Nationality, Identity and Territories: Annotated Bibliography
Herb, G. (2018). Power, territory, and national identity. In Herb, G. and Kaplan, D.H. (Eds.), Scaling identities: Nationalism and territory. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 7-24.
In the chapter, Herb explores the role of power and territorial concepts in defining national identity. The article begins from the concept of national identity as a factor beyond the geographical territorial definitions of the society. In this regard, national identities are considered as the primary components of political identity, and almost as the most basic unit of defining political identities. In his argument, he asserts that nationalism has two key goals namely to either control an existing state or to define a new state. Based on these goals, the assertion that states, and thus national identities are geographically defined, comes into acceptance. Herb however opines that even with territorial boundaries and the need for state control; national identities are at the hands of those who yield power. This is particularly so due to the concept of globalization, that has driven communities to share identities beyond spatial regimes as a result of increasing cultural exchanges.
There are varied versions of national identity, and the efforts made by different states to reach a condition of clear national identity are worth the outcomes. Herb cites nations such as the British nation and Israel, as some of the examples of national identity battles through which distinction was attained. He also posits that there can be discrepancy between national and state identities due to various reasons. Through the article, one gets the perception that besides the geographical distinctions associated with states, there are several other factors that distinguish people of one nation from another.
Kaplan, D. H. (2018). National identity and scalar processes. In Herb, G.H. and Kaplan, D.H. (Eds.), Scaling identities: Nationalism and territory. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 31-43.
Kaplan (2018) explores national identity from the perspective of constituent people’s attributes rather than the common perspective of geographical locations. In as much as different nationalities are comprised of people from specific geographical regions, Kaplan avers that the national identity is characterized by the dominance of national identity as the core political identifier for most people; national identity as extraordinarily fluid despite the perceived fixity created by geographical boundaries; and the perception that the national identity fits perfectly within other political descriptive. While explaining the fluidity of national identity, the author asserts that it is bound by the state and is thus profoundly spatial since the general essence of the state in the political realm is a spatial descriptive. Nations expand and change over time, resulting in changes in the national identities of their people. Nations are also derived from other nations, as exemplified by regional separatist movements.
Through the article, the author explores both the fluidity of the national identity and the challenges in using geopolitical changes as part of political conceptions of the identity. Furthermore, Kaplan explores the viability of national identity and the sustainability of the concept. In this, he mentions the concepts of globalization and transnationalism as some of the shakers of geographically defined national identity, as these two features transcend national geographical boundaries in culture and politics. Other phenomena such as immigration, supranational identities and regional identities are mentioned as contributors to the fluidity of national identity, which also drive the tendency to loss of viability in the concept of national identities. The article concludes by asserting that scalability of the national identity concept is the biggest challenge to its viability.
Mountz, A. and Hiemstra, N. (2012). Spatial strategies for rebordering human migration at sea. In Wilson, T.M. & Donnan, H. (Eds.), A companion to border studies. Blackwell Publishing.
Mountz and Hiemstra (2012) explored the concept of sea borders in national territories. The article begins from the thesis that the sea provides one key site through which border proliferation occurs. Government agencies are tasked with meeting, intercepting, processing and excluding migrants en route to areas within national boundaries. For states intending to make their borders impenetrable, finding strategies for evaluating how and where borders are moving at sea is important. The authors assert that most of the methods for re-bordering the sea center on externalization, which is essentially the prevention of all mobile bodies from reaching national boundaries whether at sea or otherwise. Some of the strategies towards externalization include through interception at sea followed by detention and process possibly in a foreign territory; and through legal manipulation of territorial statuses.
Different countries have formed different policies to enable them control their borders in different seas. For instance, the U.S has a program for interdiction of immigrants across the Caribbean and the Pacific Seas, while Australia has its own solutions across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Another strategy that is publicized is through redrawing the boundaries around the European Union. Through these boundaries, the border issue is addressed not only through conceptual processes but also through a physical geographical delineation of asylum versus no-asylum areas. In particular, border redrawing is described as the movement of the border from the seas. Interception at sea has been a good practice for shifting geographical boundaries from anticipatory and mobile boundaries that foster the movement of illegal immigrants.
From this article, the authors have clearly delved into the subject of boundary redrawing and the rationale for it. The authors further touch on the humanitarian factors surrounding repatriation of immigrants.
Knox, P., Agnew, J. and McCarthy, L. (2014). Preindustrial foundations. In the Geography of the world economy, 6th Ed. pp. 95-115.
In their text, Knox, Agnew and McCarthy (2014) describe the world economy from a perspective that considers the past geographical classifications as well as the cultural systems that are in place for the enhancement of economic interactions. The article begins from the assertion that while labor divisions are spatially structured, the other systems are considered beyond spatial classification. The authors explore the concept of economic revolution by explaining the relationship between the geographical systems and the economic systems in place at a particular time. For instance, they touch on hearth systems, which are systems that fostered food production in areas considered as hearth areas. These areas include South Western Asia, South Asia, China around Yuan River, the Americas, and Africa along the Nile including Sudan and Kenya. Another concept discussed is the framework of urbanization, which is centered on primitive accumulation of labor and fixed assets. Considering these factors, the concept of primitive accumulation directly links to that of spatial confinement.
Considering the growth of urbanization, the authors describe developments in economic systems through different trade patterns including mercantile trade, and capitalism. Through these concepts, the authors explain the geographical growth of world towns through physical expansion into new areas as well as through the migration of citizens from rural to urban areas. Regional specialization of trade patterns is also discussed as one of the factors that contribute to changes in trade systems. Trade patterns are pushed and expanded through technological advancements that have since driven the establishment of gateway towns and entropots along various coastal rims including in America, South Asia and Africa. Growth of trade has opened opportunities for faster economic growth in other geographical regions including the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and England.
Sparke, M. (2013). Commodities. In Introducing globalization, ties, tensions, and uneven integration. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 57-82.
The concept of globalization in work economic systems is explored in this book chapter by Sparke (2013). To explain how globalization impacts on world trade patterns, Sparke begins by exploring commodity as a concept. In this exploration, he asserts that commodity development is influenced by three key factors namely labor, money and nature. The impact of labor is such that trade organizations will most likely pursue business in areas where they consider the costs of labor to be low. Similarly, money impacts a business in that no business can be initiated without capital. Nature on the other hand, affects accessibility to things such as raw materials, which affect commodity development and thus the product costs. In world trade, the author reminds the reader that globe spanning trade has been a constant part of human life, as reflected by practices such as slave trade, trade in spices and capitalist commodity production, which have been in existence for ages. Geographical discrepancy in productivity is described as the key driver of global trade in that different areas supply different products.
In the discourse on global trade, Sparke also touches on globalization as a modern trade phenomenon. While globalization has resulted in the consideration of the world as a single large system devoid of geographical boundaries, world trade still faces unevenness in various contexts that affect the efficiency of trade interactions. The two most common as mentioned by Sparke include temporal and geographical unevenness. Geographical unevenness is discussed in terms of its impacts on trade patterns. For instance, Sparke posits that commodity chains and trading blocks are both the results of geographical unevenness in trade. With global management and competition, it becomes easier to understand trade as a global concept.
Princen, T. (2005). The idea of sufficiency. The logic of sufficiency. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, pp. 1-19.
Princen (2005) discusses various concepts of land use planning and implementation based on the existence of natural resources. Through exemplification, Princen describes how various land uses transform the natural resources and the sufficiency of use. For instance, he gives the example of how changes in land use transformed Toronto Island through elimination of previously existing buildings and their replacement with others. Additionally, he discusses the Pacific Lumber Company, and how its activities impacted natural resources in the past and the impacts of scalability on its ability to preserve natural resources. The article is based on the premise that transformation towards greater use efficiency for natural resources does not always result in greater sufficiency. Outcomes such as pollution, which are attributed to changes in land use systems, can be better avoided through control of resource accessibility. From his arguments, the author tends to opine that the technologies considered to result in better throughput of commodities, materials and energy, can be detrimental to resource sufficiency.
The author advocates for the movement from the idea of sufficiency to the principle of sufficiency. This is recognized through the shift from a position where one says ‘enough’ just by virtue of observation to the point where defining excess becomes troublesome. Sufficiency, as a principle is usable where there is need to identify overshoot in resource use and to call out those who are responsible to manage those resources. Princen further posits that policy makers and land users alike should focus on eco-efficient practices for resource consumption. He calls for reference to well established notions such as thrift and moderation, which have somewhat disappeared in the contemporary world. To go back to the use of these notions, Princen argues that there is need to constantly refer to sufficiency principles of precaution, restraint, respite, polluter pays and reverse onus.