There are many relationships between law and borders. International borders may immediately come to mind, as they define the area of validity of each legal system and are in turn determined by public international law. In a broader sense, the notion of border proves to be inherently linked to law. First of all, law, borders and other limits seem to be the main tools for creating order. Moreover, law as a whole can be seen as the most exemplary system of delimitation: “the norm is the boundary” (Anthony COHEN), and “law is this art of the limit; it is this socially approved discourse that names, classifies and divides” (François OST), namely territories, social spaces and areas of competence; persons, roles, institutions, objects, actions and processes; the allowed from the forbidden, etc. Nevertheless, the reach of law is not without limits. This raises the question of its frontiers in relation to other social systems and modes of regulation. Furthermore, there will undoubtedly be the need to make certain distinctions: law may either draw new borders or create penalties for the transgression of preexisting ones (Émile DURKHEIM); on the political and constitutional level, we can distinguish with Max WEBER between norms of power limitation (Gewaltbegrenzung) and norms of separation of powers (Gewaltenteilung).
Based on this rough outline, we request papers in English, French or German that explore the relationships between law and borders. The submissions may develop the above mentioned themes or focus on the following questions:
Can we observe an individualization of – especially territorial – borders, if not a “liquefaction” (Zygmunt BAUMAN) of society by law?
Do delimitations working in law enhance groups or individuals? Or is it necessary to distinguish according to sectors of social life and branches of law? For example, territorial borders sanctioned by law may set the stage for groups whereas the delimitation of privacy would concern individuals.
Can law and borders be considered as structural or “formal investments” (Laurent THEVENOT)?
The legal language is particularly rich in nouns, which could be the most appropriate category of words for delimitation. What lessons may follow from this for our subject and for the understanding of law in general?
This list is far from complete; numerous other problems and points could be addressed as well. Similarly, the bibliography given below is only meant as a research tool; consultation of documents mentioned here is thus neither required nor objectively indispensable. The papers sought should put forth and defend ideas, hypotheses, models or theories, but not simply present data or already published research work in a more or less descriptive way.
Submissions shall be sent as an Open Office or Word file to the editors by September 30, 2010. There is no minimum or maximum length.
Note that contributors can also submit papers outside of the focus of this call on any comparative or transnational subject. All submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org