A world of territorial states
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A world of territorial states book
In the modern geopolitical imagination, power has been defined as the ability to make others do something you desire and, at least from the nineteenth century onwards, it has been exclusively associated with territorial states that are usually presumed to be nationstates (ones where there is a close match between membership of a distinctive nation and the boundaries of a particular state). In this chapter I want to explore these contentions in some detail and to show how the spatiality or geographical organization of power is not necessarily tied for all time and all places to the territoriality of states. The state-centred account of spatiality of power, what I term the ‘territorial trap’, is the historical projection of a world in which power over others is envisioned as pooled up in the hands of equivalent units of territorial sovereignty, usually the most important states militarily, the so-called Great Powers.