Masterclass on “Territorial Sovereignty and its Limits" with Prof Miller

with Professor David Miller from the University of Oxford
Université de Fribourg
09:00 - 17:00

The current world order is built around the territorial state, which makes far-reaching claims to exercise rights of sovereignty.  Most notably, it claims a monopoly of jurisdiction – an exclusive right to make and enforce laws within its geographical borders; exclusive ownership rights over all the resources found on the territory; and the right to exclude outsiders from entering the territory without gaining their consent.  But these sovereignty claims have been strongly challenged by cosmopolitan critics who argue that the world order needs to be reformed so as to become more responsive to the needs and interests of human beings everywhere.  The course will investigate how far territorial sovereignty claims can be justified.  In the first session, we will explore different theories of territorial rights, asking who can claim them and on what basis.  In the second session, we will look at the meaning and value of self-determination, and ask whether groups within the territorial state can claim their own rights of self-determination, including the right to secede and create an independent state.  In the third session, we will tackle the issue of immigration, asking what, if anything, could justify a right to exclude immigrants, and whether immigrants are entitled to be involved in decisions over immigration policy. 


To register for the masterclass, please email Anthony Taylor (anthony.taylor@unifr.ch).