Constitutional Space and the Construction of Territorial Sovereignty

We intuitively correlate the geographic dimension of constitutions with particular states, presenting constitutions as the legal instruments of geographically defined nation-states. This correlation and presentation might suggest that the geographic dimension of a constitution is a function of its state. In this paper, I explore a different possibility: that constitutions and laws play a significant role in constructing their own geographic dimension. I first show how authority can have an intrinsic or extrinsic geographical dimension. There can be divergent political authorities in the same geographic area. States are political actors that exercise unitary political control in a defined geographic area. This account links concepts of state, sovereignty, and territory. Sovereignty can be dispersed across a number of institutions, provided that they can act in a coherent way: constitutions and legal systems assist in that task.