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Chapter 9

GEOG101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Political Geography, De Jure, Gilles Deleuze

Geography and Environmental Management
Course Code
Amanda Hooykaas

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The Development of Political Geography
Geopolitics the state's power to control space or territory and shape international political
o One of the cornerstones of contemporary political geography and state foreign policy
Power and territory lie at the heart of political geography
Boundaries enable territoriality to be defined and enforced, and allow conflict and competition to
be managed and channeled
o Boundaries can be inclusionary, constructed to regulate and control specific sets of people and
resources within those boundaries
o Territory the delimited area over which a state exercises control and is recognized by other
Can include land, water, airspace
o Boundaries can be exclusionary, designed to control the flow of people and resources across the
o How boundaries are organized and policed
o Reinforce spatial exclusion and differentiation
Different sets of rules apply within different territories
Restrict contact between people and foster stereotypes about outsiders
Regulates and controls conflict and competition between territorial groups
o Can be established in various ways with different degrees of permeability
Informal, implied boundaries not defined in maps or legal documents or formal boundaries
established in international law
Impermeability does not mean the border can not get changed
Frontier regions occur where boundaries are weakly developed, involve zones of undeveloped
territory, e.g. Antarctica
Boundaries tend to follow natural barriers such as rivers and mountains
o Some formal boundaries tend to be straight lines because they are the easiest and most
practical device
Established through colonization, outcome of a particular form of territoriality
May also be shaped to accommodate special needs
o Internal boundaries evolve as secondary territories are made
The higher the population density, the smaller the secondary units tend to be
Similar to large units, follow physical features, accommodate special needs, and assuming
straight lines otherwise
o De jure spaces or regions are territories delimited by formal boundaries, such as national states,
provinces, cities, etc.
Used as the basic units of analysis in human geography
Reliable data is available, status as units of governance or administration
Geopolitics and the World Order
State independent political unit with recognized boundaries, but may be in dispute
Nation group of people sharing certain elements of culture, such as religion, culture, language,
history, etc.
o Do not have to live in a common geographical area
Nation-state ideal form consisting of a homogeneous group of people governed by their own sate
o Everyone residing in the state belong to the same nation
Sovereignty exercise of state power over people and territory, recognized by other states and
codified by international law
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Citizenship category of belonging to a nation-state that includes civil, political, social rights, and
o Evolved from when an individual owed loyalty to a ruler
Nationalism the feeling of belonging to a nation, as well as the belief that a nation has a natural
right to determine its own affairs
o Can be the cause of various social and cultural movements
Federal state allocates some power to units of local government within the country
Unitary state power is concentrated in the central government
Confederation a group of sovereign states unified for a common purpose
The state is a set of institutions for the protection and maintenance of society
o Active entity that operates through the rules and regulations of its various institutions to shape
national populations
Althusser views on the operations of the state
o Ideological force operating through institutions such as schools, medial, family and religion to
produce citizens who conform to state expectations
o Repressive view
Uses force through institutions such as the courts, army, and police to compel citizens to
abide with rules
Foucault explored how institutions shape citizens, power, knowledge, and discourse
o Discourse institutionalized way of thinking
Produces rules, identities, practices, exclusions and other elements that make large
collections of individuals function as a group, not individuals
Deleuze sees the state as a force greater than formal institutions
o State has always existed in different forms, even before the creation of institutions
Imperialism and Colonialism
Imperialism extension of state authority over the political and economic life of other territories
o Political or economic domination of strong core states over the weaker states of the periphery
o Authoritative control of one state over another, may not be formal governmental control
Countries pressure the governments of other independent countries to behave in a certain
way, e.g. military threat, economic sanctions, cultural domination
o Beings with exploration, state's perception that there is a lack of a critical natural resource
o Culminates in development via colonization and/or the exploitation of indigenous people and
Core exploits the periphery for raw materials
Periphery becomes developed, colonization may occur and economies based on money
transactions are often introduced
Periphery often becomes a market for the manufactured goods of the core
Availability of cheap inputs of production becomes a capital investment for large-scale
o Peripheral countries can improve their status and become semi peripheral or core countries
Colonialism formal establishment and maintenance of rule by a sovereign power over a foreign
population through the establishment of settlements
o Colony does not have independent standing, considered an adjunct of the colonizing power
o Important colonizers: U.S., Japan
o Often results in political dominance of the colonizer
Effects of colonialism
o Established forts and settlements (Britain power over India)
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