Review essay of Branch, Sassen, Scott and Vigneswaran on historical and political understandings of territory, forthcoming in Society and Space

I have a review essay of four books coming out in Society and Space in issue 1 next year. The books are Jordan Branch, The Cartographic State; Saskia Sassen, Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global EconomyTom Scott, The City-State in Europe, 1000-1600 and Darshan Vigneswaran, Territory, Migration, and the Evolution of the International System. The review is entitled “From Hinterland to the Global: New Books on Historical and Political Understandings of Territory”.

photo (2)Here’s the beginning and end:

These four books all, in different ways, rely upon and contribute to understandings of territory. They move from the very historical to the resolutely contemporary, and in two cases combine the political-historical in important and insightful ways. The most fully historical is Tom Scott’s The City-State in Europe, which takes a broad comparative approach to the formation and transformation of polities in Western Europe from the high Middle Ages to the beginning of the early Modern period…

… In a previous review essay on territory I suggested that the books there, from within political science and philosophy, were “instances of a small but noticeable shift”, where attention was “being paid to the notion of territory in a way that had become unusual” (2010, page 238). While I found things to criticize in those books, and in those under review here, the general direction of inquiry is to be applauded. Here the multidisciplinary aspect is even more apparent – the authors hold positions in history, sociology, political science and urban studies. The shift in emphasis is no longer so small, and the attention not so unusual: the politics, history and concept of territory has become an important topic in a range of disciplines.

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This entry was posted in Books, Politics, Saskia Sassen, Society and Space, Territory. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Review essay of Branch, Sassen, Scott and Vigneswaran on historical and political understandings of territory, forthcoming in Society and Space

  1. lucialeao says:

    Reblogged this on LuciaLeão.

  2. asevillab says:

    Reblogged this on multipliciudades and commented:
    Stuart Elden sobre una reseña de próxima aparición, analizando cuatro libros recientes que sitúan la noción de territorio en el centro de sus planteamientos.

  3. Pingback: Top posts on Progressive Geographies this week | Progressive Geographies

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