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  The assignment of persons and social groups to discrete areas through the use of boundaries. In socio-biology the division of space into discrete areas (territory) is seen as an evolutionary principle, a way of fostering competition such that the territorially successful will have more surviving offspring. The literature on animal behaviour or ethology offers little more than analogical reasoning for understanding human territoriality, however. More typically, therefore, human territoriality is viewed as the strategy used by individuals, groups and organizations to exercise power over a portion of space and its contents (Sack, 1986. Ä‹ Vandergeest and Peluso, 1995; Agnew, 1997). This exercise of power can range from the bubble of personal space of an individual person to the spaces associated with membership in different groups, through patterns of territorial regionalism (as, for example, in federalism) to the division of world-space into territorial nation-states. Beyond its capacity for enabling a space for individual action, territoriality is a relatively efficient way of maintaining centralized control at the same time that a service or activity is provided to a localized population.

Sack (1986) shows how this is done by a variety of organizations, from states and churches to charities and businesses, at a range of geographical scales from that of the workplace to the world as a whole. Space is partitioned into territorial cells or units that are grouped together in hierarchical sequence from the basic unit in which work, administration or some other activity is controlled or supervised through intermediate levels at which many managerial and supervisory functions are located, to the top-most level at which central control is concentrated. In this way power is both diffused and controlled at one and the same time to increase administrative efficiency yet maintain centralized control.

There are important cultural and historical dimensions to human territoriality. In different societies the average size of personal space varies from a relatively large envelope (as in Scandinavia) to a very small one (as in Mediterranean Europe). Some churches (such as the Roman Catholic Church) and some states (such as the United States) have more complex forms of territorial organization than do others, although all organizations operating over large areas tend to take a territorial form. In the past, churches and polities (states, empires, federations, etc.) were perhaps the most important agents of formal territorial organization but today transnational and global businesses erect territorial hierarchies that cross-cut existing political and religious ones. Subsidiaries and branch plants, plus the flows between them and their suppliers, are organized within such territorial frameworks (Amin and Thrift, 1997). Even as one type of territoriality (that of churches or states, for example) might fade in importance, therefore, another (such as transnational business) emerges to replace it. Though varying in form and complexity, territoriality is always with us.

Territoriality is put into practice through the following mechanisms: (1) popular acceptance of classifications of space (e.g. \'ours\' versus \'yours\'); (2) communication of a sense of place (where territorial markers and boundaries have meaning); and (3) enforcing control over space (by means of surveillance, policing and legitimation). The mixture of consent and coercion in strategies of territoriality is often referred to as hegemony. (JAA)

References and Suggested Reading Agnew, J.A. 1997: Political geography: a reader. London: Edward Arnold, section two: The spatiality of states, 31-92. Amin, A. and Thrift, N. 1997: Globalization, socio-economics, territoriality. In R. Lee and J. Wills, eds, Geographies of Economies. London: Edward Arnold, 147-5 7. Sack, R.D. 1986: Human territoriality: its theory and history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Vandergeest, P. and Peluso, N. 1995: Territorialization and state power in Thailand. Theory and Society 24: 385-426.



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