Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Several dimensions of politics come together in the word territory : land, a functional factor such as communication infrastructure, and a symbolic factor such as national identity. Typically associated with a polity, particularly a nation-state, the term can also be applied to any portion of space referred to otherwise as a region, locality, or place. Sometimes, a territory is an area awaiting formal incorporation into an adjacent state, as in the case of Alaska before it became one of the U.S. states. In general, however, territory is particularly, if not exclusively, associated with the spatial organization of the modern state with its claim to absolute control or sovereignty over a population within carefully defined external borders. Indeed, until Robert D. Sack extended the understanding of human territoriality as a strategy to individuals and organizations in general, use of the term territory was largely confined to the spatial organization of The ...