Scholarly and policy debates about territoriality and nation-state sovereignty are turning to the ways in which such concepts might be changing in an increasingly interconnected world of interlocking governance structures and systems of communication. Robert Ahdieh's provocative and generative essay, Dialectical Regulation, 38 Conn. L. Rev. 863 (2005-2006), attempts a model for understanding this new plural order. He argues that intersystemic regulation is now a significant legal reality, and analyzes the types of interactions we would expect to see among these multiple regulatory authorities. Ahdieh aims to define dialectical regulation, in which regulators exist in some kind of formal structural relationship to each other but do not directly review each other's decisions.
This brief response essay surveys the changing dynamics of territoriality that are intimately bound up in the intersystemic regulatory scheme Ahdieh discusses. The essay observes two ways in which territoriality may be eroding as an organizing social force. These challenges to territoriality arise first because distant acts increasingly affect local communities, and second because the tie between "community" and "place" is loosening. On the other hand, the article recognizes one significant way in which territoriality and sovereignty are likely to persist: the realm of coercive enforcement. Finally, the article suggests several consequences for law that will likely flow from this hybrid reality where deterritorialized activities and affiliations combine with territorialized power.
38 Conn. L. Rev. 929 (2006)