State spatiality in an era of global and regional interdependence: The linkage governance approach

  • Jim Buller
Original Article
  • 31 Downloads

Abstract

Since the 1990s, political science has been criticised for its inability to adequately theorise the role and nature of the state in an era of global interdependence. In particular, the discipline is said to have fallen into a ‘territorial trap’. It is founded on a territorial conception of space that both reifies and limits debate about the state to whether it is ‘obsolete’ or ‘obstinate’ in a world where power is increasingly located in transnational functional space between countries. This article responds to this argument, providing a conception of state spatiality that stresses its contingent and variable nature. It claims that state actors can author functional transnational space by fusing together domestic and international objects into distinct ‘linkage governance’ (LG) strategies, although such behaviour will have unintended consequences and not always be successful. It is hoped this LG perspective will open up a more fruitful set of research questions concerning the role of the state in the fluid and dynamic world of the twenty-first century.

Keywords

the state spatiality the ‘territorial trap’ governance transnationalism philosophical realism 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This article has gone through multiple drafts and re-writes, and constraints of space prevent the author from acknowledging everybody who has provided useful feedback on it over the years. As well as expressing his gratitude to a number of anonymous reviewers who have provided helpful comments, the author would particularly like to thank Matthew Festenstein, Martin Smith and Kai Oppermann for their continued support. This article would not have seen the light of day without it.

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim Buller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PoliticsUniversity of YorkYorkUK

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