Territory and Justice: a research network

December 17, 2015

Themes on Territory, Justice, and Rivers: a collection

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris Bertram @ 3:40 pm
  1. Foreword by Cara Nine
  2. Papers delivered by participants at the ‘Themes on Territory, Justice, and Rivers’ Workshop (4-5 June 2015, UCC)

  3. Collection of Cara Nine’s work

  4. Annotated Bibliography, Timothy Mawe

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November 19, 2014

Territory and Justice Symposia 4: Sovereignty and Resources

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris Bertram @ 12:16 pm

A territorial right is typically understood as a tripartite bundle of rights. It includes claims to territorial jurisdiction, resource rights, and the right to control borders and to regulate the movement of people and goods across the territory. This symposium considers two papers which make considerable contributions to our understanding of resource rights and their application in international law.

In international law resource rights are closely correlated with territorial jurisdiction. A number of instruments of international law support the view that natural resources are at the ‘disposal’ of the nation-states ‘in’ or ‘under’ which they exist.

Endorsing the doctrine of ‘permanent sovereignty’ over natural resources, Wenar notes that the natural resources of a country belong to the people of that country. His paper asks then why ‘tyrants and insurgents are
allowed to sell off a country’s resources while crushing popular resistance, and to use the proceeds in ways that make the people worse off’ (p.9).

Chris Armstrong questions the basis of permanent sovereignty over resources. Armstrong writes that ‘despite its huge significance in world politics, permanent sovereignty is not often explicitly justified in either international law or political philosophy’ (p.2). He examines the most prominent arguments in favour of permanent sovereignty and finds that they are insufficient to justify permanent sovereignty.

Commenting on Wenar’s arguments, Shmuel Nili’s paper highlights the minimalist approach adopted by Wenar in relation to the property rights that tainted trade violates. He also questions Wenar’s exclusive focus on the very worst dictatorships violating property rights. En lieu of Wenar’s ‘practical sense,’ Nili proposes that other less awful regimes be subjected to the same scrutiny as the worst of the worst.

In her commentary, Alexa Zellentin considers the implications of Armstrong’s refutation of the principle of permanent sovereignty over resources for Wenar’s argument. Although mindful of Armstrong’s ‘powerful critique,’ Zellentin doubts that the idea that national communities are especially entitled to benefit from the resources found in their territory can easily be given up.

The Symposium on Sovereignty and Resources exemplifies once more the commitment of the Territory and Justice Network to encourage discussion of break-through research on topics related to territorial rights. Its production has been made possible by the assistance of Leif Wenar and Chris Armstrong and by the enthusiasm and expertise of Shmuel Nili and Alexa Zellentin.

Timothy Mawe
Editor.

(Click on name to access the article)

Leif Wenar(King’s College London) “Property Rights and the Resource Curse”

Chris Armstrong (University of Southampton) “Against ‘permanent sovereignty’ over resources”

With Commentaries by

Shmuel Nili (Yale University)

Alexa Zellentin (University College, Dublin)

Please note: in downloading any of the articles linked above you affirm that they are for your own personal use. For any other purpose, you must obtain permission from the publisher (in the case of target articles) or the author (in the case of JTS commentaries and replies).

How to cite these commentaries:
Author Last Name, Author First Name, “Title of Commentary”, Territory and Justice Symposia (Edition), Cara Nine (ed.), URL .

(also available via the Territory and Justice Network main page at http://eis.bris.ac.uk/~plcdib/territory.html )

October 20, 2014

Territory and justice symposia 3: Kantian theories of territorial rights

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris Bertram @ 12:04 pm

Theories of territorial rights provide a basis for the claims that groups make to control territory. They attempt to determine why territorial rights are to be allocated and understood in one way rather than another. In their recent work, Anna Stliz and Lea Ypi have advanced Kantian theories of territorial rights.

In “Nations, States, and Territory”, Stilz develops the legitimate state theory as an alternative to nationalist based claims. Introducing the legitimate state theory, Stilz argues that ‘the reason why states are the proper possessors of territorial jurisdiction, in my view, is that they are necessary to provide a unitary and public interpretation of the rights of individuals and to enforce these rights in a way that is consistent with those individuals’ continued freedom and independence from one another’ (p.580).

Ypi proposes a permissive theory of territorial rights, arguing ‘that the citizens of each state are entitled to the particular territory they collectively occupy if an only if they are also politically committed to the establishment of a global political authority realising just reciprocal relations’ (p.1).

As a locus for discussion and debate, the Territory and Justice network presents this symposium with the aims of advancing engagement with this recent and thought-provoking research and of preparing the ground for future enquiry.

In their commentaries, Alice Pinheiro Walla and Clara Sandelind examine the leading themes and ideas presented by Stilz and Ypi, and identify areas where further analysis is required.

Pinheiro Walla suggests that both Stilz’s legitimate state theory and Ypi’s permissive theory fail to adequately account for limitations on territorial rights. She argues that ‘Ypi’s permissive theory allows too much arbitrariness in regard to provisional acquisition [and] Stilz’s account lacks a more unified approach to occupancy rights’ (p.6).

Sandelind explores the problems that particularity poses for the two theories. She contends that these Kantian theories of territorial rights struggle to tell us ‘how boundaries ought to be drawn, or why particular states have rights over particular territories’ (p.3). Her analysis plants the seeds for her own alternative theory of territorial rights which she may develop further elsewhere.

I wish to acknowledge the generous support of Anna Stilz and Lea Ypi. I also put on record my appreciation for the endeavour and expertise offered by Alice Pinheiro Walla and Clara Sandelind.

Timothy Mawe (Managing Editor).

(Click on name to access the article)

Anna Stilz (Princeton University) “Nations, States, and Territory”

Lea Ypi (London School of Economics and Political Science) “A Permissive Theory of Territorial Rights”

With Commentaries by

Alice Pinheiro Walla (University College Cork)

Clara Sandelind (University of Sheffield)

Please note: in downloading any of the articles linked above you affirm that they are for your own personal use. For any other purpose, you must obtain permission from the publisher (in the case of target articles) or the author (in the case of JTS commentaries and replies).

How to cite these commentaries:
Author Last Name, Author First Name, “Title of Commentary”, Territory and Justice Symposia (Edition), Cara Nine (ed.), URL .

(also available via the Territory and Justice Network main page at http://eis.bris.ac.uk/~plcdib/territory.html )

January 26, 2013

CFP: Open Borders, Lost Ideal (panel for Ideals and Reality in Social Ethics Conference, Newport, March 2013)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris Bertram @ 3:40 pm

Ideals and Reality in Social Ethics, University of Wales, Newport 19-21 March 2013

Call for papers

Panel: Open Borders: past reality, lost Ideals

Conveners: Speranta Dumitru (University Paris Descartes) and Chris Bertram (University of Bristol)

The topic of “open borders” looks like an awkward one for research in social ethics. Unlike many other ideals which face costs and feasibility constraints as a real challenge, the case for open borders, a reality until the 20th century, is rarely considered in social ethics and remains under-theorized even as a costly and remote ideal.

This is all the more surprising as some rather powerful arguments exist in other research fields or from institutionalized practices. These arguments are both consequentialist and deontological. From a consequentialist point of view, controlling borders imposes huge costs on national governments, on economies and on individual lives, while re-opening borders could produce important gains in terms of global development. According to some economists’ estimates, removing barriers in labor mobility would double the world GDP (Clemens, 2011), while even a 3% increase would be worth more than aid, trade and debt relief combined (Pritchett, 2006). From a deontological perspective, freedom of movement is sometimes argued for within societies as a primary good (Rawls, 1993), a basic right (Shue, 1980) or central human capability (Nussbaum, 2000; Robeyns, 2003; Kronlid, 2008), but remains under-theorized at a global level. And while the right to leave any country has been institutionally recognized as a fundamental human right (UDHR, 1949), social ethicists have hitherto been mostly concerned by its negative effects on sending and receiving countries.

What do such theoretical predilections say about current research programmes in social ethics? Does a status quo bias influence normative research? Is freedom of movement an under-theorized concept beyond the field of migration? If open borders were to be defended as an ideal, what would be the means to achieve it?

To participate, please send abstracts of 300 words by 4th February to both conveners at Speranta.dumitru@parisdescartes.fr and C.Bertram@bristol.ac.uk

December 1, 2012

Territory and Justice Symposia: 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris Bertram @ 1:44 pm

July 2012 Edition on Miller’s ‘Territorial Rights’

(Click on name to access the article)

David Miller (University of Oxford) “Territorial Rights: Concept and Justification”

With commentaries by
(Click on name to download commentaries and replies)
Kim Angell (University of Oslo)
Colleen Murphy (University of Illinois and Urbana-Champaign)

Pdf files of the individual commentaries and replies can be downloaded by following the links to the names above.
Please note: in downloading any of the articles linked above you affirm that they are for your own personal use. For any other purpose, you must obtain permission from the publisher (in the case of target articles) or the author (in the case of JTS commentaries and replies).

How to cite these commentaries:
Author Last Name, Author First Name, “Title of Commentary”, Territory and Justice Symposia (Edition), Cara Nine (ed.), URL .

February 10, 2012

Territory and justice symposia: 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris Bertram @ 12:20 pm

These symposia highlight important contemporary additions on the topics of territorial rights, resource rights, self-determination, immigration and justice. Through the circulation of pre-publication articles and commentaries on these articles, we hope to provide a forum for new and established voices, bringing innovative ideas to bear on these issues.

January 2012 Edition on Resource Rights

(Click on name to access the article)
Avery Kolers (University of Louisville) “Justice, Territory, and Natural Resources”
Margaret Moore (Queen’s University, Ontario) “Natural Resources, Territorial Right, and Global Distributive Justice“

With commentaries by
(Click on name to download commentaries and replies)
Chris Armstrong (University of Southampton)
John Simmons (University of Virginia)

Pdf files of the individual commentaries and replies can be downloaded by following the links to the names above.

Please note: in downloading any of the articles linked above you affirm that they are for your own personal use. For any other purpose, you must obtain permission from the publisher (in the case of target articles) or the author (in the case of JTS commentaries and replies).

How to cite these commentaries:

Author Last Name, Author First Name, “Title of Commentary”, Territory and Justice Symposia (Edition), Cara Nine (ed.), URL .

November 19, 2011

Britain: don’t marry a foreigner unless you’re rich

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris Bertram @ 6:25 pm

Cross-posted from Crooked Timber

I blogged the other day about the new restrictions the UK is planning to impose on would-be migrants, making it mpossible for all but the super-rich to acquire permanent residency and forcing others into Gastarbeiter status (to be kicked out after five years). It gets worse. The government’s Migration Advisory Committee has now recommended that anyone seeking to sponsor a foreign (non-EU) spouse to enter the UK has to be in the top half of the income distribution (I simplify slightly). Read Matt Cavanagh on the topic here and the Free Movement blog here. So think through the implications. A British student goes to grad school in the US (for example), meets an American and marries: such a person would, under these proposals, be unable to return to the UK with their partner to live as a couple. If two countries were to adopt such rules and their nationals met and married, they would have the right to live as a couple in neither country. Iniquitous and unjust.

British government pulls down the shutters

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris Bertram @ 6:23 pm

Cross-posted from Crooked Timber

Today brings a well-argued critique of the British government’s latest moves on immigration policy by the Matt Cavanagh of the Institute for Public Policy Research (see also video; New Statesman column) . The UK now proposes (subject to a consultation) to make almost all immigration into the UK by non-EU workers temporary, with an upper limit of five years. There are a few exceptions for footballers, Russian oligarchs and others able and willing to deposit millions of pounds in a UK bank account, but even highly-skilled professionals will be kicked out when their time is up. Though hardly the most vulnerable group globally, I imagine this directly affects a substantial number of regular Crooked Timber readers: postgraduates and early-career academics from places like the US and Australia who apply in droves when we advertise permanent academic positions. In the Cameron-Clegg future, there will be no more Jerry Cohens, Ronald Dworkins, Amartya Sens or Susan Hurleys.
(more…)

May 17, 2011

The status of (some) international borders

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris Bertram @ 1:56 pm

Recent events in which Palestinians protested the “Nabka” of 1948 have been widely reported as involving crossings of Israel’s international borders. However, in an interesting article in Haaretz, Gideon Biger explains that matters are not that simple:

Israel is an atypical state in that it does not have agreed international borders with all of its neighbors. That is especially true in the case of Lebanon and Syria. Israel and Lebanon are currently separated by the so-called Line of Withdrawal of Israeli Forces from Lebanon, agreed in 2000 between Israel and the United Nations and also known as the Blue Line. It corresponds in part with the international border demarcated by the English and French governments in 1923. In practice, there is currently no border between Israel and Lebanon. The situation on the border with Syria is more complex. …. (read the whole thing)

May 16, 2011

The US border fence: and the Americans stuck on the “wrong” side

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris Bertram @ 2:52 pm

Fascinating article in the British paper the Independent about the US anti-immigrant border fence and the fact that in parts of Texas engineering considerations have put 50,000 acres of US territory on the Mexican side of the fence. For those who live in this pocket, life doesn’t sound much fun:

… this corner of south-eastern Texas had its barrier constructed on a levee that follows a straight line from half a mile to two miles north of the river, leaving Ms Taylor’s bungalow – along with the homes and land of dozens of her angry neighbours – marooned on the Mexican side. “My son-in-law likes to say that we live in a gated community,” she says, explaining that to even visit the shops she must pass through a gate watched over by border-patrol officers. “We’re in a sort of no man’s land. I try to laugh, but it’s hard: that fence hasn’t just spoiled our view, it’s spoiled our lives.”

(via @PhillCole on twitter, x-posted at Crooked Timber )

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