Territorial boundaries and history

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6 Scopus citations


This article evaluates the theory of boundary legitimacy put forward in A John Simmons’s recent book Boundaries of Authority. I believe Simmons is correct to hold that questions about the legitimacy of political boundaries are distinct from questions about the justice of political institutions. But I argue that Simmons’s own theory makes legitimate boundaries depend far too strongly on historical processes in the past, with implausible implications. I conclude with some thoughts about how a broadly Kantian theory might take on board the most important insights of Simmons’s work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-385
Number of pages12
JournalPolitics, Philosophy and Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


  • boundaries
  • colonialism
  • injustice
  • rectification
  • self-determination
  • territory


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