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The paper investigates the promise of Carl Schmitt's concept of ‘nomos’ for developing new spatial imaginaries apposite to the study of ‘the border’ in contemporary political life, as per the aims of the ‘Lines in the Sand’ research agenda. Schmitt introduced the idea of a ‘nomos of the earth’ to refer to the fundamental relation between space and political order. There have been various historical expressions of the nomos, from the Respublica Christiana, to the jus publicum Europaeum, to a post–World War II (dis)order yet to be adequately theorised. We aim to explore the relatively overlooked spatial ontology of Schmitt's work and suggest ways in which it might prompt alternative ways of thinking about borders and bordering practices as representative of broader dynamics in the relation between space and political order.
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