respatialization of legal
power. In his words, “The evolution of American law has been a process in which
formalistic categories based on spatial location and geographic borders were re-
jected in favor of more supple, contextual concepts such as effects’ and ‘minimum
contacts’” (2548).
The legal geography perspective has also contributed to other doctrinal investi-
gations in law. In American constitutional law, Allan Erbsen (2011), Reginald Oh
(2003–4), and Timothy Zick (2009b) have offered spatially informed rereadings of
the US Constitution, its doctrines, and its case law to disclose otherwise obscure but
highly significant contingencies and imaginative structures that, again, have im-
portant consequences. For example, in a series of articles, Zick (2006, 2009a, 2010)
documents and critiques the ways in which political speech is increasingly circum-
scribed and suppressed through spatialized legal restrictions that go beyond tradi-
tional forms of state regulation. The danger, Zick (2006, 585) fears, is the creation
of a “perfect geometry of control over just the sort of speech the First Amendment
ought to protect. Such spatial tactics have withstood judicial scrutiny, he argues,
because of an implicit view of space as inert and passive, as merely a background
for speech rather than, as Zick insists, itself constitutive of expression. The work
of legal scholar Lisa Pruitt also presents a sustained and subtle use of geographic
scholarship. In a series of articles such as “Gender, Geography, and Rural Justice”
(2008), “Geography of the Class Culture Wars” (2011), and “Justice Deserts: Spatial
Inequality and Local Funding of Indigent Defense” (Pruitt and Colgan 2010),
Pruitt has systematically exposed the unacknowledged “metronormative” urban
bias not only in legal and geographical scholarship but also in the actual workings
of the law in a wide range of contexts. She continues this project with her contri-
bution to the present volume. Legal scholars have also drawn on and contributed
to the legal geography project to uncover the workings of the legal with respect to
race (Boddie 2010–11; Ford 1994), settler and colonial societies (Kedar 2003), and
microspaces such as restrooms, courtrooms, and zoos (Braverman 2009a, 2012;
Kogan 2009; Mulcahy 2010). Although some of these legal scholars have become
thoroughly versed in the work of human geographers and social studies, most oth-
ers continue to explore space, place, and landscape without the full benefit of the
array of resources developed by geographers and others.
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 8 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 9
Increasingly, legal geography has become influential outside of North America,
and it has been especially vibrant in Israel and Australia, where its convergence
with local conditions and scholarship has produced much powerful analysis. In
Israel, legal geography has been useful for explicating and questioning “facts on
the ground.” For example, Israeli legal scholar Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar (1998,
2001, 2003), both alone and in collaboration with Oren Yiftachel, Geremy Forman,
and others (Forman and Kedar 2003, 2004; Kedar and Yiftachel 2006; Yiftachel,
Kedar, and Amara 2012), has produced a sustained legal geographic genealogy
of land dispossession and occupation. Yiftachel (2005, 2006, 2009a, 2009b) has
published several important works making critical use of legal geography insights,
as has Forman (2006, 2009, 2011). Also, sociology scholar Ronen Shamir (1996)
has analyzed Israel’s attempts to control Bedouins and nomadic culture, and
Irus Braverman (2009b, 2013a) has explored how political wars are legitimized
through what are seen as natural materialities such as olive and pine landscapes
and zoo animals. Other Israeli scholars who have been highly committed to le-
gal geography explorations in this region include Yishai Blank and Issi Rosen-Zvi
(Blank 2005; Blank and Rosen-Zvi 2010; Rosen-Zvi 2004).
Legal geography is also becoming increasingly visible in Australia (e.g., Chris
Butler, Robyn Bartel, Kurt Iveson, Nicole Graham), where the Legal Geography
Study Group of the Institute of Australian Geographers was recently formed; in
the United Kingdom (e.g., Anne Griffiths, Davina Cooper, Sarah Blandy, Phil
Hubbard, Antonia Layard, Jane Holder, Sarah Whatmore, Andreas Philippopoulos-
Mihalopoulos); and Europe (e.g., Franz von Benda-Beckmann, Keebet von Benda-
Beckmann, Andrea Mubi Brighenti, Ken Olwig, Mats Widgren). Of special note is
the 2009 volume Géographie du droit: Épistémologie, développement et perspectives,
edited by Patrick Forest, which brought the work of Anglo-American, European,
and Quebecois legal geographers to a Francophone audience. While this is en-
couraging, it is nonetheless important to recognize that, unfortunately, legal geog-
raphy is still quite limited in its geographic range. As the editors of this collection,
we believe that the legal geography project would be enriched by studies situated
out of the usual ambit of the largely urban, Global Northwest. We also think that
legal geography will prove a useful tool in marginalized contexts. Looking for-
ward to what legal geography might still become, we hope that this gap will be
addressed soon.
The Third Mode of Legal Geography: Postdisciplinary Scholarship
Beyond its significance for disciplinary projects and for bidisciplinary interac-
tions, legal geography is also important for elucidating third-discipline interests.
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 9 27/01/14 1:56 PM
10 introduction
Anthropologists, political scientists, sociologists, historians, and others have all
engaged with and contributed to the legal geography project to advance their par-
ticular disciplinary concerns about interests as diverse as land tenure, democracy,
identity, labor relations, or the structuration of organizations. Indeed, the critical
investigation of social space in its relationship with law has never been the mo-
nopoly of professional geographers and legal scholars.
The “third field” with the strongest engagement with legal geography is cul-
tural anthropology. Anthropology has long been concerned with the themes of
territory, boundaries, place, and landscape as these bear on questions of culture,
and in this sense, it is inherently geographical. Law has been present in cultural
anthropology since its founding (Benda-Beckmann and Strijbosch 1986; Darian-
Smith 2007; Donovan 2008; S. F. Moore 2005). There has, then, been a consis-
tent stream of autochthonous engagement with legal geography at the heart of
the anthropological project, although it was rarely identified as such. Interest has
increased in recent years as anthropologists have taken up topics such as global-
ization, mobility, and displacement, and as they have expanded their scrutiny to
include “insider” and “para” ethnographies of Western cultures (see Chapter 5 in
this volume).
Still within the legal anthropology tradition (and increasingly encompassing
other sociolegal scholarship), a rich and vibrant literature on legal pluralism has
emerged out of a dissatisfaction with the assumption that law is inherently a proj-
ect of the state. Legal pluralism scholars have come to realize that how the spati-
ality of law operates in the West has much relevance to non-Western, nonstate,
and especially colonial contexts. Prominent scholars in this endeavor are the legal
anthropologists Franz von Benda-Beckmann and Keebet von Benda-Beckmann,
whose rich theoretical and empirical studies of non-Western spaces since the
1970s have demonstrated an acute sensitivity to the complexities of social space in
a variety of geographical and cultural contexts. The 2009 volume Spatializing Law:
An Anthropological Geography of Law in Society (coedited with Anne Griffiths) is
only their most recent contribution. This collection includes empirical studies
from Peru, Indonesia, Bhutan, Scotland, Sierra Leone, and other locations that
significantly expand the horizons of legal geography scholarship.
In addition to the integration of third-field concerns into the traditionally bi-
disciplinary focus of law and geography, the third mode of legal geography con-
sists of studies that move beyond legal geography in a way that both draws on
and contributes to broader social studies. We refer to this mode as the postdisci-
plinary scholarship within legal geography. Among the works that signal a distinc-
tively postdisciplinary orientation to legal geography thought is David Delaney’s
(2010) The Spatial, the Legal, and the Pragmatics of World-Making: Nomospheric
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 10 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 11
Investigations. This book identifies impediments to advancing the legal geography
project, such as the tacit alignment of the legal with discursivity and of spatiality
with materiality, the generally disjointed or “archipelagic” nature of legal geogra-
phy, and the lack of distinctive theoretical frameworks that can be deployed across
a range of contexts. To remedy this, Delaney offers a set of neologisms, most im-
portant of which are the nomosphere, the nomic setting, and the nomoscape.
The nomosphere refers to “the cultural-material environs that are constituted
by the reciprocal materializations of ‘the legal,’ the legal signification of the ‘socio-
spatial,’ and the practical, performative engagements through which such consti-
tutive moments happen and unfold” (Delaney 2010, 25). Delaney assumes that the
discursive, the material, the embodied-performative, and the temporal aspects of
our objects of attention—say, “law” and “space”—do not exist autonomously in
separate realms or dimensions but are always already fused. Delaney defines nomic
settings accordingly as such “determinable segments of the material world that are
socially fabricated by way of inscription or assignment of traces of legal meanings.
They are invested with significance and they, in turn, signify. They confer signifi-
cance onto actions, events, relationships, and situations. They are lived” (59).
At the same time, Delaney clarifies that nomic settings (e.g., homes, public
spaces, borders, prisons, workplaces) are not isolated from one another. Rather,
they are constellated into ensembles or assemblages that form wider, recognizable
worlds. “These nomic worlds,” according to Delaney, “are the contingent products
of pervasive cultural processes and forces associated with ideological projects”
(100). He refers to such ensembles as nomoscapes. One may discern numerous no-
moscapes that are mutually entangled with one another, such as (neo)liberal no-
moscapes and nomoscapes of race, gender, labor, death, justice, and so forth. The
utility of this novel framework is demonstrated with illustrations from a wide va-
riety of historical, cultural, political, and experiential contexts that draw as deeply
from history, sociology, anthropology, political theory, and cultural studies as they
do from the disciplines of law and geography, narrowly construed.
The work of Irus Braverman is also exemplary of this third mode of legal ge-
ography. Grounded in both contemporary social and cultural theory and in legal
geography studies, Braverman’s mostly ethnographic work seeks to illuminate the
significance of spatio-legal operations for understanding dimensions of the social
life of power more generally, and with relation to nature and nonhumans in par-
ticular. From initial investigations of the spatio-legalities of trees and checkpoints
in Israel/Palestine (2009b, 2011a), Braverman has extended the reach of legal ge-
ography to the sanitary and mundane surveillance in restrooms (2009a), visuality
and technology (2011b, 2013b), and animality and zoos (2012, 2013a). Arguing
for the expansion of legal geography to nonhuman legalities, Braverman poses
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 11 27/01/14 1:56 PM
12 introduction
the following questions. First, she asks, what happens when nonhuman animals
are forced to fit into humanistic regulatory frameworks (e.g., that of legal rights)
that seek to define them as liberal subjects? Second, what might a “posthuman-
ist” framework, which does not attempt to make liberal subjects of nonhuman
animals, look like? And finally, what does it mean to “care better” for the animal—
and how might this form of care translate into law? “It is time to think about the
possibility of more-than-human legalities,” stresses Braverman (forthcoming).
Additionally, a number of legal scholars—for example, Russell Hogg (2002),
Desmond Manderson (2005), and Richard Mohr (2003)—have directed legal
readership toward the rich conceptualizations of the difference that space and hu-
man geography can make to critical legal analyses. Space figures here less in terms
of traditional conceptions of place, landscape, and scale, for example, than as a
way of approaching alterity, diversity, and multiplicity. Some sense of the orienta-
tion of this work can be glimpsed in Stramignoni’s (2004, 181) claim that “if it will
hardly be doubted that law is (seen to be) everywhere in space . . . it is also clearly
the case that conversely, ‘space’ is each time everywhere in law. . . . But exactly how
and where is the space that is everywhere in law? And how might the container,
so to speak, be contained by its contents?” Less interested in responding to disci-
plinary questions from law and geography, these scholars are offering innovative
understandings of space in relation to law.
More recent philosophically inflected work by Andreas Philippopoulos-
Mihalopoulos (2011) and Andrea Mubi Brighenti (2010) has also taken the spatial
dimension of the legal to novel places. For example, in his conceptualization of a
genuine “spatial justice”—and in contrast with conventional aspatial notions of
spatial justice—Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (2010, 207) enlists the Deleuzian
idea of folds to identify “manifold space [that] keeps on spreading by folding itself
like a boundless origami. In its gurgling, it makes any multitude explode, splayed
out. In that sense, space is not different to body, thought, individual, collectivity,
animal; human; it is instead the curling surrounding that is folded within, ingest-
ing the outside inside and simultaneously unfolding what is inside on a plane.
Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos also claims that “law is spacing itself away from
space—it turns against its own turning, brutally returning to the banality of the
locality, the incantation of the particular and the hasty concealment of a certain
fear of space and its manifold, uncontrollable, unpredictable folding” (207–8).
expanding the spaces of law
As we have shown, legal geography is a lively and creative field. But it could be
livelier, and even more creative. Its full potential, we would argue, has yet to be
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 12 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 13
fully realized. This section offers a few ideas about how we might expand our ex-
plorations of the spaces of law. In part, some of the issues we point to are already
nascent in recent legal geography scholarship. In that sense, we see these sugges-
tions as further nudges rather than an attempt to map out an entirely new schol-
arly agenda.
Expanding on Power and Time
It is conventional for critical legal geographers to underscore the presence of
power in law’s spaces. But legal geography scholars still need to think carefully
about the particularities of power. Power, the geographer John Allen (2003) ar-
gues, is never power in general but always power of a specific kind, expressed as
domination, authority, coercion, seduction, and—we might add—solidarity, re-
sponsibility, altruism, protection, and even care and love. While much legal ge-
ography scholarship is open to such diversity, a more explicit recognition of the
specificities of power would be useful. If we are to understand a legal world that
includes ideology, routinized practice, enrollment, myth, narrative, things, nonhu-
man animals, nature, brutality, redemption, courtroom layout, and the construc-
tion of difference, for example, we will clearly need a more flexible and nuanced
analysis of power. Viewed more closely, law can entail both forms of power over
others as well as associational power: power with others. Pragmatism also invites
us to think of power less as a “power over” and more in terms of a contingent
and relational effect, experienced as the power to act (see Chapter 3). These com-
plex explorations of power are very much in line with Foucauldian conceptions
of governmentality, biopower, and pastoral power (see, e.g., Foucault 1977, 1980,
2007), which recognize the considerable diversity of forms that power takes and
the complex ways in which power “makes up” subjects, arguments that have been
taken up by a number of legal geographers (e.g., Blomley 2012; Braverman 2012;
Valverde 2011). Following Sally Engle Merry (2001) and Mariana Valverde (2010),
it is about time that legal geographers also engage more seriously with Foucault’s
(2007) insights into neoliberal apparatuses.
While we begin disaggregating law’s power and recognizing its variability, we
must also ask more carefully how the diversities of space—organized into net-
works, landscapes, places, scales, flows, alterities, relations, and topologies—affect
the reach and effects of law. Although we welcome Allen’s (2003, 205) claim that
space be recognized as an integral, rather than an additional, part of any analysis
of power, we still need to ask, what difference does space (or space-time) make to
law? We need, as Allen puts it, “to be a little more curious about power’s spatial
constitution” (4). Even twenty years in, the legal geography project could still do
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 13 27/01/14 1:56 PM
14 introduction
better at specifying the real difference that thinking legally about space-time, and
thinking temporally and geographically about law, makes.
Moreover, although legal geography has long recognized the dynamic nature
of legal spaces and has emphasized their enacted, sustained qualities, it is none-
theless guilty of privileging space over time. Interestingly, with a few exceptions
(Blomley 2007; Delaney 2001; Yiftachel, Kedar, and Amara 2012), deep engage-
ments with history or historiography are relatively infrequent in contemporary
legal geography. As a number of contributors to the present volume argue, greater
inquisitiveness not only about the past but also about multiple aspects of tempo-
rality, alongside a more sophisticated conception of space-time, is necessary for
the further development of legal geography.
Foregrounding the relationship between time and space, as we have tried to
do in this collection, lends all the more urgency to the need to be more careful
in our understandings of the temporality of legal spaces. Performativity theory,
particularly as developed in conversation with science studies and economic so-
ciology, might offer a productive set of tools with which to explore these notions.
Eschewing an open-ended form of social constructionism, the emphasis of the
performativity scholarship is on the iterative and citational nature of perfor-
mances, which enrolls things and bodies, subjectivity and practice, in complex
assemblages that stabilize particular social arrangements. Although legal geogra-
phies are fully a social product, they are no less real as such (Blomley 2013a). An
emphasis on performativity also highlights the crucial legal work performed by
(and with) things (Braverman 2008, 2009a, 2011a; Brown 2001; Delaney 2010).
Such things can be material objects, such as roads (Kernaghan 2012), but they
can also be nature (Blomley 2007; Braverman 2014). In so doing, we are invited
to begin to move away from legal geography’s traditional focus on humans as its
subjects of study. David Delaney’s (2003) Law and Nature helps initiate this con-
versation with a series of provocative questions: “First, what does law say about
nature? . . . Second, what does what law says about nature tell us about the le-
gal construction and figurations of the human? What are we that nature is not?
What are we that is not ‘natural’?” (5; see also Otomo and Mussawir 2013). Irus
Braverman takes on some of these questions in her studies of treescaping practices
as “lawfare” (2009b) and of contemporary zoos as metropolitan sites for the hu-
man production of animality (2012, 2013a, 2014). Legal geography would benefit
from deepening its connections with scholarship on posthumanism (e.g., Wolfe
2013) and animal geographies (e.g., Buller forthcoming), and from explorations
of the vibrancy of matter (Bennett 2010), as well as its science and entangle-
ments (Barad 2007). Such explorations will ground legal geography in corporal
matters, moving it away from abstract and anthropocentric notions of space into
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 14 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 15
posthuman, or “more-than-human” ( Whatmore 2006) legal geographies (Braverman
Expanding on Law and Space
Beyond the reevaluation of power and time in our scholarship, it might be helpful
to draw from nascent theoretical resources, many of which were unavailable or
disregarded in the previous explorations of legal geography. Although legal ge-
ographers are already actively engaged with postcolonial theory, science studies,
poststructuralism, thing theory, performativity, and many other fields, we should
be engaging with still-more fields, such as the humanities and posthumanities,
physical geography, economics, psychology and psychoanalysis, material culture,
architecture, organizational studies, and visual culture. Furthermore, the raw ma-
terials with which we work—the core categories and definitions of law and space
and their material becomings—require even more careful attention than we have
previously afforded them.
Most significantly, perhaps, is how we think about the term law. In the 1990s,
critical legal geographers came to understand law as a cultural artifact, one that
should be thought of with reference to meaning and its contestation; law was per-
ceived as social, both in its effects and in its constitution. Many legal geographers
thus concerned themselves with the constitutive effects of law and its effects upon
consciousness. In line with other sociolegal scholarship, and CLS in particular,
legal geographers, too, wrenched law from Law—namely, they treated law as a so-
cial and cultural manifestation. The law they were concerned with and which they
critiqued was, essentially, Anglo-American common law. To socialize this law, they
excavated its profound connections to Western liberalism.
However, in at least three senses, this rethinking of law by the earlier modes of
legal geography scholarship was partial and limited. First, the drive to socialize
law may have come at some cost. The danger of thinking of law as a manifesta-
tion of the broader social context is that one loses sight of the particular ways in
which legal actors (however defined) think and act. Law is obviously social and
political; but it is not society and politics. Several scholars have foregrounded the
forms of knowledge specific to law. For Annelise Riles (2011, 89), “legal knowl-
edge is not a flourish or a detour; it is a very serious thing. The legal techniques
at work in doing state work are real. They are consequential. And thinking of
the state as the practice and effects of knowledge work does not trivialize it, but
specify it.” Mariana Valverde (2011) has directed considerable energy toward un-
covering such legal knowledges through paying careful attention to the particular
work they perform. Urban law, she notes, has a specific form, governing through
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 15 27/01/14 1:56 PM
16 introduction
framings such as police and related practices such as licensing and land use.
Nicholas Blomley (2011) has also explored what critical scholars call public space,
arguing that such humanist accounts overlook a deeply ingrained set of legal and
bureaucratic knowledges and practices that operate, in many senses, in an entirely
different register.
The earlier socialization of law was also partial in a second sense: it narrowly
focused on a critique of Western law, on what certain postcolonial scholars would
refer to as “provincialized” Western law. Rather than representing a universal law,
laws are now understood as plural products of particular local cultural forma-
tions. The common law, the mainstay of legal geography research, is therefore only
one of many legalities, including forms of indigenous law apparently subsumed by
settler law, that nevertheless retain a remarkable vital spatiality (Borrows 2010a,
2010b; Robertson forthcoming).
Third and finally, earlier modes of legal geography scholarship have confined
themselves to the investigation of specific jurisdictions, mostly within the confines
of the nation-state or, on occasion, at the level of international law. So far, how-
ever, hardly any legal geographical comparative work has been published. While
mainstream contemporary comparative law is conspicuously nongeographic
and does not sufficiently engage with local socio-spatial conditions, some of its
main scholarly projects have to do with the classification and mapping of legal
systems across the globe and the tracing of the movement and transplantation
of law across jurisdictions—issues that could become the subject of legal geogra-
phy investigations. Indeed, new voices among comparative law scholars signal the
readiness for a dialogue between these fields (see, e.g., Legrand and Munday 2003;
Twining 2009; Chapter 4 in this volume).
Alongside the shifting understanding of law, the other important category at
play in legal geography scholarship—space—has also begun to mean something
other than it did two decades ago. Judging by some of the earlier scholarship (e.g.,
Blomley and Clark 1990), space was frequently understood with reference to a
pervasive focus on interpretation and the complications of emplaced meaning.
As such, one tendency was to note a tension between law’s claim to universality
and determinacy and the evident spatial diversity of legal meanings, as constituted
in the localized places of social life. Similarly, legal geographer Wes Pue (1990,
572, 577–79) perceived law as necessarily “anti-geography,” arguing that “any geo-
graphical approach to law is fundamentally insurrectionist,” since geography is the
antithesis of abstraction. Evident here is a tendency to imagine space as a material
surface upon which phenomena such as law are distributed. Despite numerous
attempts to reveal space as socially produced (and, in turn, as socially constitu-
tive), there is a tendency to think of space in quite limited ways: space is imagined
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 16 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 17
as distinct and as an object in and of itself, over and above the material objects
that are distributed “in” space. It is thus very tempting to think topographically,
imagining territories, scales, and spaces as having an object-quality to them and
as more or less anchored in the world. The task was framed as one of inserting law
onto these material surfaces.
An alternative view of space, and one that has played a powerful role in reshap-
ing much geographic scholarship, invites us to think of space in relational terms
(Murdoch 2006). Relational thinking eschews essentialism by insisting that all so-
cial entities are to be understood and explained according to their interactions,
avoiding a view of internally stable concepts and entities. On this view, “relations
are dynamic, unfolding processes, rather than static ties between inert substances”
(Sunley 2008, 5). Space, in this view, cannot be an object in itself; rather, “objects
are space, space is objects, and moreover objects can be understood only in rela-
tion to other objects, with all this being a perpetual becoming of heterogeneous
networks and events that connect internal spatiotemporal relations” (Jones 2009,
491). Spaces such as cities or regions are not territorial units but dynamic com-
positions. Seen in this way, “cities and regions come with no promise of territorial
or systemic integrity, since they are made through the spatiality of flow, juxtaposi-
tion, porosity and relational connectivity” (Amin 2002, 34).
Such an invitation to think of space relationally may be a promising one for le-
gal geography. For example, to the extent that it counters the view of space or law
as objects in themselves, it provides a useful place from which to try and think re-
lationally and “nomospherically” about legal spaces. Such a shift would allow us to
begin to transform our analysis from legal consequential spaces such as the state
border, to more creative explorations of the process of bordering, where borders
are understood not as inert, fixed sites, but as fluid, nonlinear, and experiential
practices produced through law. Undocumented workers in the United States, for
example, may experience the border deep inside state territory (Coleman 2009).
Moreover, considering space from a relational perspective could offer analyti-
cal tools by which we can think against some of the powerful topographic ar-
chitectures of law, such as jurisdiction. Cultural anthropologists James Ferguson
and Akhil Gupta (2005) point to two related metaphors at work in our concep-
tions of the state (and, even more so, perhaps, of law): “verticality” entails a view
of the state as an institution above civil society; “encompassment” conceives the
state as located within an ever-widening set of circles that begins with family and
ends with the system of states. “This is a profoundly consequential understand-
ing of scale,” they argue, “one in which the locality is encompassed by the region,
the region by the nation-state, and the nation-state by the international commu-
nity” (Ferguson and Gupta 2005, 106). The two metaphors, they conclude, “work
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 17 27/01/14 1:56 PM
18 introduction
together to produce a taken-for-granted spatial and scalar image of a state that
both sits above and contains its localities, regions and communities” (106). At
work here is an areal view of space as a series of categorical and nested containers.
It is hard to escape such scalar framings. American geographer Adam Moore
(2008, 208–9) notes, along these lines, that even scholars who emphasize the so-
cially constructed character of scale still implicitly adhere to a view of scales as
“actually existing entities that constitute the spatial context within and among
which social action takes place.” Others have argued against such a scalar framing,
even going so far as to argue that we must abandon scale entirely in pursuit of “flat
ontologies” (Marston, Jones, and Woodward 2005). Yet while there may be mer-
its to such abandonment, there are also dangers. We may question a modernist,
nonrelational view of space, but it continues to operate with powerful performa-
tive force, organizing legal geographies in the world. Such a scalar logic, Nicholas
Blomley (2013b) notes, has striking ethical and analytical effects on the ways in
which we think about categories such as jurisdiction. Mariana Valverde (2009,
141) states similarly that jurisdiction operates such that “legal powers and legal
knowledges appear to us as always already distinguished by scale.” More generally,
borrowing from scholarship on the “state-effect” (Mitchell 1991), scalar framings
work to produce the effect of law as a disembedded presence that circulates at
the level of the nation-state. Rather than treating space as a thing in the world,
then, our task would be to trace the ways in which scale solidifies and is made
real, thereby making sense of the work that such solidifications do (Moore 2008).
Law’s territories will then begin to appear less as objects in the world than as com-
plicated effects (Painter 2010). Such alternatives, in combination with attempts
to rethink law, power, and time, offer exciting tools for enriching and perhaps
remaking legal geography.
chapter overview
Chapter 1, “Places That Come and Go: A Legal Anthropological Perspective on the
Temporalities of Space in Plural Legal Orders”—by Franz von Benda-Beckmann
and Keebet von Benda-Beckmann, sets the investigatory tone of this collection
and expresses our interest in exploring space in time. The authors contend that
the anthropology of law—and legal pluralism in particular—is gravely absent
from the conceptual framework of critical legal geography. They argue that at-
tentiveness to plural legal constellations, especially to nonstate legal formations
and to contradictory and coexisting notions of space, will force legal geographers
to adopt a more nuanced perspective on the law-space-power nexus. The authors
call attention to the temporality of legal space and place making, arguing that
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 18 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 19
legal spaces and places “come and go,” fade in and out, but do so at different paces,
depending, among other things, on the particular legal system that constitutes
the space. In addition, the authors point to the paradoxical results of the intensi-
fication and complexity of modern regulation: attempts to create consistent and
enduring spatio-legal regimes necessitate frequent alterations, in turn generating
unintended ambiguous and temporary legal spaces. This chapter also introduces
the theme of comparative law, which is echoed throughout the collection. The au-
thors set the stage for understanding comparative law not so much in its doctrinal
meaning but rather in the different ways that the law-space nexus manifests in
various cultures and temporalities.
In Chapter 2, “‘Time Thickens, Takes on Flesh’: Spatiotemporal Dynamics in
Law,” Mariana Valverde continues the exploration of the complex entanglements
of space, time, and law. The chapter begins by arguing that the success of the law
and geography literature has produced the unintended effect of reviving an old
metaphysical fallacy, namely, treating space and time as abstract and separate enti-
ties. According to Valverde, Kant’s critique of the objectivist metaphysics of space
and time can therefore be usefully revived today as an antidote for the tendency
to objectify and isolate space that is inherent—though not inevitably so—in law
and geography as a field of inquiry. Legal geography’s first theoretical risk, in other
words, is the unwitting reification of space and the black boxing of the very pro-
cesses that radical studies open up and problematize. A second and closely related
problem for legal geography, according to Valverde, is its analytic marginaliza-
tion of temporality. Although many law and space studies pay attention to history,
Valverde argues that the historicizing of legal spaces that is often included in legal
geographical studies (and in critical legal studies generally) captures only one as-
pect of temporality’s many flows and dynamics. By way of experimenting with
ways to think about spatiotemporalization processes in a pluralistic and dynamic
manner, the chapter concludes with a reflection on the possible adaptation, for
legal analysis purposes, of Mikhail Bakhtin’s oft-mentioned but rarely used notion
of chronotopes.
Chapter 3, “Learning from Larry: Pragmatism and the Habits of Legal Space,
by Nicholas Blomley, draws from another conceptual tradition: American prag-
matism. In particular, this chapter sketches the work of John Dewey in an at-
tempt to think more carefully about the ways in which people take up and practice
every day legal geographies, such as those materialized at a property boundary.
The chapter contemplates Dewey’s analysis of habit, suggesting that the concept
may be useful for legal geographers—especially because of its refusal of dualistic
thinking, its emphasis on transaction and event, and its resistance to the idea of
“law” and “space” as independent categories, as well as the degrees to which these
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 19 27/01/14 1:56 PM
20 introduction
are “taken up” by actors. An emphasis on habit, conversely, points us to practices
and actions, thus opening the door to more processual and temporal legal geog-
raphies. Blomley suggests that while one can thus begin to imagine legal-spatial
habits of territory, jurisdiction, and property, pragmatism cautions against meta-
physical thinking in relation to such terms. Pragmatism problematizes the idea
that a fence, for example, is a manifestation of the larger phenomenon of property
that operates at a grander and more abstract scale. Thinking through habit finally
directs us to questions of power. Dewey’s analysis, Blomley suggests, recognizes
that habits can be a site for experimentation and change, yet also alerts us to hab-
its’ resistance to change.
In Chapter 4, “Expanding Legal Geographies: A Call for a Critical Comparative
Approach,” Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar argues for the initiation of a compara-
tive project informed by both comparative law and legal geography, integrating
them into a critical comparative legal geographical investigation. Such a criti-
cal comparative perspective, Kedar argues, is conspicuously absent from current
scholar ship. Particularly promising for legal geographers is the work of critical
and postcolonial comparatists and their concept of legal transplants in particu-
lar, which provides insights into the movement, adoption, and transformation of
legal doctrines, as well as how structures and ideas manifest over space and time.
Chapter 4 demonstrates the potential of such an approach by exploring instances
of displacement and dispossession. It presents a case study that investigates a le-
gal geographical triangle set within the British “legal family,” showing how ideas
and legal concepts embodied in British war legislation were transplanted to and
transformed in postpartition India/Pakistan as well as in Palestine/Israel in the
form of legislation that facilitated the taking of refugee property. Kedar calls for a
dialogue between critical comparatists and critical legal geographers, and suggests
initiating collaborative comparative research projects among scholars from differ-
ent disciplines and regions.
In Chapter 5, “Who’s Afraid of Methodology? Advocating a Reflexive Turn in
Legal Geography,” Irus Braverman suggests that alongside the push to expand
legal geography into new spaces and temporalities “out there,” legal geography
might benefit from an inward expansion: a reflection on how we come to write
what we write rather than where, when, and why we do so. Such greater awareness
to the craftsmanship of our scholarship will pay off in a range of ways, Braverman
argues, and most important, by increasing the methodological diversity and inter-
disciplinarity of legal geography scholarship. The chapter reflects on the pitfalls
and virtues of the author’s zoo ethnography as a way to invite legal geographers
to become acutely attentive to how they craft their own research. Because of
the unique training of many legal geographers in the intersections of law and
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 20 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 21
geography, Braverman argues finally, this tradition is well equipped to explore the
working of particular administrative structures, a focus that deserves heightened
attention in our tradition. For this to happen, Braverman claims, we need to en-
gage in discussions about the art of craftsmanship.
Chapter 6, “States That Come and Go: Mapping the Geolegalities of the
Afghanistan Intervention,” by Michael D. Smith, moves beyond the legal geog-
raphies of the nation-state and investigates the production and use of legal vio-
lence in international, transnational, and multinational arenas. Smith explores the
relationship between the martial and the legal in the context of contemporary
Western interventionism, in particular the war in Afghanistan, as a way to open
up a number of avenues of inquiry for a renewed project of critical legal geogra-
phy. Multinational incursions reveal a complex interplay of “states that come and
go” in which law plays an important ordering role. Smith claims that we should
pay attention to the ongoing rescaling of the state, to the transformations of state
sovereignty, and to the hybrid—and often violent—legal geographies associated
with political and economic globalization. The chapter introduces two concepts.
First, geolegality, reorients critical legal geography toward the international and
toward the role of the spatio-legal in geopolitics and geoeconomics. Then, martial
law extends previous work on the relations between law and violence and offers
a new terminology for addressing the theoretical and empirical aspects of late-
modern war’s geolegalities. Smith suggests that the spatiotemporalities of law are
essential to grasping the hybrid political and economic formations associated with
Western interventionism: the fusing of military and civil functions; the recasting
of sovereignty as contingent and occupation as transformative; and the emergence
of so-called operational law, a hybrid body of law shaped by the exigencies of mili-
tary missions. Smith concludes by examining Western intervention in terms of
four different but overlapping moments—invasion, occupation, pacification, and
autonomization—allowing us to begin to discern how the spatiotemporalities of
law are crucial to the oscillating sovereignties and violent passages of “states that
come and go.
In Chapter 7, “The Everyday Formation of the Urban Space: Law and Poverty
in Mexico City,” Antonio Azuela and Rodrigo Meneses-Reyes add voices and per-
spectives that have not been sufficiently represented in legal geography scholar-
ship. Attentive to the temporalities of the social, spatial, and legal phenomena,
the authors investigate the interactions between legal practices and urban for-
mation in Mexico City. The chapter analyzes how two developments in the no-
mospheric transformation of Mexico City—the creation of a workplace for the
urban poor and the regulation of land as a means for housing the poor—were
shaped and resisted in legal disputes in the wider context of the formation of the
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 21 27/01/14 1:56 PM
22 introduction
post-revolutionary state in Mexico City (1930–50), a transitional period in the
Mexican capital and its legal system. Azuela and Meneses-Reyes unravel the im-
portant role of the Mexican courts in providing a site in which the urban environ-
ment was imagined, contested, and reproduced. The chapter locates its findings
within the wider setting of the (trans)formation of the state, inviting law and ge-
ography scholars to investigate the processes of state formation as products of
myriad localized social, legal, and spatial interactions.
Chapter 8, “The Rural Lawscape: Space Tames Law Tames Space,” by Lisa R.
Pruitt, illuminates another hitherto-neglected zone of legal geography scholar-
ship. Pruitt argues that law and rural space are at odds with each other because
the presence of law as a force of the state is in tension with the socio-spatial con-
struction of rurality. Law seeks to tame or control rural spatiality, but the material
characteristics (e.g., low population density, dominance of nature over the built
environment) and associated social characteristics of rural and remote places ef-
fectively resist those efforts. Rural spatiality’s features tend to impede the efforts
of law’s agents and processes, thus making for a thinner, less robust legal presence.
Pruitt argues that critical and legal geographers have largely ignored the rural end
of the rural-urban continuum, reflecting a rarely acknowledged urban normativ-
ity (not to mention urban hubris). The chapter begins the work of recovering the
rural, bringing it into scholarly view to broaden our understanding of the diffuse
and localized operation of law in rural places. The chapter is thus a step toward
theorizing the significance and force of rural spatiality in relation to law and legal
processes. The investigation into the rural lawscape reveals something not only
about rural difference, Pruitt argues, but also about the otherwise obscure nature
of law as variegated and variable. Finally, Pruitt contends that looking to the rural
margins reveals something about the center because the process by which law dif-
ferentiates the rural also depicts, at least implicitly, the default urban norm.
In Chapter 9, “Rules of Engagement: The Spatiality of Judicial Review,
Melinda Harm Benson posits that litigation is itself a space that has, to date, been
underexamined by legal geographers. She highlights the privileged position of
judges as actors holding an inordinate amount of power to construct and police
the spaces they occupy. Benson argues that legal geography would greatly benefit
from an investigation of what she refers to as “rules of engagement” (ROE) in liti-
gation. She conceives the operational tenets of litigation as creating a legal arena
in which various legal actors perform their roles according to highly formalized
scripts. Often described as “procedural” as opposed to “substantive” aspects of the
law, these legal requirements tend to operate under a veil of neutrality. In reality,
however, ROE, which range from jurisdictional limitations to burdens of proof,
reflect cultural assumptions about boundaries, privileges, power, and control.
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 22 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 23
The chapter focuses on the norms governing the ability to challenge government
conduct in environmental litigation. In this particular field of law, ROE include
not only statutory requirements but also constitutional and judge-made rules that
prescribe conditions and prudential limitations, such as ripeness, mootness, and
the political question doctrine. These rules determine not only when the govern-
ment can be legally challenged but also the level of scrutiny brought to bear on
state conduct. Of particular interest to Benson is the requirement that a prospec-
tive plaintiff prove that he or she has standing before bringing a citizen suit en-
forcement action against the state. The chapter charts the manners in which ROE
produce legal spaces, how they control who may access these distinctive territo-
ries, and their policing of movement within their confines. Benson concludes that
without gaining entry into legal spaces, the capacity to protect other spaces, such
as endangered species habitats and public lands, is greatly hampered.
Finally, in Chapter 10, “At Work in the Nomosphere: The Spatio-Legal
Production of Emotions at Work,” David Delaney initiates an exploration of pos-
sible new scholarly connections, new questions, and underutilized resources so
as to better understand some of the “so what?” of legal geography. Specifically,
Delaney draws on the literature associated with law and the emotions, psycho-
analysis and law, geography of emotions, psychoanalytic geography, and critical
organization studies to formulate undeveloped lines of inquiry focused on the
spatio-legal (or nomospheric) production of social suffering. This chapter’s initial
investigation focuses on the dynamics associated with the nomic setting of “the
workplace” and the distinctive nomospheric situations that arise there. Among the
larger project’s guiding questions are the following: How does power in the work-
place operate through the governing of, with, or through emotions? What are the
distinctive spatialities that condition social relationality in ways that engender or
ameliorate the felt sense of anxiety, forms of precariousness, and modes of social
suffering? In contexts that are organized around relations of domination and sub-
mission, is it useful to posit the workings of a legal unconscious” that fosters the
prevalence of certain psychological dynamics and so facilitates the social produc-
tion of certain kinds of legal subjects?
Allen, John. 2003. Lost Geographies of Power. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Amin, Ash. 2002. “Spatialities of Globalization.Environment and Planning A: Society and
Space 34: 385–99.
Aoki, Keith. 1996. “(Intellectual) Property and Sovereignty: Notes Toward a Cultural
Geography of Authorship.Stanford Law Review 48: 1293–1356.
———. 2000. “Space Invaders: Critical Geography, the ‘Third World’ in International Law
and Critical Race Theory.Villanova Law Review 45: 913–57.
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 23 27/01/14 1:56 PM
24 introduction
Barad, Karen. 2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement
of Matter and Meaning. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Beaumont, J., M. Loopmans, and J. Uitermark. 2005. “Politicization of Research and the
Relevance of Geography: Some Experiences and Reflections for an Ongoing Debate.
Area 37: 118–26.
Benda-Beckmann, Franz von, Keebet von Benda-Beckmann, and Anne Griffiths, eds.
2009. Spatializing Law: An Anthropological Geography of Law in Society. Farnham, UK:
Benda-Beckmann, Keebet von, and Fons Strijbosch, eds. 1986. Anthropology of Law in the
Netherlands: Essays on Legal Pluralism. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Foris Publications.
Bennett, Jane. 2010. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham, NC: Duke
University Press.
Blank, Yishai. 2005. “Community, Space, Subject: Theses on Law and Space Following Issi
Rosen-Zvi Book.Haifa Law Review 2: 19–60.
Blank, Yishai, and Issi Rosen-Zvi. 2010. “The Spatial Turn in Legal Theory.” HAGAR: Studies
in Culture, Polity and Identities 10: 39–62.
Blomley, Nicholas. 1994. Law, Space, and the Geographies of Power. New York: Guilford
———. 2007. “Making Private Property: Enclosure, Common Right and the Work of
Hedges.Rural History 18: 1–21.
———. 2011. Rights of Passage: Sidewalks and the Regulation of Public Flow. New York:
———. 2012. “Colored Rabbits, Dangerous Trees, and Public Sitting: Sidewalks, Police, and
the City.Urban Geography 33 (7): 917–35.
———. 2013a. “Performing Property, Making the World.Canadian Journal of Law and
Jurisprudence 26: 23–48.
———. 2013b. “What Sort of Legal Space Is a City?” In Interstices: The Aesthetics and Politics
of Urban In-Betweens, edited by Andrea Mubi Brighenti, 1–20. Farnham, UK: Ashgate.
Blomley, Nicholas, and Joel Bakan. 1992. “Spacing Out: Towards a Critical Geography of
Law.” Osgoode Hall Law Journal 30: 661–90.
Blomley, Nicholas, and Gordon Clark. 1990. “Law, Theory and Geography.Urban
Geography 11: 433–46.
Blomley, Nicholas, David Delaney, and Richard Ford, eds. 2001. The Legal Geographies
Reader. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Boddie, Elise. 2010–11. “Racial Territoriality.UCLA Law Review 58: 401–63.
Borrows, John. 2010a. Canada’s Indigenous Constitution. Toronto: University of Toronto
———. 2010b. Drawing Out Law: A Spirit’s Guide. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Braverman, Irus. 2008. “Governing Certain Things: The Regulation of Street Trees in Four
North American Cities.Tulane Environmental Law Journal 22 (1): 35–60.
———. 2009a. “Loo Law: The Public Washroom as a Hyper-Regulated Space.Hastings
Women’s Law Journal 20: 45–71.
———. 2009b. Planted Flags: Trees, Land, and Law in Israel/Palestine. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
———. 2011a. “Civilized Borders: A Study of Israel’s New Crossing Administration.
Antipode 43: 264–95.
———. 2011b. “Hidden in Plain View: Legal Geography from a Visual Perspective.” Journal
of Law, Culture, and the Humanities 7 (2): 173–86.
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 24 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 25
———. 2012. Zooland: The Institution of Captivity. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
———. 2013a. “Animal Frontiers: A Tale of Three Zoos in Israel/Palestine.Cultural
Critique 85: 122–62.
———. 2013b. “Passing the Sniff Test: Police Dogs as Biotechnology.Buffalo Law Review
61: 81–168.
———. 2014. “Conservation Without Nature: The Trouble with In Situ Versus Ex Situ
Conservation.Geoforum 51: 47–57.
———. Forthcoming. “Nonhuman Legalities.” In The Wiley Handbook of Law and Society,
edited by Patricia Ewick and Austin Sarat. New York: Wiley.
Briffault, Richard. 1990a. “Our Localism: Part I—The Structure of Local Government Law.”
Columbia Law Review 90: 1–115.
———. 1990b. “Our Localism: Part II—The Structure of Local Government Law.
Columbia Law Review 90: 346–454.
Brighenti, Andrea Mubi. 2010. “Lines, Barred Lines, Movement, Territory and the Law.
International Journal of Law in Context 6: 217–27.
Brown, Bill. 2001. “Thing Theory.Critical Inquiry 28: 1–22.
Buller, Henry. Forthcoming. “Animal Geographies I.” Progress in Human Geography.
Calmore, John. 1995. “Racialized Space and the Culture of Segregation: Hewing a Stone
of Hope from a Mountain of Despair.University of Pennsylvania Law Review 143:
Carmalt, Jean Connolly. 2007. “Rights and Place: Using Geography in Human Rights
Wor k .” Human Rights Quarterly 29: 68–85.
Clark, Gordon. 1982. “Rights, Property, and Community.Economic Geography 58: 120–38.
———. 1984. “A Theory of Local Autonomy.Annals of the Association of American
Geographers 74: 195–208.
———. 1985. Judges and the Cities: Interpreting Local Autonomy. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press.
———. 1986a. “Adjudicating Jurisdictional Disputes in Chicago and Toronto: Legal
Formalism and Urban Structure.Urban Geography 7: 63–80.
———. 1986b. “Making Moral Landscapes: John Rawls’ Original Position.Political
Geography Quarterly 5: S147–62.
Coleman, Mathew. 2009. “What Counts as the Politics and Practice of Security, and Where?
Devolution and Immigrant Insecurity after 9/11.Annals of the Association of American
Geographers 99: 904–13.
Coombe, Rosemary. 1996. “Authorial Cartographies: Mapping Proprietary Borders in a
Less-Than-Brave New World.” Stanford Law Review 48: 1357–66.
Cooper, Davina. 1998. Governing out of Order: Space, Law and the Politics of Belonging.
London: Rivers Oram Press.
D’Arcus, Bruce. 2014. “Extraordinary Rendition, Law and the Spatial Architecture of
Rights.ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies 13: 79–99.
Darian-Smith, Eve. 1999. Bridging Divides: The Channel Tunnel and English Legal Identity in
the New Europe. Berkeley: University of California Press.
———. 2007. Ethnography and Law. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
Delaney, David. 1998. Race, Place, and the Law: 1836–1948. Austin: University of Texas
———. 2001. “Running with the Land: Legal-Historical Imagination and the Spaces of
Modernity.Journal of Historical Geography 27: 493–506.
———. 2003. Law and Nature. New York: Cambridge University Press.
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 25 27/01/14 1:56 PM
26 introduction
———. 2010. The Spatial, the Legal, and the Pragmatics of World-Making: Nomospheric
Investigations. London: GlassHouse Books.
Donovan, James M. 2008. Legal Anthropology: An Introduction. Lanham, MD: Altamira
Erbsen, Allen. 2011. “Constitutional Spaces.Minnesota Law Review 95: 1168–1267.
Ferguson, J., and Gupta, A. 2005. “Spatializing States: Toward an Ethnography of Neoliberal
Governmentality.” In Anthropologies of Modernity: Foucault, Governmentality, and Life
Politics, edited by J. X. Inda, 105–31. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Ford, Richard. 1994. “The Boundaries of Race: Political Geography in Legal Analysis.
Harvard Law Review 107: 1841–1921.
———. 1999. “Law’s Territory (A History of Jurisdiction).Michigan Law Review 97:
Forest, Benjamin. 2001. “Mapping Democracy, Racial Identity, and the Quandary of
Political Representation.Annals of the Association of American Geographers 91:
———. 2004. “The Legal (De)Construction of Geography: Race and Political Community
in Supreme Court Redistricting Decisions.Social and Cultural Geography 5: 55–73.
Forest, Patrick, ed. 2009. Géographie du droit: Épistémologie, développement et perspectives.
Montreal: Presses de l’Universite Laval.
Forman, Geremy. 2006. “Law and the Historical Geography of the Galilee: Israel’s Litigatory
Advantages during the Special Operation of Land Settlement.Journal of Historical
Geography 32: 796–817.
———. 2009. “A Tale of Two Regions: Diffusion of the Israeli ‘50 Percent Rule’ from the
Galilee to the Occupied West Bank.” Law and Social Inquiry 34: 671–711.
———. 2011. “Israeli Supreme Court Doctrine and the Battle over Arab Land in Galilee: A
Vertical Assessment.” Journal of Palestine Studies 40: 24–44.
Forman, Geremy, and Alexandre Kedar. 2003. “Colonialism, Colonization, and Land Law
in Mandate Palestine: The Zor al-Zarqa/Barrat Qisarya Land Disputes in Historical
Perspective.Theoretical Perspectives in Law 4: 491–539.
———. 2004. “From Arab Land to Israel Lands: The Legal Dispossession of the Palestinians
Displaced by Israel in the Wake of 1948.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space
22: 809–30.
Foucault, Michel. 1977. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage.
———. 2007. Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France 1977–78.
Edited by Michel Senellart. Translated by Graham Burchell. New York: Picador/Palgrave.
———. 1980. The History of Sexuality, Volume I. Translated by R. Hurley. New York:
Frug, Gerald. 1996. “The Geography of Community.Stanford Law Review 48: 1047–1108.
Herbert, Steve. 1997. Policing Space: Territoriality and the Los Angeles Police Department.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Hogg, Russell. 2002. “Law’s Other Spaces.Law/Text/Culture 6: 29–40.
Holder, Jane, and Carolyn Harrison, eds. 2002. Law and Geography. Vol. 5 of Current Legal
Issues. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Jones, Martin. 2009. “Phase Space: Geography, Relational Thinking, and Beyond.Progress
in Human Geography 33: 487–506.
Kedar, Alexandre. 1998. “Majority Time, Minority Time: Land, Nation and the Law of
Adverse Possession in Israel.” Tel-Aviv University Law Review 21: 655–746 (Hebrew).
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 26 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 27
———. 2001. “The Legal Transformation of Ethnic Geography: Israeli Law and the
Palestinian Landholder, 1948–1967.” New York University Journal of International Law
and Politics 33: 923–1000.
———. 2003. “On the Legal Geography of Ethnocratic Settler States: Notes towards a
Research Agenda.Current Legal Issues 5: 401–41.
Kedar, Alexandre, and Oren Yiftachel. 2006. “Land Regimes and Social Relations in Israel.
In Realizing Property Rights: Swiss Human Rights Book, edited by Hernando de Soto and
Francis Cheneval, 1:129–46. N.p.: n.p.
Kernaghan, Richard. 2012. “Furrows and Walls, or the Legal Topography of a Frontier Road
in Peru.Mobilities 7: 501–20.
Kogan, Terry. 2009. “Transsexuals in Public Restrooms: Law, Cultural Geography and Etsitty
v. Utah Transit Authority.” Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review 18: 673–97.
Landauer, Carl. 2010–11. “Regionalism, Geography, and the International Legal
Imagination. Chicago Journal of International Law 11: 557–95.
Legrand, Pierre, and Roderick Munday, eds. 2003. Comparative Legal Studies: Traditions and
Transitions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mahmud, Tayyab. 2010. “Law of Geography and the Geography of Law: A Post-Colonial
Mapping.Washington University Jurisprudence Review 3: 64–106.
Manderson, Desmond. 2005. “Interstices: New Works on Legal Spaces.” Law/Text/Culture
9: 1–10.
Marston, Sallie, John Paul Jones, and Keith Woodward. 2005. “Human Geography without
Scale.Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 30: 416–32.
Merry, Sally Engle. 2001. “Spatial Governmentality and the New Urban Social Order:
Controlling Gender Violence Through Law.American Anthropologist 103 (1):
Mitchell, Don. 1997. “The Annihilation of Space by Law: The Roots and Implications of
Anti-Homeless Laws in the United States.Antipode 29: 303–35.
———. 2003. The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space. New York:
Mitchell, Timothy. 1991. The Limits of the State: Beyond Statist Approaches and Their
Critics.American Political Science Review 85: 77–96.
Mohr, Richard. 2003. “Law and Identity in Spatial Contexts.” National Identities 5: 53–66.
Moore, Adam. 2008. “Rethinking Scale as a Geographic Category: From Analysis to
Practice.Progress in Human Geography 32: 203–25.
Moore, Sally Falk, ed. 2005. Law and Anthropology: A Reader. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Mulcahy, Linda. 2010. Legal Architecture: Justice, Due Process, and the Place of Law.
Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
Murdoch, Jonathan. 2006. Post-Structuralist Geography: A Guide to Relational Space.
London: Sage Publications.
Neuman, Gerald. 1987. “Territorial Discrimination, Equal Protection, and Self-
Determination.University of Pennsylvania Law Review 135: 261–382.
Oh, Reginald. 2003–4. “Re-Mapping Equal Protection Jurisprudence: A Legal Geography of
Race and Affirmative Action.American University Law Review 53: 1305–60.
Osofsky, Hari. 2007. “A Law and Geography Perspective on the New Haven School.” Yale
Journal of International Law 32: 421–53.
———. 2012. “Towards a Holistic Vision of Law and Geography? Possibilities for Bridging
the Gap between Critical and Non-Critical Scholarship.” Presentation at the workshop
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 27 27/01/14 1:56 PM
28 introduction
“Where Now? Moving beyond Traditional Legal Geographies,” Baldy Center for Law
and Social Policy, Buffalo, NY, April 19–20.
Otomo, Yoriko, and Edward Mussawir, eds. 2013. Law and the Question of the Animal: A
Critical Jurisprudence. New York: Routledge.
Pain, Rachel. 2006. “Social Geography: Seven Deadly Myths in Policy Research.” Progress in
Human Geography 30: 250–59.
Painter, Joe. 2010. “Rethinking Territory.Antipode 45: 1090–1118.
Pearson, Zoe. 2008. “Spaces of International Law.” Griffith Law Review 17: 489–514.
Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Andreas. 2010. “Spatial Justice: Law and the Geography of
Withdrawal.International Journal of Law in Context 6: 201–16.
———. 2011. “Law’s Spatial Turn: Geography, Justice and a Certain Fear of Space.” Law,
Culture and the Humanities 7: 187–202.
Pruitt, Lisa. 2008. “Gender, Geography, and Rural Justice.Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law
and Justice 23: 338–89.
———. 2011. “The Geography of the Class Culture Wars.” Seattle University Law Review
34: 767–814.
Pruitt, Lisa, and Beth Colgan. 2010. “Justice Deserts: Spatial Inequality and Local Funding
of Indigent Defense.Arizona Law Review 52: 219–316.
Pue, Wesley. 1990. “Wrestling with Law: (Geographical) Specificity vs. (Legal) Abstraction.
Urban Geography 11: 566–95.
Raustiala, Kal. 2004–5. “The Geography of Justice.Fordham Law Review 73: 2501–60.
———. 2006. “The Evolution of Territoriality: International Relations and American Law.
In Territoriality and Conflict in an Age of Globalization, edited by Miles Kahler and
Barbara Walter, 219–50. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Riles, Annelise. 2011. Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Markets.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Robertson, Sean. Forthcoming. “Extinction Is the Dream of Modern Powers: Bearing
Witness to the Return of Life of the Sinixt Peoples?” Antipode.
Rosen-Zvi, Issi. 2004. Taking Space Seriously: Law, Space, and Society in Contemporary Israel
Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.
Santos, Boaventura. 1987. “Law: A Map of Misreading—Toward a Postmodern Conception
of Law.” Journal of Law and Society 14: 279–302.
Sarat, Austin, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Umphrey, eds. 2003. The Place of Law. Ann
Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Shamir, Ronen. 1996. “Suspended in Space: Bedouins under the Law of Israel.Law and
Society Review 30: 231–58.
Stramignoni, Igor. 2004. “Francesco’s Devilish Venus: Notations on the Matter of Legal
Space.California Western Law Review 41: 147–240.
Sunley, Peter. 2008. “Relational Economic Geography: A Partial Understanding or a New
Paradigm.Economic Geography 84: 1–26.
Twining, William 2009. General Jurisprudence: Understanding Law from a Global Perspective.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Valverde, Mariana. 2009. “Jurisdiction and Scale: Legal ‘Technicalities’ as Resources for
Theory.Social and Legal Studies 18: 139–57.
———. 2010. “Specters of Foucault in Law and Society Scholarship.Annual Review of Law
and Social Science 6: 45–59.
———. 2011. “Seeing Like a City: The Dialectic of Premodern and Modern Knowledge
Formats in Urban Governance.Law and Society Review 45: 247–312.
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 28 27/01/14 1:56 PM
expanding the spaces of law 29
Whatmore, Sarah. 2006. “Materialist Returns: Practising Cultural Geography in and for a
More-Than-Human World.Cultural Geographies 13 (4): 600–609.
Wolfe, Cary. 2013. Before the Law: Humans and Other Animals in a Biopolitical Frame.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Yiftachel, Oren. 2005. “A Geographer in Legal Space: Teaching ‘Legal Geography’ as
Navigation on the Academic Frontier.Haifa Law Review 2: 211–19.
———. 2006. Ethnocracy: Land and Identity Politics in Israel/Palestine. Philadelphia:
University of Pennsylvania Press.
———. 2009a. “Critical Theory and ‘Gray Space’: Mobilization of the Colonized.City 13:
———. 2009b. “Theoretical Notes on ‘Gray Cities’: The Coming of Urban Apartheid?”
Planning Theory 8: 88–100.
Yiftachel, Oren, Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar, and Ahmad Amara. 2012. “Re-Examining the
‘Dead Negev Doctrine’: Property Rights in Arab Bedouin Regions.Law and Government
14: 7–147 (Hebrew).
Zick, Timothy. 2006. “Speech and Spatial Tactics.” Texas Law Review 84: 581–651.
———. 2009a. “Constitutional Displacement.Washington University Law Review 86:
———. 2009b. Speech out of Doors: Preserving First Amendment Liberties in Public Places.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
———. 2010. “Territoriality and the First Amendment: Free Speech at—and beyond—Our
Borders.Notre Dame Law Review 85: 1543–1628.
00c_Introduction_fn.indd 29 27/01/14 1:56 PM
... For example, Douglas MacKenzie and Yuval Millo have expanded on the idea of performative markets in relation to options pricing theory through a history of the Chicago Board Options Exchange. MacKenzie and Millo (2003). See also Cochoy, Giraudeau, and McFall (2010). ...
... Said differently, postcolonial theory problematizes both the theoretical assumptions underlying the various categories, as well as the historical-social facts upon which their formation rested. In doing 103 Sennett (1977) 12. 104 Landes (1998a) 1. See, for example, Pateman (1983); Pitkin (1981); Squires (2003) and the collection edited by Benhabib and Cornell (1987). 105 Squires (2003) 131-133. ...
... 174 Blomley and Bakan (1992) 665. 175 For example, Bennett and Layard (2015); Braverman, Blomley, Delaney, and Kedar (2014). 176 Braverman, Blomley, Delaney, and Kedar (2014) 1. 177 Braverman, Blomley, Delaney, and Kedar (2014) 1. 178 Sassen (1996); Low (1996). ...
The project examines the proliferation of high-rise luxury towers and real estate investment to understand the transformations of urban governance under financial capitalism. For both the city and finance, urban space is of central importance. For the city, it is the place of interactions, public life and culture, markets, corporate activities, and residential life. For finance, it is the site that makes for valuable real estate invested directly through specific projects and indirectly through financial instruments. Both luxury towers and real estate investment are crucial sites of financialization of urban space which reveal the accompanying transnational transformations of urban governance. The project makes three broad, interrelated claims. First, cities play a significant yet under-appreciated role in financial capitalism because of their power to regulate urban real estate. Second, the increasing integration of urban real estate into the global economy through financial instruments changes who is governing urban space and how it is being governed. Third, through the pursuit of urban space by the various actors acting in the interests of finance, the idea of the public itself is being re-imagined. In making those claims, it first provides a conceptual account of financialization and urban governance in relation to real estate and urban space. It then tells a story of the loosening of global capital controls and the institution of property regimes to protect foreign investors, how much of that investment has “landed” in cities and in real estate in particular, and how urban spaces around the world are being turned into instruments of financial speculation at the same time that individual and cultural subjectivities are shifting towards that of finance. It substantiates the connection between financial capitalism and real estate by exploring various mechanisms through which capital was channeled into international forms of investment and securitized financial instruments which relied on real estate for their underlying symbolic or actual assets. It examines the transformation of urban governance through two case studies: Newham, United Kingdom, and Gurgaon, India, each illustrating different instantiations of the encounter between financial capitalism and local government.
... As we share this idea, this paper aims to contribute to the progress of (legal) geography by proposing a refinement of the conceptualisation of a limited, but relevant, aspect of the law-space tangle: the effectiveness of legal norms. In fact, even though several authors have looked closely at how the law is "worlded" (Braverman et al., 2014), thus shaping the socio-spatial sphere, we think that an adequate theoretical systematisation of the concept of (spatial) effectiveness of the law is still missing. To this end, this paper looks at how norms work through the interrelated concepts of nomotropism and effectiveness-as-operativity. ...
... While the relevance of norms not only to society (Friedman, 1975) but also to spatial phenomena (Braverman et al., 2014;Delaney et al., 2001) is currently a shared principle across disciplines, law and space have long been understood as poorly related, and their nexus unworthy of any specific inquiry (Blomley, 2003). Despite some early works that appeared in the 1960s (for an overview, see Braverman et al., 2014), things only started to change in the 1980s and 1990s (Delaney, 2015), when several authors -among them, the pioneering work of geographers such as Nicholas K. Blomley and Gordon L. Clark is notable (Blomley, 1989(Blomley, , 1994Blomley & Clark, 1990;Clark, 1985Clark, , 1989) -started dismantling the analytical separation of law and space, unveiling the dense net connecting the legal and the (socio) spatial (for a review, see: Blomley & Labove, 2015;Delaney, 2015;Orzeck & Hae, 2020). ...
... While the relevance of norms not only to society (Friedman, 1975) but also to spatial phenomena (Braverman et al., 2014;Delaney et al., 2001) is currently a shared principle across disciplines, law and space have long been understood as poorly related, and their nexus unworthy of any specific inquiry (Blomley, 2003). Despite some early works that appeared in the 1960s (for an overview, see Braverman et al., 2014), things only started to change in the 1980s and 1990s (Delaney, 2015), when several authors -among them, the pioneering work of geographers such as Nicholas K. Blomley and Gordon L. Clark is notable (Blomley, 1989(Blomley, , 1994Blomley & Clark, 1990;Clark, 1985Clark, , 1989) -started dismantling the analytical separation of law and space, unveiling the dense net connecting the legal and the (socio) spatial (for a review, see: Blomley & Labove, 2015;Delaney, 2015;Orzeck & Hae, 2020). So, it is mainly thanks to the line of enquiry that is usually referred to as legal geography that law and space, which were initially conceived as analytically separate domains, are now seen as mutually constituted (Delaney, 2015). ...
Full-text available
This paper explores the complex ways in which a legal norm can influence a socio‐spatial context. More precisely, the paper aims to contribute to the theoretical investigation of the nexus between law and space in the field of legal geography by proposing an analytical framework for the study of the spatial operativity of law beyond compliance. To do so, this work relies on the concepts of nomotropism (namely, ‘acting in light of the rule’) and on effectiveness‐as‐operativity. They respectively imply (1) that any legal norm that has a causal relation with an action can be deemed effective regardless of whether such action conforms with or transgresses such norm, and (2) that the impact of a norm is not confined to mere compliance. The paper then articulates the analytical framework derived by these theoretical insights with reference to different kinds of norms (law in actu and law in intellectu; law in books and law in practice). The relevance of the resulting theoretical structure for the investigation of complex socio‐spatial phenomena is finally exemplified through the analysis of a conflictual process for the establishment of a Muslim place of worship in Italy.
... Rather, they emphasize their capacity -or lack thereof -to link refugees with relatives elsewhere, understand and consider past communal events, relationships, and practices, and deliver durable resolutions that sustain a sense of communal moral order and continuity. While scholars have highlighted the close relationship between law, spatialization, and temporalization (Braverman et al. 2014), legal pluralism has received limited attention in this context (von Benda-Beckmann and von Benda-Beckmann 2014a). Foregrounding the role of justice processes in the mediation of geographically dispersed communities, this article shows how, in the legal plurality that exists among exiled South Sudanese, different institutions not only relate differently to national borders (von Benda-Beckmann et al. 2009), but also encode different temporal perspectives and expectations (Griffiths 2014;von Benda-Beckmann 2014;von Benda-Beckmann and von Benda-Beckmann 2014b). ...
Full-text available
Studies that examine the administration of justice in refugee camps highlight the legal plurality that commonly characterizes such sites, and the normative friction it creates between government and humanitarian institutions and community structures. Drawing upon research among South Sudanese refugees in Uganda and Ethiopia, this article foregrounds the place of transnational networks and temporal experiences in shaping processes of dispute resolution among refugees. South Sudanese refugees regularly turn to community structures to arbitrate disputes, even when these disputes relate to crimes that, under the laws of host states, must be reported to the authorities. As opposed to the individualized formal justice systems of host states, which are limited by borders, community justice links refugees across countries, draws on understandings of past communal events and relationships, prioritizes communal harmony and order, and thus produces a sense of continuity under conditions of dispersal and extreme precarity.
... Much important work has been carried out within the vibrant field of legal geography that highlights the multiple dimensions of how the law shapes space, identity, and power dynamics (Braverman et al. 2014;Bennett and Layard 2015;Jeffrey 2019); however, little has been said concerning the geographers who attended highly institutionalized research settings. Thus, despite long-standing calls by geographers for ethnography (Herbert 2000) in general and alongside more recent accounts where ethnographies have been advocated within institutionalized settings (Billo and Mountz 2016;Koch 2013;Ramirez, Faria, and Torres 2021) in particular, there are a few notable exceptions of geographers who have gone to court to trace this 'geolegality' (Brickell and Cuomo 2019) in place, which renders social/emotional/affective dimensions and formulates the law and its objectives. ...
Full-text available
Listening occurs in many ways in fieldwork situations, but it is not always consensual or without complexities. It is especially challenging in situations deeply embedded in institutional power, rendered and shaped by the law and its objectives. Yet, how listening differ within and between sites saturated with institutional knowledge remain still understudied. In this paper, I use my five-year fieldwork experience in German antiterrorism trials to illustrate how applying different politics of listening gradually deepened my understanding of what the trial and the wider legal process as a whole were making visible, erasing, privileging, or ignoring. I suggest that such an approach has much to contribute to a feminist analysis of (state) power, including its expression through the law, by back-bound different modes of listening to three different occasions within the court and its antechambers. Rethinking the process of knowledge production within court ethnography in this way can provide a demonstration of the insights offered by a politics of listening that is alive to the affectual intensities that emerge out of and through our bodies’ engagements, coping with, negotiating over, and healing from the objec- tives that appear within these highly institutionalized and much powerful settings.
... By highlighting these accounts, my work expands feminist engagements by being eager to question social orders permeated by power -such as those in favor of classism, Islamophobia, sexism, and xenophobia -which are enacted and enabled by state institutions and their modes of 'othering,' but remain unquestioned too often (Fernando 2014, 240). Second, at a methodological level, although legal geographers are intensely concerned with the constitution of space and law (Braverman et al. 2014;Jeffrey 2020), much of the methodological work in the field remains centered on discourse analysis, rather than examining 'law in action' (Klosterkamp and Reuber 2017, 257). My dissertation builds on and deepens this foundational geographic work by returning to the intellectual fundamentals of feminist thought and connecting legal discourse, court decisions, and wider power-laden social structures (Crenshaw 1991) and geographic work on (institutional) ethnography (Herbert 2000;Billo and Mountz 2016) to develop a feminist geographic court ethnography, a method that considers the site-specific, embodied, living, and lived geographies of law (Faria et al. 2020(Faria et al. , 1108. ...
Based on a feminist political-geographical analysis of 45 anti-terrorism trials which got carried out in Higher Regional Appeal Courts in Germany between 2015 and 2020, I argue within my dissertation that spatial affiliations and gendered attributes cannot explain ‘Islamist terrorism’ but play an important role in court. Methodologically, I combine ethnographic approaches with perspectives from feminist geography. By fusing the two, I develop a methodological framework that illuminates the role of courts as the fulcrum of criminal proceedings in order to unpack their representations for geographical analysis. At the core of this engagement, I aim at linking the material, embodied intimacies of the court with the global, political, economic, and sociocultural norms and processes that are constitutive of it, which allows me to elucidate how negotiations in the courtroom mobilize, enact, reproduce, and challenge structural, sociopolitical relations in profound and potent ways. Such a feminist political-geographical analysis in the context of powerful institutions also offers the emancipatory potential to design ‘other’ stories and conduct ‘alternative’, more power-sensitive empirical insights that are keen to dismantle institutions of control, sanctioning and custody in antiterrorism prevention programs as co-producers of social, intersectional conditions. Instead of looking exclusively at the legal subjects and narratives of ‘Islamist terrorism’, this approach tends to illustrate to what extent the state protectors end up (co-)producing what they were chasing after in the first place.
Courtrooms are sites where both the mundane and the life-changing are deliberated, evaluated and decided upon. Child custody battles, traffic violations, asylum appeals, contractual disputes, war crimes, climate actions, murder, defamation, even pigeon-related damage claims, all are handled in courtrooms. The courthouse can be understood as an arena and symbol of justice and democracy yet concomitantly perceived as a site where power is exercised over culturally and economically disadvantaged groups. It is clear that the courtroom is the center of societal, national and global conflict resolution. It is therefore paramount to understand questions of how the law shapes, renders, undermines and uplifts justice within society? What do we learn by observing the settings where the law is put into action? Which individuals, themes and prompts are most prominent within legal settings, and which remain absent? And which jurisdictional settings and sites are most prevalent to investigate this nexus? Following through these questions and obstacles, this introductory chapter sets the stage for our book “Courthouse Ethnography: Exploring contemporary approaches, fieldwork and challenges”. As such, it provides a wide overview of the field of ethnography and the law, by combining long-standing traditions of scholarly work in social-legal sciences investigating and researching legal practices in the courthouse and more recent examples of how this can be done and what might be still challenging, needs better tools or more ethical considerations, when researching the court and its legal cases.
This article examines the role that material belongings play in displacement processes. Following the evacuation of the housing complex Hannibal II in Dortmund (Germany), the displacement of its 753 tenants, and the conflicts that ensued over the belongings they were forced to leave behind, we ask how the governance of material belongings shapes processes and experiences of displacement. Through an approach that brings in dialogue the cultural and legal significance of material belongings, we focus on the practices governing relationships between subjects, things, and place in displacement processes. Drawing on interviews with tenants, the legal framework governing property and possessions, and the proceedings around the tenants’ claims regarding their belongings, the findings disentangle a dual function of material belongings in displacement processes: First, they consider how belongings and their legal governance complicate the temporalities of displacement; second, they examine how the negotiation of the cultural significance of things has an impact on tenants’ subjectivities. The paper concludes that in displacement processes, tenants’ precarious claims to ownership over their stuff are, at the same time, voicing claims to social and spatial belonging that oppose broader domestic injustices.
The field of legal geography provides useful concepts for analysing the spatial, material and temporal dimensions of planning law. This article explores the spatialities, materialities and temporalities embedded in planning regulations. It examines the “things” written into planning regulations and the spatial – as well as social and temporal – relationships and arrangements established among these things. A framework is derived from legal geography to identify the objects, scales, units, boundaries, actors, and social and spatial relationships written into planning regulations. The article identifies a research agenda for further work in examining planning regulation through the lens of legal geography.
Full-text available
Wie wird Migrationspolitik im Staat verhandelt? Am Beispiel von Sanctuary Policy in den USA zeigt dieser Artikel wie Konflikte um Migration eng mit Konflikten um Staatlichkeit verknüpft sind. Dies schlägt sich in divergierenden räumlichen Ordnungen nieder.
Full-text available
In the interpretation of disputes over everyday space, judges produce normative findings that reflect particular visions of public space. Divergent values are ascribed to the importance and role of everyday space in facilitating, regulating, and repressing expressions of speech, protest, presence, and identity. Collectively, this creates a jurisprudence of everyday space, which in many instances shapes directly and indirectly how stakeholders appropriate public space. Judges are not merely interpreting the law, but in simplifying everyday space are engaged in a project of spatial legibility, which may not reflect how that space is experienced by its users. Applying a Hohfeldian analysis of jural relationships within everyday space, this paper is my doctoral thesis submitted in fulfilment for the degree of Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) at Fordham University. Wesley Hohfeld, an American theorist writing in the early 20th century, demonstrated how the law and its practitioners have habitually defaulted into a myopic rights/duty view of jural relationships. Hohfeld revealed a far broader array of jural relationships that exist which, he argued, are as important as a rights/duties binary. Covering a series of cases heard in US courts, my paper validates Hohfeld’s argument by positioning this jurisprudence as predominantly reductionist in its view of everyday space in the United States. In particular, it struggles to move beyond a narrow rights/duty binary. This has the effect of obscuring or subsuming from judicial purview alternative, non-rights-based claims to space, and contributes on a broader level to the marginalization of the ‘non-propertied’ in the urban environment. Judges hold the opportunity to push back against these processes of exclusion and, in fact, this is precisely what they are asked to do when they are confronted with balancing divergent claims to everyday space. Through interpreting Hohfeld within a spatial lens, I apply this framework to US cases across two themes – public property and private property – and using urban theory as an anchor, I demonstrate not only the particular project of spatial legibility at play but also how this jurisprudence remains largely blind to a continuum of alternative, if non-legal relationships in everyday space. In the final chapter, I demonstrate how a 'spatialized-Hohfeldian' framework is able to respond to a right to the city critique of the law. I argue that the framework gives claims to the right to the city meaning within the law, and pushes law towards a use-based (rather than rights-based) balancing of competing interests in the urban and spatial environment.
Full-text available
The authors analyze the interconnections between space, law, and power and forge links between critical studies in law and geography. Analytical categories of space-for example, the divide between public and private space, or the concept of national citizenship-are all politically constructed. The authors analyze Canadian and American concepts of federalism and their impact on regulating worker safety. A common judicial mapping of work, local space, and state regulation determines whether local officials have enforcement authority in contexts where national worker safety regulations apply. Through this analysis, the authors illustrate the potential for future studies in critical legal geography.
Canada's Indigenous Constitution reflects on the nature and sources of law in Canada, beginning with the conviction that the Canadian legal system has helped to engender the high level of wealth and security enjoyed by people across the country. However, longstanding disputes about the origins, legitimacy, and applicability of certain aspects of the legal system have led John Borrows to argue that Canada's constitution is incomplete without a broader acceptance of Indigenous legal traditions. With characteristic richness and eloquence, John Borrows explores legal traditions, the role of governments and courts, and the prospect of a multi-juridical legal culture, all with a view to understanding and improving legal processes in Canada. He discusses the place of individuals, families, and communities in recovering and extending the role of Indigenous law within both Indigenous communities and Canadian society more broadly. This is a major work by one of Canada's leading legal scholars, and an essential companion to Drawing Out Law: A Spirit's Guide.
The Anishinabek Nation's legal traditions are deeply embedded in many aspects of customary life. In Drawing Out Law, John Borrows (Kegedonce) skillfully juxtaposes Canadian legal policy and practice with the more broadly defined Anishinabek perception of law as it applies to community life, nature, and individuals. This innovative work combines fictional and non-fictional elements in a series of connected short stories that symbolize different ways of Anishinabek engagement with the world. Drawing on oral traditions, pictographic scrolls, dreams, common law case analysis, and philosophical reflection, Borrows' narrative explores issues of pressing importance to the future of indigenous law and offers readers new ways to think about the direction of Canadian law. Shedding light on Canadian law and policy as they relate to Indigenous peoples, Drawing Out Law illustrates past and present moral agency of Indigenous peoples and their approaches to the law and calls for the renewal of ancient Ojibway teaching in contemporary circumstances. This is a major work by one of Canada's leading legal scholars, and an essential companion to Canada's Indigenous Constitution.
Spatializing Law: An Anthropological Geography of Law in Society focuses on law and its location, exploring how spaces are constructed on the terrestrial and marine surface of the earth with legal means in a rich variety of socio-political, legal and ecological settings. The contributors explore the interrelations between social spaces and physical space, highlighting the ways in which legal rules may localise people's rights and obligations in social space that may be mapped onto physical space. This volume also demonstrates how different notions of space and place become resources that can be mobilised in social, political and economic interaction, paying specific attention to the contradictory ways in which space may be configured and involved in social interaction under conditions of plural legal orders. Spatializing Law makes a significant contribution to the anthropological geography of law and will be useful to scholars across a broad array of disciplines. © Franz von Benda-Beckmann, Keebet von Benda-Beckmann and Anne Griffiths 2009. All rights reserved.
This paper examines the Bush Administration's use of extraordinary rendition as a spatial tactic to secure largely extra-legal interrogation of terrorist suspects by moving them across various territorial jurisdictions. I present this argument in three major sections. I first present a conceptual discussion of the connections among legal rights, sovereignty, and space. I argue that liberal rights are in part defined through law, which can be conceived as a space and set of spatial practices structured along two axes. While traditional legal protections around privacy, in particular, define an uneven vertical terrain that protects individual rights through limiting where certain forms of statecraft may be applied within domestic space, distinctions of jurisdiction provide the horizontal limits to rights; simultaneously containing particular rights regimes, and excluding others. I then examine the development of extraordinary rendition in larger historical-geographical context, as a deeply spatial tactic of political violence. Finally, I examine how Bush Administration lawyers framed these developments using a very particular argument about legal-territorial logic. It is my argument that the Bush Administration used extraordinary rendition to achieve through extra-territorial means what they could not, or would not, attempt in domestic territory: the suspension of law for certain classes of people.
This book addresses the problem of ‘animal life’ in terms that go beyond the usual extension of liberal rights to animals. The discourse of animal rights is one that increasingly occupies the political, ethical and intellectual terrain of modern society. But, although the question of the status of animals holds an important place within a range of civil, political and technological disciplines, the issue of rights in relation to animals usually rehearses the familiar perspectives of legal, moral and humanist philosophy. ‘Animal law’ is fast becoming a topic of significant contemporary interest and discussion. This burgeoning interest has not, however, been matched by renewed inquiry into the jurisprudential frames and methods for the treatment of animals in law, nor the philosophical issue of the ‘human’ and the ‘animal’ that lies at law’s foundation. Responding to this interest, Law and the Question of the Animal: A Critical Jurisprudence brings together leading and emerging critical legal theorists to address the question of animality in relation to law’s foundations, practices and traditions of thought. In so doing, it engages a surprisingly underdeveloped aspect of the moral philosophies of animal rights, namely their juridical register and existence. How does ‘animal law’ alter our juridical image of personality or personhood? How do the technologies of law intersect with the technologies that invent, create and manage animal life? And how might the ethical, ontological and ceremonial relation between humans and animals be linked to a common source or experience of law?