Peters, K and Steinberg, P and Stratford, E, Introduction, Territory Beyond Terra, Rowman & Littlefield International, K Peters, P Steinberg, and E Stratford (ed), London, United Kingdom, pp. 1-13. ISBN 9781786600110 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]
As Stuart Elden (2013a, 3) writes in The Birth of Territory, 'it is generally assumed that territory is self-evident in meaning'. Because territories are typically understood as the bounded units that result from efforts by humans and their institutions to control space, most academic inquiry has failed to approach the concept directly. Instead, scholars have tended to focus either on the borders that define the limits of territories or on the processes of territoriality by which territories are constructed. Literatures in both areas have advanced considerably over the past few decades. The field of border studies, for instance, has advanced from the empirical study of why borders are where they are to the development of conceptual work on how enforcing and crossing borders intersect with identity, citizenship, and governmentality (Jones 2016; Mezzadra and Neilson 2013; Newman and Paasi 1998; Paasi 1998). Studies of territoriality, similarly, have expanded from work that roots territorial behaviour in animal instincts to claim space (Ardrey 1966; Dyson-Hudson and Smith 1978), to research that aasociates changes in territorial practice with social change (Sack 1986; Soja 1971), to scholarship that conceptualises territorialisation as a social construct, a discursive strategy, or a process that is continually articulated amid competing tendencies of deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation (Agnew 1994; Albert 1998; Gottman 1973; Kratochwil 1986; Ruggie 1993). However, in these literatures, whether one focuses on the borders that define territories or on the territorial behaviours and institutions that create them, attention is diverted from understanding how space is transformed into territory, a specifically modern innovation that, according to Elden (2013a), must occur prior to its bounding.
Research Book Chapter
human geography, territory, spatiality, place, water, geopolitics