Data Territories: Changing Architectures of Association in International Law

  • Fleur JohnsEmail author
Part of the Netherlands Yearbook of International Law book series (NYIL, volume 47)


Territoriality is a powerful architecture of association in international law, performing significant bounding, distributive and placement functions. Yet it has always interacted with other global legal architectures of affiliation and disaffiliation, among them informational geographies. So what becomes of territoriality amid the turn to data analytics—the automated analysis of massive, distributed data sets—as a basis for international legal and policy decision, action, thinking, and prediction? This chapter recounts processes and practices already underway on the global plane that are effecting, on one hand, the ‘datafication’ of territory (and the related rise of a logic of association) and, on the other, the ‘territorialisation’ of data (and the emergence or recurrence of ‘data territories’) in international legal order. Through these kinds of processes, and in its variable configurations, data might yet parallel physical territory (landed and maritime) as a primary medium for the conduct of juridical global life and conflict, a prospect that raises important questions for international law and lawyers.


Territory International law Data analytics Law and technology 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the authors 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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