Analyzing the governance of security: Jurisdiction and scale

Mariana Valverde


Two related arguments are developed in this paper. First of all, it is shown that theoretical work on the governance of security could benefit a great deal from the current literature on law and geography and law and space. Secondly, this article also argues that the analytical resources of ‘scale’ should be supplemented by insights derived from analyzing the workings of jurisdiction. Jurisdiction does not merely distinguish who governs: it also distributes governance in terms of governing capacities, objects of governance, and modes of governance. Using the ‘police power of the state’, with its typically urban scale, as the main example, the article shows that unpacking ‘jurisdiction’ can enrich the legal geographers’existing critiques of scale.


jurisdiction; scale; legal geography; security