Territorial disputes have defined modern politics, but political theorists and philosophers have said little about how to resolve such disputes fairly. Is it even possible to do so? If historical attachments or divine promises are decisive, it may not be. More significant than these largely subjective claims are the ways in which people interact with land over time. Building from this insight, Avery Kolers evaluates existing political theories and develops an attractive alternative. He presents a novel link between political legitimacy and environmental stewardship, and applies these ideas in an extended and balanced discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The result is the first systematic normative theory of territory, and an impressive example of applied philosophy. In addition to political theorists and philosophers, scholars and students of sociology, international relations, and human geography will find this book rewarding, as will anyone with wider interests in territory and justice.
• Applies theory to real-world cases such as the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and indigenous rights cases • Features extended critical discussion of major theories of global justice, including cosmopolitanism and liberal nationalism • Includes maps and figures to illustrate discussions and proposals
Introduction; 1. Everything you always wanted to know about taking other people's land (but were afraid to ask); 2. Land and territory in political theory; 3. Groundwork; 4. Plenitude; 5. Territorial disputes; 6. Implementation.
Canadian Philosophical Association Biennial Book Prize 2011 - Winner
Review of the hardback: 'Avery Kolers has written a terrific book on the idea of land and territory in political disputes. This is an incredibly important subject that has been largely ignored in political philosophy and legal theory. Kolers' book is the best writing of its kind: plausibly argued, lucidly written, and richly informed with empirical material. I learned an enormous amount and so will others interested in international justice.' Larry May, Washington University in St. Louis; Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics and Canberra and author of Aggression and Crimes Against Peace, War Crimes and Just War and Crimes Against Humanity: A Normative Account
'There is no doubt … that [Kolers] has opened up a new and interesting avenue through which to explore the pressing subject of territorial rights. Most importantly, [he] well and truly puts territory on the map for contemporary political philosophers, and his book should be read by all those who wish to gain a greater understanding of a critical area of study.' Ethics