Back to the Barrier Function: Where Next for International Boundary and Territorial Disputes in Political Geography?

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: This article takes a broad view in selectively tracing geography’s coverage of international boundaries and territorial concerns from the (much-maligned) classical period at the turn of the twentieth century through to the vogue prisms of border studies and critical geopolitics that enliven the discipline today. The first section makes the point that international boundaries and the territorial reach of the state have remained very much in the media over the past two years – in Ukraine, Gaza, Iraq and Syria. Conscious of the somewhat troubled, deterministic legacy geography’s traditional coverage of contestation over territory has provided, the discipline has pondered over how it might best re-evaluate the international boundary. To some degree, this has been achieved by refreshing ideas and conventional wisdoms that have largely stood the test of time. This article shows that there have always been aspects of merit in geography’s coverage. It presents a series of case studies throughout the world to demonstrate that the time has come for the discipline to contribute more fully to the study of inter-state disputes over boundaries and territories – including those in the maritime realm.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberGeography Volume 100 Part 3 Autumn 2015
Pages (from-to)133-143
Number of pages11
JournalGEOGRAPHY
Volume100
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

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