Spatial Justice: Body, Lawscape, Atmosphere, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Spatial Justice

Body, Lawscape, Atmosphere, 1st Edition

By Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos


278 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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There can be no justice that is not spatial. Against a recent tendency to despatialise law, matter, bodies and even space itself, this book insists on spatialising them, arguing that there can be neither law nor justice that are not articulated through and in space.

Spatial Justice presents a new theory and a radical application of the material connection between space – in the geographical as well as sociological and philosophical sense – and the law – in the broadest sense that includes written and oral law, but also embodied social and political norms. More specifically, it argues that spatial justice is the struggle of various bodies – human, natural, non-organic, technological – to occupy a certain space at a certain time. Seen in this way, spatial justice is the most radical offspring of the spatial turn, since, as this book demonstrates, spatial justice can be found in the core of most contemporary legal and political issues – issues such as geopolitical conflicts, environmental issues, animality, colonisation, droning, the cyberspace and so on. In order to ague this, the book employs the lawscape, as the tautology between law and space, and the concept of atmosphere in its geological, political, aesthetic, legal and biological dimension.

Written by a leading theorist in the area, Spatial Justice: Body, Lawscape, Atmosphere forges a new interdisciplinary understanding of space and law, while offering a fresh approach to current geopolitical, spatiolegal and ecological issues.


'Lucid and passionate, this book offers a delicately nuanced and fluid argument accompanied by an astounding breadth of knowledge. Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos is a compassionate, funny and sympathetic guide through the lawscape, allowing us to encounter the possibilities for spatial justice. To read it is to experience an abundance of affective engagements with and within the enveloping atmosphere of bodies in law.'

Professor Alison Young, Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, author of Street Art, Public City

'How to understand justice as being primarily spatial justice, and how to understand the spatiality of law as the proper topos of an enquiry into justice? This book offers a truly original approach to these questions. By relentlessly reminding its readers of law’s materiality, the book shows how spatial justice emerges in the ruptures that call forth the renegotiation and reorientation of lawscapes.'

Professor Hans Lindahl, Chair of Legal Philosophy, Tilburg University, The Netherlands, author of Fault Lines of Globalization

'Flinging far-fetched fescues of wit at the atmospherics of lawscapes, the poet-jurist Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos unflinchingly enters the bubble of law and eloquently transforms the entire concept of spatial justice. This is a book of exquisite artistry, a theoretical aria to the withdrawal of logos and escape from law, a brilliant making of space for an immanent and elemental justice.'

Professor Peter Goodrich, Cardozo School of Law, NYC, author of Legal Emblems and the Art of Law

Table of Contents

Introduction, Chapter One Law’s Spatial Turn, Chapter Two Welcome to the Lawscape, Chapter Τhree From Lawscape to Atmosphere: Affects, Bodies, Air, Chapter Four A Change of Air: The Posthuman Atmosphere, Chapter Five Spatial Justice, Chapter Six The Islands, Bibliography

About the Author

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos is Professor of Law at Westminster University, London

About the Series

Space, Materiality and the Normative

Space, Materiality and the Normative presents new ways of thinking about the connections between space and materiality from a normative perspective. The series is concerned with addressing the use, regulation and experience of space and materiality, broadly understood, and in particular with exploring their links and the challenges they raise for law, politics and normativity.

Space, Materiality and the Normative welcomes analyses of space–materiality–normativity links from any institutional setting (financial market spaces, organisational spaces, urban space, legal space, mediated space, architecture, etc.). Proposals can be theoretical, discussing various conceptual strategies to study the use, regulation and experience space and materiality; they can be historical, outlining changes in how spaces are governed; or they can assume a more contemporary-diagnostic approach, investigating, for example, the emergence of post-national architectures or post-capitalist urban spaces. Submissions are welcomed exploring the following themes:

  • The changing politics of space, bodies and objects
  • Embedded normativities of spatial governance and resistance
  • Megacities and the regulatory (and experiential) challenges they give rise to
  • Spatial atmospheres, how they are experiences and governed
  • The links between space and materiality
  • Colonial and postcolonial spaces and materialities

The book series is intended as a critical interdisciplinary series, at the interface of law, social theory, politics, architecture, geography and urban studies.

For further information on the series, or to discuss a possible contribution, please contact the Series Editors at:

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, School of Law, University of Westminster, email:

Christian Borch, Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, email:

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Judicial Power
PHILOSOPHY / Movements / Phenomenology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography