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The Movement of Spatial Justice

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The Movement of Spatial Justice

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The Movement of Spatial Justice
by Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos
In Go, it is a question of arraying oneself in an open space, of
holding space, of maintaining the possibility of springing up
at any point: the movement is not from one point to another,
but becomes perpetual, without aim or destination, without
departure or arrival. The ‘smooth’ space of Go, as against the
‘striated’ space of chess. The nomos of Go against the State
of chess, nomos against polis. The difference is that chess
codes and decodes space, whereas Go proceeds altogether
differently…Another justice, another movement, another
space-time (Deleuze and Guattari, 1988: 353).
1. The Seat and the Ticket
Imagine entering a concert hall and seeing that someone is sitting in the
seat that you have already booked. You have the ticket to prove it, and what
is more, the particular seat is your favourite in the whole theatre. This little
piece of paper you are holding is your guarantee of your claim, and you
only need someone to mediate in order for you to get your rightful seats.
You find an usher who confirms the seats and, escorting you to the seat in
question, asks to see the ticket of the person currently seating in your seat.
But, lo and behold!, this person has a ticket with the exact same seat num-
ber as you do. What do you do?
The concept of spatial justice takes the form of a question mark. It oper-
ates in an actual and metaphorical space in everyday life and demands con-
tinuous assessment of where one positions oneself and why. I have previ-
ously defined the concept of spatial justice as the desire of an individual or
collective body to occupy the same space at the same time as another body
(Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, 2010). This definition points to an unre-
solved situation, just like the above case of the theatre seat. In leaving the
question open, the definition I put forward here suggests that there are no
. Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, University of Westminster.
Mondi Migranti, 1/2014
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easy solutions to what I consider arguably the most important current po-
litical and legal issue. For this reason, rather than trying to offer a solution
to the problem, the open definition and this text in general attempts to high-
light a problem of spatiality and temporality that goes largely unnoticed or
subsumed in other, grander and perhaps more easily understood narratives
of historical claims, national identity, sovereign control, or even property
boundaries and questions of self-determination. Focussing instead on a
concept of spatial justice as stripped-down and as basic as the above, al-
lows us to see the issue for what it is, namely a corporeal gesture across
space and time that crosses, while also relying, on legal and political
boundaries.
Another important aspect put forth by the above definition is the neces-
sity of reclaiming the concept of spatial justice on behalf of the legal dis-
course. So far, the concept has been used by a political discourse that could
not understand the technicalities of spatial exclusion as prescribed by the
law. Yet, the concept and praxis of justice is intimately linked to the law.
The mechanisms and processes of the legal system attempt to provide for
solutions to conflict in a manner that is as consistent as possible. The
‘crowning’ of this legal mechanism is justice, rather famously accoutred
with the (legitimate) violence of the sword and the objectivity of the blind-
fold. The difference between political theory and law is that the latter is
bound by an internal necessity (it must remain consistent in terms of the
social expectations to which it gives rise) for historical continuity and geo-
graphical particularity. These two are the necessary preconditions for a le-
gal process that will have a chance of giving rise to justice. While this is a
wide generalisation, it serves the following purpose: spatial justice is part
of a nascent legal discourse that addresses issues only partly covered by the
existing law and geography literature. The coup brought about by spatial
justice and most probably the specific way of defining it as an open corpo-
real gesture, brings to the fore a recent turn in legal scholarship, namely the
relevance of corporeality and more generally materiality. While the former
usually refers to human bodies, often encountered in discussions on gender,
colonisation, immigration, citizenship and human rights, the latter broadens
the discussion to include non-human bodies, in an attempt at an inclusive
materiality. It is in that sense that the above definition must be understood:
a body is not simply an individual human body. Rather, it can be a collec-
tivity, a flock of sheep, a fleeting community assembled in a lift going from
the third to the fifth floor, a boat full of illegal immigrants, and so on. This
is not an attempt at trivialising the phenomena. Rather, the concept of spa-
tial justice can only work on a surface of flat ontology, without pre-formed
hierarchies and boundaries across species or various kinds of materialities.
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This is the only way in which existing and historically ossified paradigms
can be reconsidered, and a new form of material considerations can take
their place. This text, therefore, proceeds as follows: the following section
looks into the current literature on spatial justice and offers a critical analy-
sis, while allowing itself to take a position. The final section sketches more
fully a definition of spatial justice as corporeal movement and looks at po-
tential repercussions.
2. An A-spatial Justice
Spatial justice, both explicitly and implicitly, has been widely employed
in the literature on concepts and practices of justice from a geographical
perspective. Unfortunately, very few of the attempts have managed to offer
anything to the discourse with regards to a radical spatial and corporeal un-
derstanding of the concept. Indeed, the majority have failed to distinguish
spatial justice from such received and frequently co-opted concepts such as
social and distributive justice, or regional democracy. Even in the origins of
the concept, which can be traced back to David Harvey’s (1973) work on
justice and space, spatiality becomes bifurcated in the ‘complex, non-
homogeneous, perhaps discontinuous’ social space on the one hand; and
the physical space on the other, in which, as Harvey says, the engineer and
the planner typically work. This distinction is part of the problem of an an-
thropocentric construction that assumes physical space to be different from
social space. Of course, the two spaces are linked. Harvey (1996) posits
what he calls the pattern as a bridge between them, or more specifically the
production of the pattern by the social space and its superposition on the
physical space. This pattern, however, is resolutely described as human
(whether in its capitalist or utopian collective manifestation), thereby ignor-
ing ecological, technological and other production processes that eschew
the social in its narrow, anthropocentric description. Likewise, the direction
in which this pattern is imposed is unilateral, namely there is no exchange
of processes, no mutual constitution (as opposed to, say, someone like
Bruno Latour, 2004, who engaged deeply with the possibility of inverting
and multiplying the direction of the exchange). There is, in short, a double
and parallel focus on human process of analysis on the one hand, and the
social/physical distinction on the other. This human-oriented focus is char-
acteristic of the whole work, and, I think, the breeding ground of problems
with regard to the role of space in the discussion. The main consequence of
such a division is a de-prioritisation of physical spatiality in preference to a
processual, social, human understanding of space. This becomes particu-
10
larly obvious in the discussion on urbanism, where cities are emphatically
not seen just as «a set of objects arranged according to some pattern in
space (Harvey, 1973: 302)». While no one would disagree with this, the
case remains that there is only a marginal role reserved for those objects or
indeed for that space in Harvey’s analysis. Something for example that has
eschewed Harvey’s attention is that not only social space but also physical
space (if one were tempted to maintain the distinction) can be described as
“complex, non-homogeneous, perhaps discontinuous”, and as such the lo-
cus of processes that are produced outside the narrowly defined social con-
fines. Indeed, this way of manifold thinking, to some extent suggested by
authors such as Marcus Doel (1999), Steven Pile (1996) or Ash Amin and
Nigel Thrift (2002), banalises the distinction between social and physical
space.
The discussion is further removed from spatiality when the concept of
spatial justice is dealt with – indeed, not as spatial but as territorial and
distributive justice. This not-so-subtle difference has been traditionally ig-
nored by the ensuing literature that carries on seeing Harvey’s work as cen-
tral to the notion of spatial justice (see Hay, 1995; Dikeç, 2001). The dif-
ference between spatial and territorial is not straightforward (Brighenti,
2006), but it is safe to say that territorial is not just spatial. Which means
that territorial justice is spatial only to some extent, and at least in the way
used by Harvey, it retains its closer affinity to social space while distin-
guishing itself from physical space. When coupled with the adjective ‘dis-
tributive’, even if decoupled from Rawlsian references (as Harvey makes
clear in his critique of Rawls’s justice), territorial justice becomes even less
physical and more processual, less spatial and more social. Thus, faithful to
its title, Harvey’s book does not profess to offer a conceptualisation of spa-
tial justice, but a spatial perspective on social justice.
Edward Soja, on the other hand, has consistently taken to the term in
earnest (see Soja, 2009). In Postmetropolis, Soja explicitly and repeatedly
refers to «spatial justice and regional democracy», very rarely dealing with
either of them separately and hardly ever distinguishing or defining them.
The book came out in 2000, and one would be forgiven to assume that by
then the term was clear beyond doubt. Despite such an impression, there
has never been a systematic discussion on the concept and Soja’s book has
not done much to address this gap. What is clear instead is that he too is
dealing with social justice from a spatial perspective. Thus Soja: «I do not
mean to substitute spatial justice for the more familiar notion of social jus-
tice, but rather to bring out more clearly the potentially powerful yet often
obscured spatiality of all aspects of social life (2000: 352)». This is an ex-
ercise in degrees of spatial involvement then, a bringing into light of the
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spaces in which social (in)justice can be located while conceptualising it-
self and the world. There is nothing radically new here, nothing that enters
a new dialogue between what is space, what is justice and what is the thing
that can be brought out of their obscure communion. In his much-awaited
book Seeking Spatial Justice (2010), Soja has attempted a more grounded
theorisation of the concept, explicitly linking it to spatial considerations.
He writes: «justice, however it might be defined, has a consequential geog-
raphy, a spatial expression that is more than just a background reflection or
set of physical attributes to be descriptively mapped (Soja, 2010: 3)». And
later, «spatial justice is not a substitute or alternative to other forms of jus-
tice but rather represents a particular emphasis and interpretive perspective
(ibidem: 13)». From that point onward, Soja performs an excellent strategi-
sation of the concept with regards to projects and movements, but fails to
show what is new or potentially radical about spatial justice. Indeed he car-
ries on in the vein of the above quotes, which perceive geography as a con-
sequence of justice, implicitly reiterating in this way that there can be no
justice which is not spatial. So what is particular about spatial justice? If it
is just a “particular emphasis and interpretive perspective”, it has inferior
purchase than something as mobilising as Henri Lefebvre’s (1996) famous
but rather sketchy right to the city, and in that sense it might even be con-
sidered obsolete (or just another semi-revolutionary idea); while at the
same time, by thinking of it as a perspective, we return to a solidly anthro-
pocentric, and what is more, phenomenological, consciousness-centred
conceptualisation of spatial justice. While this might serve some social mo-
bilisation purposes, it fails to engage with the structural basis of the prob-
lem of exclusion from justice. This can be simply put as follows: the above
definitions of spatial justice construct an illusion of human agency and its
consequent ability to control and influence the spatiotemporal conditions in
a direct way. We only need a hero. Or even better, we are all heroes inside.
But as Martina Löw (2008) writes, the best that social agents can do is re-
produce space and its qualities, whereas social structures and systems actu-
ally produce it. This is not a refusal of individual or collective action in the
form of questioning, resistance, revolt or revolution. It is, rather, a sobering
call for contextualisation of heroics within the spatiotemporal and material
parameters in which they emerge.
A more valiant attempt at defining the term of spatial justice, or at least
at engaging with the problems of definition, comes from Pirie in his article
“On Spatial Justice” (1983). He begins with what he calls «formal juridical
notions of justice» which he summarily leaves aside in order to focus on
«less legalistic specifications of justice, that is, in social or distributive jus-
tice (1983: 465)». In fairness, however, he engages in a brief yet thorough,
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consistently amusing and sporadically scathing overview of conceptions of
justice, from Rawls’s «three lexically ordered principles of justice» to theo-
ries of subjective justice «so as to sidestep high theory» (1983: 467), with-
out however at the same time sidestepping some well documented reserva-
tions about the value of conferring to justice the role of «the supreme arbi-
ter of distributions (1983: 468; eg. Kamenka and Tay, 1980)». He infers out
of this «intractable literature on justice» that «the burning issue to be con-
fronted in presenting a case for a concept of spatial justice is whether the
kinds of question posed can be answered without recourse to objective or
subjective criteria of social justice (1983: 471)». Indeed, Pirie suggests, not
without a certain disenchantment, that «the term ‘spatial justice’ once again
appears as shorthand for the phrase ‘social justice in space’ (ibidem)». This
is another manifestation of the vacuous transdisciplinary exercise in «add
space and stir (Ellem and Shields, 1999)».
Pirie put forth a challenge for a formulation of spatial justice that will
rely on «an alternative conception of space itself (1983: 471)». Mustafa
Dikeç’s work on spatial justice (2001) explicitly addresses this very chal-
lenge. His analysis, however, does not employ an alternative conception of
space but Balibar’s concept of égaliberté, namely a universal, transindi-
vidual politics of emancipation. This relies on a practice of collective
struggle whose presence remains unquestioned both by Balibar and Dikeç.
The problems with such grand assumptions aside for the moment, Dikeç’s
use of space remains lacking in terms of theorisation in an otherwise engag-
ing analysis of spatial politics, with the risk of misaddressing the challenge
of spatial justice.
However valiant and necessary in view of their spatial openings such
endeavours may be, they lack some fundamental attributes and I write
this in full awareness of unjust generalisations –: first, they lack a radical
vision that would responsibly mirror the current societal conditions and
state of thinking. Thus, harping on relics of modernity such as the fixed
spectres of identity, community, demos, popular will and consensus, pur-
posefully ignores the discrediting of such fictions (one look at electoral
procedures would be convincing enough) and perpetuates without question-
ing their supposed relevance. Second, by insisting upon an anthropocentric
specificity of resource distribution, the existing spatial justice discourses
constitute a blatant marginalisation of the current radical thinking on the
fluidity of the boundary between human and natural/artificial/technological.
In a typical sidestepping of what has originated and further developed in
feminist thinking, spatial justice reasserts itself as a human (namely, mas-
culine) need. Third, whenever a theorisation of the concept of spatial jus-
tice appears, it does not deal with the spatiality of space, those characteris-
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tics of space that render space the awkward, angular, unmappable, unpre-
dictable factor that it is; on the contrary, there is a constant and unsurpris-
ing double retention. On the one hand, the retention of the relevance of
time. At best, time is thinly dissimulated as the supposedly spatial meta-
phor of a line on which justice eventually arrives: but the linearity of the
metaphor betrays the lack of its spatial credentials. As I show below, space
is not a line defined by two points, but a manifold plane of disorientation
and lack of direction. In that sense, no dealing of spatial justice has man-
aged to disengage itself from the given priority of time, the concept of
struggle towards a better and fairer future horizon. On the other hand, there
is a retention of a conceptualisation of space as a measured and measurable
factor, given to Euclidean properties and legal appropriation. In other
words, this is the idiom of a spatial turn that is turning away from its spati-
ality and deeper into what I would simply call a geographical dimension.
The term ‘geographical’ in this context denotes the description, the gra-
phein of the earth, the dealings with representation rather than the violence
of an affective event (Delaney, 2002). Fourth, current discussions on spatial
justice are moralising. They claim universality through their particular em-
placement, they talk in the name of the deprived and the dispossessed, they
essentialise individual needs. In the usual schizophrenia of the utopists who
claim to be realists (and take offence if they are thought of as utopists),
propagators of spatial justice claim to have a solution to the problem.
3. Spatial Justice as Movement
The concept of spatial justice suggested in this text attempts to address
the above shortcomings. Thus, it specifically posits itself as non- anthropo-
centric, spatial rather than crypto-temporal, and fundamentally amoral (but
ethical instead, namely contextualised rather than overarching and oversee-
ing the moral landscape see Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, 2009). It also
attempts to be transdisciplinary, aiming at that fleeting space between law
and geography. At the same time, however, the concept is aware of its limi-
tations. Epistemologically, it can never transgress the incommunicability
between epistemes. Ontologically, it can never be seen as the solution. Spa-
tial justice cannot bring about better identities, more organised popular will,
broader consensus, healthier or richer developing countries. Nor can it do
away with time and its fundamental role in conceptualisations of justice. In
fact, it specifically does not attempt to do the latter. Instead, it simply posits
a shift of emphasis, and a temporary one at that. The best it can hope to do
is delineate the problem, initiate a discussion on the conditions, acknowl-
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edge the hitherto invisibilised spatial factor: in short, while acknowledging
and working through the impossibility of a solution, spatial justice brings
forth the conditions of such an impossibility, thereby allowing a flicker of
possibility to stream through.
The most important preliminary consideration for the presently sug-
gested concept of spatial justice as movement is our definition of space.
What is needed here is an understanding and practice of space that moves
beyond phenomenology, with its centralised human consciousness (one ex-
ception to this might be the later (1968) work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty –
see Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, 2010), and into a surface of flat ontology
of non-hierarchical perspectives. In her influential work Vibrant Matter,
that builds on Spinoza, Deleuze and others, Jane Bennett (2010: 117)
writes: «an ontological field without any unequivocal demarcations be-
tween human, animal, vegetable or mineral. All forces and flows (materi-
alities) are or can become lively, affective, and signalling … portions con-
geal into bodies, but not in a way that makes any one type the privileged
site of agency». This resonates with Doreen Massey’s (2005) definition of
space: a product of interrelations and embedded practices, a sphere of mul-
tiple possibilities, a ground of chance and undecidability, and as such al-
ways becoming, always open to the future. The flipside of the above can be
haunting, exclusionary, disorienting: interrelations and practices denote
closure and difficulty of belonging unless partaking of such practices; the
multiplicity of possibilities harbour unpredictability, uncertainty, lack of
direction, guidance, destination; constant openness to the future may prove
treacherous in that the “here” might never be adequate, thus always pushing
one to a mindless, escapist movement.
On this surface of spatial disorientation, various legal constructs, such
as the legality of national boundaries, the illegality of some population
movements, or the legitimacy of pre-existing ethnic identities, serve the
purpose of delineating space and thus establishing distinctions between
various hierarchical positions (inside/outside, belonging/excluded, this
way/not that way). Recall Lars von Trier’s film Dogville, where the divi-
sions between homes or shops on the one hand and the outside on the other,
were delineated not by walls but by chalk-like divisions imprinted on the
flat surface of the film studio: this is the role of the law, to measure dis-
tances, to tell the bodies moving around where to step and when to do so, to
keep out while showing the way in. Law can no longer be considered only
the written law of constitutions and conventions, or the judge-made law of
court decisions, but much more, much deeper and yet much more invisible.
Law is everywhere, embodied by our own bodies as well as the bodies of
those around us. Law is potentially always here (think of the ticket in your
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hand, or the usher in the concert hall, or indeed the concert hall manage-
ment). For this reason, it is important to clarify that law is neither just op-
pressive nor just liberating. It is both, and often at the same time, especially
if seen from the point of view of the (inevitably violent) incision of distinc-
tion, which necessarily imposes an exclusion.
I have often (see e.g., 2013) referred to this combination of flat spatial
disorientation and striated legal orientation as the lawscape. While this is
not the focus of the present text, it is important to mention that the above
distinction is not a phenomenological distinction between perception and
some sort of transcendental reality. Measurement (of space, of the law) is
not different to law and space themselves. Rather, they share the same sur-
face on which they fold into each other, momentarily hiding from access, or
making themselves available. The main point though is that this is the sur-
face on which spatial justice emerges. To go back to the definition given at
the very beginning of this text, spatial justice is the moving of one body
into the space of another body (and not just the space occupied by another
body since bodies are as much space as the room that they find themselves
in). The movement takes place on the flat ontology of the common surface
between law and space without originating in either. This means that any
historical claim, ethnic identity construction and deep-seated belief about
belonging can only be factored in to the extent that they are “imprinted” on,
“rooted” in, “embodied” by the very surface on which spatial justice
emerges. The link to space is not as simple as land ownership, legal claims
to property or right by birth. While spatial justice must be linked to the le-
gal regime of property, its function is complementary and possibly opposi-
tional. The legal discourse performs a distinction between ownership and
possession: both are legal and can be lawful practices in the appropriate
circumstances. They differ in terms of the connection envisaged with space
and time. Thus, ownership implies a legally demonstrable title to the spe-
cific property prescribed for a determinate (or indeterminate, in the sense of
infinite) period of time; possession, on the other hand puts forth the concept
of intention, namely the psychological (yet provable) intention to possess
the particular property for a specific period of time. A legal owner is often
in possession of their property. If not, however, property law across juris-
dictions prescribes the possibility of adverse possession, namely the pas-
sage of legal ownership from the title owner to the one who actually uses
the particular property, provided that certain conditions (notably time and
knowledge of possession) are met.
While this is not the place to go into the practicalities of the law, it is
important that we differentiate ownership and possession for the purposes
of spatial justice. In her work on Australian aborigines, Sarah Keenan
16
(2013) employs the concept of institutional “holding up”, namely the way
property ownership is being de facto “held up” (supported, validated,
brought forth) by social institutions, as opposed to, I would argue, mere
possession which can only be relevant if validated. Possession, in the sense
of corporeal presence and psychological projection of intent is not auto-
matically held up by society (think of squatters, graffiti writers or illegal
immigrants). I would like to employ the concept of being held up, but this
time not by society at large, but by the very spatiality of the relation. In
other words, when society holds up ownership, the outcome hardly deviates
from standard understandings of legal claims to property, which, in their
turn are not necessarily “objective” but rather serve particular social hierar-
chies, priorities, power structures and imbalances, as Keenan abundantly
shows in her work. But when space itself, in its very own texture, which
includes physical arrangement of bodies and objects, existing paths of
movement and pause, spatial narratives and potential for disorientation and
orientation, bears the “imprint” of such holding up, the outcome relies not
on unchallenged power imbalances but on corporeal presences that may or
may not be translatable to legal language. This is the meaning of spatial
justice: the move to “possess” space, even though this space seemingly be-
longs to other bodies, in the hope that this move will be “held up” by the
space itself, through the presence of one’s own mark on it. Law regularly
(but by no means reliably) listens to space and the corporeal traces on it,
and when it does, spatial justice might well emerge. There is no guarantee
that this will happen – this is only the surface on which the emergence is
possible.
The above might have given the impression that the legality of corpore-
ality is anthropocentric. Indeed, this is the way in which bodies and spaces
are meant to be understood by the law, namely as human bodies (with in-
tentions) projecting themselves over the temporality of property (and much
less the spatiality of property). It is, however, important to ensure that the
conceptualisation remains within the boundaries of the unhierarchical sur-
face of flat ontology. Corporeal presence is part of an assemblage (what
Deleuze and Guattari, 1988 call agencements) of various bodies (human,
animal, vegetal, organic and inorganic, material and immaterial), all of
which move and pause on the same surface, claiming and dropping space
as they go along. The above has far-fetching repercussions for concepts of
agency. As opposed to an agency ascribed or even distributed, the assem-
blage-like understanding of spatial and legal organisation demands that
agency emerges through the spatial positioning of the bodies. Just as a hu-
man body embodies legal agency at a particular space and time, in the same
way a non-human body emerges at the point where its agency as material
17
consideration arises within the legal discourse. And the law is just one body
amongst others, all of which emerge as potential agents at particular times
and spaces (others can be politics or religion or economics and so on).
If agency is not ascribed but rather embodied as emergence, it follows
that each body takes responsibility for its own emergence and does no
longer need to refer to a higher, external or transcendental authority (law,
technology, political authority, god) in order to be ‘held up’. Rather, it is
the very space that holds it up, which in fact amounts to the same thing:
space is bodies, material and immaterial; and bodies are space, with dense
or less dense concentration of space flowing through the various bodies. It
is here that justice emerges and this is emphatically justice rather than
judgement. As Deleuze (1997: 127-128) writes: «there exists a justice that
is opposed to all judgment, according to which bodies are marked by each
other, and the debt is inscribed directly on the body following the finite
blocks that circulate in a territory». Judgement comes from above, from be-
low or from outside. Justice, however, comes from within and between
bodies, held up by each other in the space of their emergence. This justice
is a constant, open conflict that allocates responsibility every time anew,
based on the material inscriptions of history on the surface of space.
So who gets the seat? When law plays games with itself (or when con-
cert hall administration gets greedy and double-books seats!), the question
of spatial justice emerges. This is a moment where the law withdraws, un-
able to solve the issue within the particular spatial and temporal parameters
(we do not want to disrupt the concert after all). The negotiation is neither
prescribed, nor easy. It is not a question of putting one body against another
and letting them fight it out. Nor is it a question of simple temporal priority
(“I got here first”), although this might count. It is a question of creating a
breathing space where spatial justice can emerge, where several corporeal
movements can be tried out and where bodies might find themselves in
need of withdrawal from recognised positions, security of choices or his-
torical belongings. In those moments, the bodies expose their spatiality and
its imprints in order to allow the law to listen to it. It is, once again, the law
that will listen in and will enable a decision. But for spatial justice to
emerge, it will have to be the space itself that is holding justice up.
18
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Abstract: Spatial justice is a much-commented but little-analysed concept and
practice. After a brief critical analysis of the origins and current positions of spatial
justice, this text attempts a definition of spatial justice as corporeal movement
across spatiality and temporality, and in relation to other bodies moving in the
same way. This stripped-down and deceptively simple definition allows spatial jus-
tice to be understood not as some solution to regional politics of representation or
resource allocation, but as the major geopolitical issue of our time, with relevance
stretching to forced population movements, environmental issues, territorial dis-
putes, minor urban incidents, even seats in a concert hall.
Keywords: Space, Bodies, Deleuze, Spatial Justice, Property, Law.
Il movimento della giustizia spaziale
Abstract: La giustizia spaziale è un concetto e una pratica molto utilizzata anche se
ancora non sufficientemente analizzata in letteratura. Dopo una breve analisi delle
origini del concetto, l’articolo cerca di offrire una definizione di giustizia spaziale
come un movimento corporale attraverso spazialità e temporalità, in relazione a
altri corpi che si muovono nello stesso modo. Questa definizione apparentemente
così semplice permette però alla giustizia spaziale de essere concettualizzata non
solo come una possibile via di uscita per conflitti di politica regionale o di disparità
nell’accesso alle risorse, ma per analizzare alcune delle questioni geopolitiche più
importanti del nostro tempo, con una rilevanza che si estende dai movimenti mi-
gratori, all’ecologia, dai conflitti territoriali, agli incidenti urbani minori, fino a
come gestire chi ha diritto o meno di sedersi a teatro.
Keywords: Spazio, Corpi, Deleuze, Giustizia Spaziale, Proprietà, Diritto
.
... Spatial justice is not an alternative to other forms of justice; rather it shows particular emphasis and an interpretive perspective [1]. Spatial justice investigates justice from the viewpoint of geography [2]. A comprehensive perception of spatial justice requires understanding of the mutual relation between politics and space and their dynamic mechanisms, which pave the way for proposals of spatial justice in political geography. ...
... According to him, ''a just distribution justly arrived at'' [6]: (1) The distribution of income should be such that (a) the needs of the population within each territory are met, (b) resources are so allocated to maximize interterritorial multiplier effects, and (c) extra resources are allocated to help overcome special difficulties stemming from the physical and social environment. (2) The mechanisms (institutional, organizational, political, and economic) should be such that the prospects of the least advantaged territory are as great as they possibly can be. Income was broadly conceived as some measure of command over society's scarce resources. ...
... Soja declares that ''my objective is clear: to stimulate new ways of thinking about and acting to change the unjust geographies in which we live'' [2]. Therefore, in Seeking Spatial Justice, Soja advocates the need to develop the concept of spatial justice-not as an alternative but as a complement to the concepts of environmental justice and social justice-rather absent in literature prior to the twenty-first century. ...
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Spatial injustice is an important feature of spatial organization in Iran, which is formulated on a core-periphery structure from the local to national scale. The current research with use descriptive-analytic method intends to codify solutions to access spatial justice in Iran. The results showed that spatial injustice in Iran relates to its natural geography and unequal distribution of natural resources (inherent characteristics), the human geography and spatial structure of the nation, centralism in political system, methods of policy-making, national development planning, regional and global geopolitical environment, inequality in the distribution of political power, wealth and opportunity resources. According to the research, to access spatial justice, the following strategies have been suggested: optimal spatial distribution of wealth flow as a developmental prerequisite namely management of money flow in the country, allocation of a specific portion of provincial budgets for balanced development in order to achieve regional balance, strengthening of local potential to increase the efficiency of achieving balanced development, attention to the systemic thinking about spatial justice and planning at the local, regional and national levels, revision of the principles of the Constitution related to the centralization for spatial distribution of executive and political power in the country.
... Soja's optimism is visible when he argues that a new 'spatial consciousness' is more likely to spread to numerous scientific areas, empirical analysis and social activism. In this way, spatial justice emerges as a consequential perspective that is based on the human agency that allegedly controls and influences the socio-spatial conditions (Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, 2014). ...
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The discussion surrounding the impact of territorial cohesion policy, and the territorial prioritization of cohesion policy, can offer significant insights by problematizing spatial justice. The notions of territoriality, mobility and peripherality are presented and analyzed due to their relevance to territorial cohesion, but also because they may strengthen the concept of spatial justice. The main objective of this paper, and by extension of this issue, is to stress the relevance of spatial justice as a concept created to address socio-spatial and territorial inequalities and useful when framing policy strategies, articulating policy goals, implementing policies, or taking actions to mitigate socio-spatial inequalities. The paper is organized in four sections. The introductory section presents social and economic inequalities as signifiers of the (un)sustainability of the European project and stresses the challenges facing territorial cohesion policy. The second section includes a conceptualization of spatial justice which plays to both the analytical strength and normative rigour of the concept. Third, there is a brief discussion of the notions of territoriality, mobility and peripherality. The final section is dedicated to a description of the basic features of the six papers included in this issue.
... . Un'ulteriore prospettiva in tal senso è quella di allargare il concetto ponendo al centro insieme allo spazio anche la dimensione del tempo, adottando dunque una prospettiva di giustizia spazio-temporale (seePhilippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, 2014). ...
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In Vibrant Matter the political theorist Jane Bennett, renowned for her work on nature, ethics, and affect, shifts her focus from the human experience of things to things themselves. Bennett argues that political theory needs to do a better job of recognizing the active participation of nonhuman forces in events. Toward that end, she theorizes a “vital materiality” that runs through and across bodies, both human and nonhuman. Bennett explores how political analyses of public events might change were we to acknowledge that agency always emerges as theeffect of ad hoc configurations of human and nonhuman forces. She suggests that recognizing that agency is distributed this way, and is not solely the province of humans, might spur the cultivation of a more responsible, ecologically sound politics: a politics less devoted to blaming and condemning individuals than to discerning the web of forces affecting situations and events. Bennett examines the political and theoretical implications of vital materialism through extended discussions of commonplace things and physical phenomena including stem cells, fish oils, electricity, metal, and trash. She reflects on the vital power of material formations such as landfills, which generate lively streams of chemicals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can transform brain chemistry and mood. Along the way, she engages with the concepts and claims of Spinoza, Nietzsche, Thoreau, Darwin, Adorno, and Deleuze, disclosing a long history of thinking about vibrant matter in Western philosophy, including attempts by Kant, Bergson, and the embryologist Hans Driesch to name the “vital force” inherent in material forms. Bennett concludes by sketching the contours of a “green materialist” ecophilosophy.