The research project Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition (SpaceLaw) is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and hosted by the University of Helsinki. The project poses the questions: Why there were no offices in ancient Rome? How is it possible that it nevertheless forms the model for the Western administrative state? The project seeks to investigate this neglected issue with the spatial analysis of power relations and meanings. The significance of these issues extends much beyond this: the development of administrative space in the European context amounts to nothing less than the emergence of the concept of public.