Tamar Herzog

How Did the Commons Become Terra nullius? Contextualising Colonial Debates and Asking About Their Consequences

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Terra nullius, No man's land, Colonialism, Commons, native appropriation possession.

This text, departing from present-day historical debates regarding the use of the doctrine of terra nullius by European colonialists, demonstrates that early modern discussants did not believe the land belonged to no one. Instead, they understood the land to be a commons belonging to all humanity. It asks why in present day discussions the commons became no man’s land and it interrogates about the consequences of this widely present misunderstanding.

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