International Journal of Law in Context, 6(3) pp 243-255

This paper is written by a geographer and discusses the importance of ‘thinking space relationally’ in, and for, the social sciences. According to its advocates, relational thinking insists on an open-ended, mobile, networked and actor-centred geographic becoming. I position relational space within the lineage of philosophical approaches to space, drawing on examples taken mainly from human geography. Following this, the paper highlights some silences and limits, namely factors that constrain, structure and connect space. I acknowledge relationality but insist on the connected, sometimes inertial, and always context-specific nature of spatiality. The paper then considers the normative implications of this for politics, thinking first about regions, and then about policy.