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Sovereignty is an inherently territorial principle; it legitimates and reifies a particular territorially grounded way of organising political, social and economic life. The modern foundation of political authority is territorially exclusive, continuous, and contiguous. As the German sociologist Max Weber put it, the nation-state is a ‘compulsory political organization with continuous operations . . . insofar as its administrative staff successfully upholds the claim to the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force in the enforcement of its order’ (Weber 1978 [1922]: 54). The modern nation-state has also come to be an all-purpose form of political organisation; over time the scope of responsibilities subsumed by governments has readily expanded into the comprehensive political bundles we observe today. This book explores an alternative concept of governance characterised as ‘non-territorial unbundling’. This concept runs contrary to the nation-state, as we know it, which is a bundled territorial form of political organisation. Economic theory from several schools of thought (new institutional, public choice, and Austrian economics) is used to investigate the characteristics of a possible non-territorial unbundled system of governance and point towards its desirability, if not its inevitability.

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