Readers of this blog may recall my reporting on the first, thankfully positive review of the ‘The Poverty of Territorialism’ by Jacek Zaucha (see: where you find a link to that review). I have attended a conference on Maritime Spatial Planning since. It was co-chaired by Jacek who saw to it that there was cake in the shape of my book (see the picture going with this blog), as well as of the one co-edited by him: Zaucha, J., Gee, K. (eds.) (2019) Maritime Spatial Planning: Past, Present, Future, Palgrave Macmillan, Springer, Cham, Switzerland (available in the library of TUDelft). Meanwhile I got involved in preparing a special issue ‘Marine and Coastal Space’ of EUROPE XXI, the same journal published by the Polish Academy of Science in which Jacek’s review has appeared. My paper now out (Faludi, A. 2019, ‘New horizons: Beyond territorialism’, EUROPA XXI, 36(1) 43-52; starts with an epithet by Jacek’s co-editor, Kyra Gee, writing on p.25 in the volume above: The ocean is the ‘other’, something that is not terra firma and something that is always, to some degree, unknowable. I took inspiration from all this, in particular the Law of the Sea dividing ocean space into zones of graduated control, including – fascinatingly for somebody critical of territorialism – Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction where by definition territorialism does not apply. Against this backdrop, in my paper in EUROPE XXI I revisit territories as the building blocks of a political order and the delusion of territorial sovereignty. From there, I discuss also neo-medievalism as an alternative ordering principle for the governance of space. Although perhaps sovereign in theory, accordingly stand-along territories should be understood as being enmeshed in a web of functional relations. Many of them have their own governance arrangements and with overlaps galore between them. Which makes imposing an overall order a doubtful exercise.
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