In the late nineteenth century the United States oversaw a great
increase in extraterritorial claims, boundary disputes, extradition
controversies, and transborder abduction and interdiction. In this
sweeping history of the underpinnings of American empire, Daniel S.
Margolies offers a new frame of analysis for historians to
understand how novel assertions of legal spatiality and
extraterritoriality were deployed in U.S. foreign relations during
an era of increased national ambitions and global
Whether it was in the Mexican borderlands or in other hot spots
around the globe, Margolies shows that American policy responded to
disputes over jurisdiction by defining the space of law on the
basis of a strident unilateralism. Especially significant and
contested were extradition regimes and the exceptions carved within
them. Extradition of fugitives reflected critical questions of
sovereignty and the role of the state in foreign affair during the
run-up to overseas empire in 1898.
Using extradition as a critical lens, Spaces of Law in
American Foreign Relations examines the rich embeddedness of
questions of sovereignty, territoriality, legal spatiality, and
citizenship and shows that U.S. hegemonic power was constructed in
significant part in the spaces of law, not simply through war or
Subjects: Law, Political Science
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