I am currently writing a book chapter with Lucas Melgaço about informational territorialisation and the complex aspects of the relationship between actions that happen dispersed and splintered over networks of data such as the Internet, and the physical (topological) bounds to those actions.
Part of this paper is focused on discussing the meaning of sovereignty and how this concept is inherently attached to a demarcation of territories through precise boundaries and symbolic elements of identity. The idea is to confront this notion of controlled territories to what goes on online, in the so-called cyberspace, and to analyse various attempts by governments and corporations to transfer their sovereign powers on to the informational space, in the making of informational territories.
I am saying all this because Foucault, in his series of lectures on security, territory and population, relates the constitution of territory to the spatialization of social control and security by showing how the exercise of power is applied in space. This is where I got today’s message from, as for him, “sovereignty is exercised within the borders of a territory, discipline is exercised on the bodies of individuals, and security is exercised over a whole population”.
I will say more about my chapter with Lucas as soon as it comes out…