Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-xtgtn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-18T13:03:57.742Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Lines, barred lines. Movement, territory and the law

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 August 2010

Andrea Mubi Brighenti*
Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento


In this paper an attempt is made to analyse the complex relationship between law, territory and movement. Beginning with a quick overview of the notion of property, the paper suggests that this legal notion represents a way of imagining the practice of inhabiting the planet. Dwelling and travelling are explored as two alternative and complementary ways of inhabiting, and a closer inspection is paid to the moments when they confront each other both ideologically and practically. A territorial question is identified at the core of law, namely the issue of the movement of bodies in space (or motility), together with the control of such movements. From this perspective, movement is not simply one among the many objects over which law exerts control, rather law itself is a territorial endeavour, a movement that acts upon other movements.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Adey, Peter (2008) ‘Airports, Mobility and the Calculative Architecture of Affective Control’, Geoforum 39: 438–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Amoore, Louise and Hall, Alexandra (2009) ‘Taking People Apart: Digitised Dissection and the Body at the Border’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 27(3): 444–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bensaïd, Daniel (2007) Les dépossédés. Karl Marx, les voleurs de bois et le droit des pauvres. Paris: la Fabrique.Google Scholar
Bernhard, Thomas (1992) Old Masters: A Comedy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blackstone, William (1765–1769) Commentaries on the Laws of England. Online: Scholar
Blomley, Nicholas (2004) Unsettling the City: Urban Land and the Politics of Property. New York and London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blomley, Nicholas (2007) ‘Making Private Property: Enclosure, Common Right and the Work of Hedges’, Rural History 18(1): 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brighenti, Andrea Mubi (2009) ‘Walled Urbs to Urban Walls – and Return? On the Social Life of Walls’, in Brighenti, (ed.) The Wall and the City / Le mur et la ville / Il muro e la città. Trento (I): Professionaldreamers, 63–72.Google Scholar
Brody, Hugh (1998) Maps and Dreams: Indians and the British Columbia Frontier. Prospect Heights: Waveland Press.Google Scholar
Canetti, Elias (1973/1960) Crowds and Power. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
Chatwin, Bruce (1987) The Songlines. London: Picador.Google Scholar
Chatwin, Bruce (1997) Anatomy of Restlessness: Uncollected Writings. Jan, Borm and Matthew, Graves (eds). New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
Clastres, Pierre (1975) La société contre l’état: recherches d’anthropologie politique. Paris: Éditions de minuit.Google Scholar
Cresswell, Tim (2006) On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Cronin, Paul and Herzog, Werner (2003) Herzog on Herzog. New York: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
Deleuze, Gilles (1990) ‘Postscript on the Societies of Control’, October 59 (Winter 1992): 3–7.Google Scholar
Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix (1987/1980) A Thousand Plateaus. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
Foucault, Michel (1977/1975) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. London: Penguin Books, 87–104.Google Scholar
Foucault, Michel (1991/1978) ‘Governmentality’, in Graham, Burchell, Colin, Gordon and Peter, Miller (eds), The Foucault Effect. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
Foucault, Michel (2007/1977–1978). Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977–1978. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
Gluckman, Max (1965) The Ideas in Barotse Jurisprudence. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Goffman, Erving (1971) Relations in Public. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
Heidegger, Martin (1971/1951) ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’, in Poetry, Language, Thought. London: Harper & Row, 143–61.Google Scholar
Hesse, Hermann (1920[1957]) ‘Wanderung’, in Gesammelte Schriften, III. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
Ingold, Tim (2007) Lines. A Brief History. London and New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ingold, Tim and Vergunst, Jo Lee (2008) (eds) Ways of Walking: Ethnography and Practice on Foot. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
Jessop, Bob, Brenner, Neil and Jones, Martin (2008) ‘Theorizing Sociospatial Relations’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 26: 389–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kärrholm, Mattias (2007) ‘The Materiality of Territorial Production’, Space and Culture 10(4): 437–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kotányi, Attila and Vaneigem, Raoul (1961) ‘Programme élémentaire du Bureau d’Urbanisme Unitaire’, Internationale Situationniste 6 (August 1961): 17–19.Google Scholar
Labanca, Nicola (2007) Oltremare. Storia dell’espansione coloniale italiana. Bologna: il Mulino.Google Scholar
Lévinas, Emmanuel (1961) Totalité et infini: essai sur l'extériorité. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
Lyon, David (2007) Surveillance Studies. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
Macdonald, Roderick A. (2007) ‘Propriété, Identité, Gouvernance: Vers une conception d’un cadre juridique pour la modernité économique autochtone’, in Andrée, Lajoie (ed.) Gouvernance Autochtone. Montreal: Thémis, 124–50.Google Scholar
Malkki, Liisa H. (1995) Purity and Exile. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marcuse, Peter (1995) ‘Not Chaos, but Walls: Postmodernism and the Partitioned City’, in Sophie, Watson and Katherine, Gibson (eds) Postmodern Cities and Spaces. Oxford: Blackwell, 125–34.Google Scholar
Marx, Karl (1990/1867) Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, vol. 1. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
Massey, Doreen (1994) Space, Place and Gender. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
Mclaren, John, Buck, A. R. and Wright, Nancy E. (2005) (eds) Despotic Dominion: Property Rights in British Settler Societies. Vancouver: University of British Columbia.Google Scholar
Meyer, John M. (2009) ‘The Concept of Private Property and the Limits of the Environmental Imagination’, Political Theory 37(1): 99–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nedelsky, Jennifer (1990) ‘Law, Boundaries, and the Bounded Self’, Representations 30: 162–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Netz, Reviel (2004) Barbed Wire: An Ecology of Modernity. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
Philippopoulos-mihalopoulos, Andreas (2007) Absent Environments: Theorising Environmental Law and the City. London: Routledge-Cavendish.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Philippopoulos-mihalopoulos, Andreas and Fitzgerald, Sharron A. (2008) ‘From Space Immaterial: The Invisibility of the Lawscape’, Griffith Law Review 17(2): 438–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ratzel, Friedrich (1974/1897) Politische Geographie. Osnabrück: Zeller.Google Scholar
Sandlos, John (2007) Hunters at the Margin. Native People and Wildlife Conservation in the Northwest Territories. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.Google Scholar
Schmitt, Carl (1997/1942) Land and Sea. Washington, DC: Plutarch Press.Google Scholar
Schmitt, Carl (2003/1942–1945) The Nomos of the Earth in the International Law of Jus Publicum Europaeum. New York: Telos Press.Google Scholar
Scott, James C. (2009) The Art of Not Being Governed. An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. New Haven, London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Sharr, Adam (2006) Heidegger’s Hut. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Simmel, G. (1908) Soziologie. Untersuchungen über die Formen der Vergesellschaftung. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.Google Scholar
Singer, Joseph W. (2000) Entitlement: The Paradoxes of Property. New Haven: Yale University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sommer, Robert (1959) ‘Studies in Personal Space’, Sociometry 22(3): 247–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Torpey, John C. (2000) The Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship, and the State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Tusser, Thomas (2007[1557]) Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing.Google Scholar
Vandenberghe, Frédéric (2007) ‘Régis Debray and Mediation Studies, or How Does an Idea Become a Material Force?’, Thesis Eleven 89: 23–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Waldron, Jeremy (1988) The Right to Private Property. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
Weizman, Eyal (2007) Hollow Land. Israel’s Architecture of Occupation. London: Verso.Google Scholar