Symposium 'theories of territory beyond Westphalia'

Ayelet Banai, Margaret Moore, David Miller, Cara Nine, Frank Dietrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Is territory a trap Does the concept of territory trap us into false assumptions of internally homogeneous, externally bounded political communities that exercise uniform sovereignty across their domain Against the background of debates about territory and the territorial state in international relations, this symposium brings together five contributions in political theory that advance a nuanced and systemic understanding of what territory is. Taken together, they indicate that there is much to the territorial paradigm beyond the modern, sovereign, and territorial state model. There are diverse conceptions of territory, which may be relevant across different legal and political orders. The various conceptual analyses of territory in this symposium suggest that the sovereign state model is only one way in which a sovereign political authority can be territorial. These essays provide the conceptual tools to formulate (and subsequently test) the hypothesis that the transformations in statehood may not be best described in terms of the rise and decline of territorial sovereignty, but as moves from one model of territorially bounded political authority to another. In political theory, it is only in recent years that this foundational concept has received sustained attention from political theorists. This symposium aims to take forward this welcome theoretical development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • self-determination
  • sovereignty
  • statehood
  • territorial rights
  • territory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law


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