Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Franke, Dr. Mark F N


In Spatial Justice: Body, Lawscape, Atmosphere, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos introduces a theory of spatial justice that takes into consideration the agential capabilities of nonhuman legal actors. However, in an effort to decenter the human legal subject, Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos argues that the co-constitutivity of law and space (the lawscape), as the site where (human and nonhuman) legal bodies take shape, cannot be mediated through the political. In response to this claim, I argue that spatial justice is an inherently political project, and I identify the practice of spatial justice (or performing spatial justice) as a means of understanding how to engage the political aspects of this posthuman perspective on justice and law. In my final chapter, I compare this theory of spatial justice with Indigenous law to demonstrate how spatial justice is performed through practices of Indigenous resurgence.

Summary for Lay Audience

This project considers the challenges posed by nonhuman legal actors to conventional forms of legal subjectivity. Drawing on the theoretical contributions of Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, I suggest a practice of spatial justice rooted in the relationship between human and nonhuman agents. In support of this approach, I conduct a comparative analysis of this practice of spatial justice and Indigenous law, in particular as discussed in the writings of John Borrows.

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