Philosophy and Social Criticism 44 (6):682-700 (2018)

Taking inspiration from the legal doctrine of the freedom of the seas, this paper makes the case for No Borders. To do so, it revisits Grotius’s arguments for the freedom of the seas. Analysis of contemporary bordering practices in the Mediterranean Sea reveals the weakness of what appears to be Grotius’s most plausible argument, namely that the ocean cannot be occupied and should therefore be free. While Grotius’s argument for the freedom of the seas based on the idea of divinely sanctioned sociability is clearly problematic for the twenty-first century, the paper retools it by shifting from theology to ontology with a turn to Deleuze and Guattari, and Nancy. The resultant argument, based on Nancy’s idea of being-in-common, not only justifies the freedom of the seas, but also more radically calls for an end to exclusionary political communities and their borders.
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DOI 10.1177/0191453718762610
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