3rd Pavia Graduate Conference in Political Philosophy – Abstract/Edgerton

Barton Edgerton

The Concept of Territory

The concept of territory is often taken for granted in contemporary political philosophy, yet there is no consensus as to what territory entails. There are two prevailing interpretations of territory: territory as jurisdiction and territory as property. In the first, territory is taken to be a political/juridical concept of authority within a clearly demarcated boundary. In the second, territory is believed to be either the collective property claims of inhabitants or a communal property claim to a particular piece of land. Neither of these conceptions is satisfying because each entails elements of the other. Much of contemporary political philosophy has ignored the overlapping nature of these two conceptions of territory. This study suggests that further investigation is worthy of consideration.