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  Letter from the Editors:

For many the study of geography consists of rote facts: the capital of South Dakota is Pierre; the chief exports of Zanzibar are coffee, cotton and cashew nuts. However, geography, more than merely describing characteristics of the planet, examines the complex interaction between humans and their physical environment. This area of scholarship has become increasingly significant; with the emerging dominance of global culture, global legal regimes and global economics, local institutions struggle to define themselves. Thus this fourth volume of Agora, "Legal Geographies: Examining Space and Locality in Law", has turned its examining eye toward to geography and the relationship between global and local institutions.

Geography rethinks traditional concepts of space and locality with particular emphasis on the construction of links between culture, power and place challenging the traditional divisions between the local and the global. Professor R.M. Verchick, a delegate at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, describes how the improvement of local conditions on a local level contributes substantially to national and international environmental goals in Can Local Government Save the Global Commons? Lessons From the Johannesburg Summit. Further Professor Don Mitchellís article, The Liberalization of Free Speech: Or, How Protest in Public Space is Silenced uses three case studies to demonstrate that geographic restrictions on speech have the effect of silencing speech altogether. Professor Audrey G. MacFarlane discusses how local business improvement districts reinforce racial divides, in Preserving Community In The City: Special Improvement Districts And The Privatization Of Urban Racialized Space. Richard Ford has contributed a piece on jurisdictional formation and racial segregation. These articles demonstrate that national issues, freedom of speech, race relations, are greatly affected by local actions, developing a complex symbiosis between the local and national.

Further Joseph DeLucaís article, Legal Fictions: Fundamental Questions On The Legitimacy Of International Law, through literature and philosophy examines how legal systems inherently create outsiders to establish their legitimacy. This demonstrates the artificiality of divisions based on national identity. This concept is reinforced by Saskia Sassenís essay Is This The Way To Go? Handling Immigration In A Global Era, reprinted from the Swedish journal Ord&Bild, which questions the efficacy and morality of criminalizing illegal immigration.

This is the final volume of Stanford Agora. Agora, started five years ago, originally as the Journal of Legal Studies. From its inception Agora has attempted to push the boundaries of legal scholarship by utilizing the dynamic potential of the internet. However, despite the hard work of the dedicated staff, the students willing to give their time to Agora never reached the numbers adequate to sustain an independent journal. Thus the staff of Agora has decided to merge with the Stanford Law and Policy Review with the sincerest hopes that combined journal will fully exploit the exciting potential of a multimedia law journal.

We would like to thank all those who made this volume of Stanford Agora possible. Special thanks to Dean Kathleen Sullivan, the Stanford Law School Administration, Librarians and Staff, especially Joe Neto, Creative Service Specialist. Also very special thanks to Annika Persson of Ord&Bild.


Alexis Soterakis SLS '03


Agora Staff


Martha Rodriguez Lopez SLS '02
Alexis Soterakis SLS '03

Submission Editor

Curtis Renoe SLS '03


Ethan Roberts SLS '03
Catherine Crump '4
Susan Germer '04

All matierial copyright 2003 Leland Stanford Univerisity unless otherwise indicated.