Beyond Territorialism: Europe as an Archipelago

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Under territorialism (Scholten, 2000), space is divided into territories over which states exercise territoriality (Sack, 1968). What territoriality the European Union (EU) exercises depends on whether it is intergovernmental or supranational. In either case, the representation of its territories is based on the map of member states. Under the intergovernmental view, their borders will be prominently present. A supranational representation might not even feature internal borders. The real challenge is to figure out how to represent territories under alternative views of the EU. Recognising that traditional statehood is breaking down –that we experience “the end of territories” (Badie, 1995)– such views see the EU as an “unusual polity” (Nugent, 2010). Of such views, the one of the EU as a “neo-medieval empire” (Zielonka, 2014) particularly challenges notions of the spatial representation of its territories. I propose to represent states as islands in a sea of overlapping functional relations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 4e colloque International "Représenter les territoires, Representing territories"
Subtitle of host publicationCIST 2018
PublisherCIST (Fédération de recherche)
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event4e Colloque International Représenter les Territoires / Representing Territories : CIST 2018 - Rouen, France
Duration: 22 Mar 201824 Mar 2018


Conference4e Colloque International Représenter les Territoires / Representing Territories


  • territorialism
  • territoriality
  • neo-medievalism


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