The Spatial, the Legal and the Pragmatics of World-Making: Nomospheric Investigations by David Delaney (Amherst College, USA)
Critical legal geography is practised by an increasing number of scholars in various disciplines, but it has not had the benefit of an overarching theoretical framework that might overcome its currently rather ad hoc character. The Spatial, the Legal and the Pragmatics of World-Making remedies this situation. Presenting a balanced convergence of contemporary socio-legal and critical geographic scholarship, David Delaney offers a ground-breaking contribution to the fast growing field of legal geography. Drawing on strands of critical social studies that inform both of these areas, this book has three primary components. First, it introduces a framework of interpretation and analysis centred on the productive neologisms 'nomosphere' and 'nomoscapes'. Nomosphere refers to the cultural-material environs that are constituted by the reciprocal materialization of 'the legal' and the legal signification of the 'socio-spatial'. Nomoscapes are the spatio-legal expression and the socio-material realization of ideologies, values, pervasive power orders and social projects. They are extensive ensembles of legal spaces within and through which lives are lived and, here, these neologisms are related to the more familiar notions of governmentality and performativity. Second, these neologisms are explored and applied through a series of illustrations and extensive case studies. Demonstrating their utility for scholars and students in relevant disciplines, these 'empirical' studies concern: the public and the private; property and land tenure; governance; the domestic and the international; and legal-spatial confinements and containments. Third, these studies contribute to an ongoing theorization of the experiential, situated pragmatics of 'world-making'. The role of nomospheric projects and counter-projects, techniques and operations is therefore emphasized. Much of what is experientially significant about how the world is as it is and what it's like to be in the world directly implicates the dynamic interplay of space, law, meaning and power. The Spatial, the Legal and the Pragmatics of World-Making provides the interpretive resources necessary for discerning and understanding the practices and projects involved in this interplay.