Anna Stilz’s Territorial Sovereignty (2019) aims to be a revisionist account of territorial rights that puts the value of individual autonomy first, without giving up the value of collective self-determination. In what follows I examine Stilz’s definition of occupancy rights and her emphasis on the moral relevance of what she calls ‘located’ life plans. I suggest that, if it aims at being truly revisionist, her theory should work with a broader definition of occupancy. So long as it doesn’t, these rights will be mainly the preserve of groups of settlers and peoples with predictable patterns of movement. Moreover, insofar as occupancy rights ground collective rights to self-determination, they actually have the potential to trump individual rights to what I call ‘dynamic’ or non-located occupancy. This is worrying, I claim, for at least two reasons. First, rights to dynamic occupancy are arguably as central for respecting individual autonomy as rights to located occupancy. And second, rights to dynamic ocupancy should be seen as key in helping to form the kind of political allegiances required to overcome the most pressing collective action problems that humanity faces.
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