Chapter 9 “Why is the world divided territorially?”
• There are two maps of our world:
1) Physical map: shows relief, mountain ranges and plains, significant rivers, land
masses and oceans
2) Political map: shows the same land and water but this map is brightly colored,
there are clear lines that divide up states from each other, and capital or other
major cities marked as a sign of human impact.
• Taking this kind of perspective shows us that the division of the world into
separate territorial units, called states, is both artificial and arbitrary.
• Standard definition of territory suggests that it is an area of space under the
control or jurisdiction of a group of people, which might be a state, but which
might potentially be other types of political organization.
According to Geographer David Storey,
“The term ‘territory’ is most usually used in reference to the area of land claimed
by a country. However territories exist at a variety of spatial scaled from the
global down to the local. Territory refers to a portion of geographic space, which
is claimed or occupied by a person or group of persons or by an institution. It is
thus, an area of ‘bounded space’.”
• The claim that a territory is a bounded space leads to the idea that a state is called
“a bordered power container” (theory of sociologist Anthony Giddens)
• The idea of a bounded state is important not only because it is one of the ways in
which territories are defined, but because it brings us the notion if a boundary or
• Relationship between the state and its territory is crucial to understanding both
• Max Weber: “a state is that human community which (successfully) lays claim to
the monopoly of legitimate physical violence within a certain territory, this
‘territory’ being another of the defining characteristics of the state”
• Weber stressed 4 key things:
• The state is particularly human grouping, within a discrete area, and it makes
claim to complete control in this discrete area. The state is able to command absolute authority within that discrete area. without
the involvement of other forces
This is the notion of sovereignty the power to command and rule, which is
rendered legitimate through claim to authority.
• States are held to have exclusive internal sovereignty (jurisdiction within their
own borders) and equal external sovereignty.
• Equal external sovereignty, or equal jurisdiction, means that no state should be a
puppet of another, and that there should be no hierarchy of states.
• These rules are not always followed but these assumptions function as important
legal and political fiction that structures the world and helps to maintain the
• The place where you are born, or where your parents are from, determines many
of the conditions that will affect the rest of your life.
• Many people are able to move where they live, taking on citizenship of or
permanent residence in another state, but this is not always an option for some
• Immigration and the statuses of refugees shows the close relation there is between
geography and rights
• Ex. Indigenous people find themselves excluded from their historical lands, either
entirely or because modern borders cut across them.
• Many states treat those who live within their territory in terrible ways, but what
possibility do these people have to leave; and what rights or responsibilities do
regional or international organizations have to protect them.
• This question has been asked in the last few years in places like, Rwanda, Kosovo
and Sudan, but the international community does not seem to have come up with
an answer yet
Emergence of states
• There are many explanations for the emergence of territory as a particular way
of ordering the relation between political rule and space.
• The idea of territoriality to understand territory…
human relations to space can be understood through modes of behavior
“human territoriality”, looking at how humans, both individually and
collectively, encounter, work and change the spaces around them. • Some work on territoriality doesn’t suggest such a purely biological approach,
but incorporates a more social angle.
For Sack, territoriality is a geopolitical strategy, not a basic vital instinct.
Territory is a social construct produced through interaction and struggle and
therefore thoroughly permeated by social relations.
• Political economic approach: (territory as a form of property)
To have land under a system of centralized control, and to remove
overlapping jurisdiction became imperative. This was tied to the emerging
focus on the importance of private property, the growth of new towns and
cities and a shift of power toward the middle classes with increased
industrialization. This led to a stress in the importance of national markets
rather than local ones, and a widespread centralization of the state, and
therefore a control of its land, as territory.
• Politicalstrategic approa h
Territory emerges as something important for more strategic reasons
• Techniquebased approach
The one thing that was different in the period where territory, in the modern
sense, emerged was the availability of a number of techniques.
• Advances in technology (like coordinate or analytic geometry, developments
in cartography, land surveying and improvements in the accurate measurement
of time through more advanced clocks)
• These three are important component parts of any analysis. The first allows an
understanding of territory as land, the second of territory as terrain, and the
third is perhaps the only one that sets ‘territory’ apart as distinct form of
In political geography a threestage process of boundary making is usually outlined:
1) allocation: which sets the general shape, making use of straight lines, coordinates of
latitude and longitude and depiction on a map.
2) delimitation: involves the selection of specific boundary sites on the ground
3)demarcation: where the boundary is marked by pillars, cleared vistas, fences, etc.
Thursday, September 27 , 2012th Jennifer Government [Introduction]
• In our world today security is private. There has been a massive growth in
security in the past 20 years. At the local level, gated communities provide their
own security. Private military provide logistics and training and now increasingly
• States would be willing to pay to have other people go and die where there isn’t
will for deaths abroad. They want the UN to hire people to go instead.
• There has also been discussion in the UN to send other states to send people into
• This represents a change. It is saying that your world can be reorganized
politically, socially and economical.
• If this is possible it means that our world right now if the product of previous
historical changes. It is these changes that we are going to look at today.
• It is the emergence of the modern state system.
• The vision of the future according to this book is actually very similar to the
system from which the modern state system grew.
• The Political economy of the premodern world of Europe is known as feudalism
• Feudalism is characterized by a series of overlapping personal ties. Individuals
pledge loyalties to nobles of various ranks and those nobles would pledge loyalty
to other higher ranked nobles. These ties are not permanent. You are free to pledge
your loyalty to another lord if the current one mistreated you. Your loyalty can be
transferred to another lord.
• At the top of the hierarchy are the kinds. Initially the kings were just the people
who had land and had people pledged to them.
• Lords and kinds did not necessarily hold contiguous lands.
• It was very possible to have lands in many different places and have the lands of
other people in between them so you had to cross other peoples land to get to
• These people are the landed in nobility. This is only on stream of authority
• The second was the Roman Catholic Church. The roman church was organized in
parallel to the nobility. • There were hierarchical relations within the roman church, running from priests,
deacons, bishops, archbishops and cardinals.
• The result of all this is a patchwork of authority. It was loosely organized, not
very permanent and a lot of competition for your loy