This course explores the spatial manifestations of extraterritoriality in contemporary global urbanism. Defined as exceptional privileges accorded to foreign sovereigns, extra-territoriality is a concept developed by jurists of the 19th century in the context of extended sovereignties in international affairs. As neoliberal regimes cede power to extra-territorial entities, such as the World Bank, NGOs or multinational corporations, state-based power is unevenly deployed over national territories. Since the 1970s, cities have provided essential sites for the ongoing construction of extraterritoriality as an economic project causing the splintering of the city into an archipelago of islands. Discontinuous territorial fragments are set apart, protected by fences, temporary boundaries, or generally invisible security apparatuses. Because it is founded on a paradox or constitutive tension of political power over space, extraterritoriality is thus an important, if under-acknowledged, feature in the negotiation of territorial planning, urban development, and the political project of the city.
Fri 9:00am-12:00pm West Review