Territoriality and personality

Concepts and normative considerations

Authored by: Helder De Schutter

The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201279
eBook ISBN: 9781315461731
Adobe ISBN:


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It has become a universal principle that states rule over territories (including the air above and the ground below them). But several cracks exist in the territorial model, and it is an important question of political morality whether such cracks are to be regretted, and repaired, or instead need to be welcomed, and enlarged. This chapter does two things: (1) it proposes a concept of territoriality and its alternative – personality; and (2) normatively, it argues that it is desirable to decentralise many competences in the domain of ‘essentially personal matters’ to non-territorial jurisdictional units.

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