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The Return of Politicised Space: Carl Schmitt’s Re-Orientation of Transnational Law Scholarship

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This article addresses the possible relevance of the spatial dimensions of Carl Schmitt’s theoretical contribution to a regionalist model of international law focused upon large spaces (Grossraum). Does Schmitt’s Grossraum analysis allow us to better understand today’s situation, where it is not States considered as self-sufficient entities, but rather assemblages of States, brought together in regional power blocs, that are the central players within international relations, and hence creators and enforcers of transnational law? To answer this question, we need to consider the historical eclipse of the traditional model of the State, as well as the implications and possible contemporary relevance of Schmittian Grossraum analysis, particularly its theory of the spatial dimension of delimited territory as a central theme for international law scholarship. This study concludes with a series of generally constructive criticisms of Schmitt’s work in this field.


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