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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Summary and Definition Human Geography

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Geography 1400F/G
Godwin Arku

Chapter Six The Political Ordering of Space The sovereign state is the dominant entity in the political subdivision of the world It constitutes an expression of cultural separation and identity as pervasive as that inherent in language religion or ethnicity thA product of 18 century political philosophy the idea of the state was diffused globally by colonizing European powers In most instances the colonial boundaries established have been retained as their international boundaries by newly independent countries The greatly varying physical characteristics of states contribute to national strength and stability Relative location influences countries economies and international roles while national cores and capitals are the heartlands of states Boundaries or the legal definition of a states size and shape determine the limits of its sovereigntyThey may or may not reflect preexisting cultural landscapes in any given case may or may not prove to be viableWhatever their nature boundaries are at the root of many international disputes Maritime boundary claims particularly as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas add new dimension to traditional claims of territorial sovereigntyState cohesiveness is promoted by a number of centripetal forces Among these are national symbols a variety of institutions and confidence in the aims organization and administration of governmentAlso helping to foster political and economic integration are transportation and communication connections Destabilizing centrifugal forces particularly ethnically based separatist movements threaten the cohesion and stability of many states Assessments of the possession and projection of national power have always coloured international relations The validity of older geopolitical theories has recently been questioned in light of new developments involving organized terrorism and global competition between conflicting civilizations Although the state remains central to the partitioning of the world a broadening array of political entities affects people individually and collectively Recent decades have seen a sig
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