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Deterritorialisation and the transformation of statehood: The paradox of globalisation

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Hartmut Behr


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Since the end of the Cold War, states and civil societies face a radically different security situation. In addition to state-to-state threats, transnational security issues have risen to previously unknown relevance. I will argue that - in order to create effective counter-policies against transnational threats - states must transform fundamental principles of traditional statehood according to the logic of global deterritorialisation. To develop this argument, the nature of changed security will be analysed which itself can be found in de-territorialisation: transnational actors withdraw from the territorial principles of traditional security, as best epitomised by transnational terrorism. Consequently, 'national security', developed according to the territorial 'inside'-'outside'-logic of the state, no longer counters those actors. States must elaborate deterritorial strategies. This development causes a transformation of the state since territoriality is the basic principle of modern statehood. Thus, the reassertion of the state in global security unveils a paradox: to react to deterritorialised security and to reassure their power in global politics, states must overcome their traditional principles of territorial politics and further the development of deterritorialisation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Behr H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geopolitics

Year: 2008

Volume: 13

Issue: 2

Pages: 359-382

ISSN (print): 1465-0045

ISSN (electronic): 1557-3028

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/14650040801991654


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