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Spacing Law and Politics: The constitution and representation of judicial places and juridical spaces in law, literature and political philosophy in works from Greek antiquity to the present

Posted on:2015-11-09Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:Yale UniversityCandidate:Dahlberg, LeifFull Text:PDF
GTID:1476390017994429Subject:Comparative Literature
The dissertation studies judicial places and juridical spaces, constituted and represented in a variety of media as well as material objects and physical buildings, exploring the inherent spatiality of law, both theoretically and as social practice. The judicial places and juridical spaces analysed in the dissertation have diverse forms and functions and are analysed from different perspectives, allowing for a historical and genealogical understanding of the spacing of law and politics. The principal question that the dissertation investigates concerns the relation between law as historical event and law as socio-political institution. The first chapter presents the research questions and introduces key concepts. The body of the dissertation consists of seven chapters (chapters 2-8), beginning with a chapter containing an ethnographic study of legal courtroom practice in Stockholm, Sweden. The chapter focuses on the role of emotion and affect, an important but unacknowledged dimension of legal proceedings. The chapter shows not only that emotion and affect are key factors in the juridical process, but also that the ruling by the court itself has the form of a counter-mood. The third chapter takes us backward in time, to Archaic Greece and to the charged dispute between Achilles and Agamemnon in the Iliad. The chapter focuses on the spatial relation between positive law and equity, and also their relation to political power, exploring conceptual figurations based on human anatomy and the social body (with or without organs). The fourth chapter performs a rhetorical reading of Roman law, focusing on the paratexts surrounding the Corpus iuris civilis (533 CE). It is shown that the Roman jurists -- contrary to received opinion -- engaged in both critical and theoretical reflection. The chapter also highlights the rhetorical figures used by Justinian both to legitimise the Digest and to defend it against future corruption. The fifth chapter brings us to Medieval and Renaissance Italy, and investigates a radical change in the social and political imaginary, illustrated by two case studies. Firstly Ambrogio Lorenzetti's frescoes in Palazzo Pubblico in Siena (1340), depicting the classical conception of good government -- as the art of ruling in justice and according to reason -- and also making a defence for republican ideology. The painting also depicts the political ideal of social cohesion and political friendship. Secondly the chapter conducts a reading of Niccolo Machiavelli's Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio (1517), effecting a critique both of the idea that politics should be informed by justice and that social cohesion is necessary for the body politic. Based on his reading of Livy (Titus Livius), Machiavelli argues that what made Rome into a strong and long-lasting republic was the conflict between the patricians and the plebs. The sixth chapter remains nominally in Italy, but physically moves to Elizabethan London. The chapter performs a reading of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (1596/1598), analysing the construction of spaces both in the play itself--the spaces of Venice -- and the non-diegetic spaces of performance and screening, and how these spaces constitute paradigmatic chains. The chapter also focuses on the conversion as a figure of both judicial and juridical space. The seventh chapter has a different approach from previous chapters. Instead of focusing on one work (or on occasion two) it follows the development of cartography in Early Modem and Modem Europe -- taking as object maps of Strasbourg -- and studies both what they can tell us about the legal development from the sixteenth century to the twentieth and how the art of map making has affected the conception of space, in particular juridical and political space. The most striking juridical development is the physical separation of places for adjudication and political power and the emergence of national jurisdictions. The latter development is connected with the shift from the personality principle to the territoriality principle. The eighth chapter brings us back to contemporary Stockholm. It studies the introduction of digital media in the courtroom, in particular the use of video-recorded testimony in the Swedish court of appeal. In the ninth and last chapter I reflect on the different ways that spacing law and politics has presented itself in the different chapters. I argue first that it is in fact the spacing of law and politics the serves as the ground for judicial and juridical spaces, and second that the places and spaces analysed in the dissertation could be viewed as meeting places for law and space, a "becoming juridical" of space.
Keywords/Search Tags:Juridical, Spaces, Places, Law, Political, Dissertation, Chapter, Spacing
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