Agnew’s article on territory had left me quite confused. It was a hard read for me but I think I was still able to get some main points he was trying to deliver.
He starts by saying there are two ways in which we can describe territory: the exercise of power through political institutions and clearly setting boundaries or limits Of the territory, the latter in which he goes more in depth. In my opinion, I feel like both work as the definition but tend to agree with the idea of setting limits to the boundaries. He then elaborates on this idea on how the structure within a state should not be considered when talking about the international relations theory. He uses the ideas of realism to support this idea. He states that a territorial state is a unitary actor and is effected by its relations from other states and not from within. Within the state can be addressed by local politics and relations.
I feel like the idea that the a territorially state needs to be looked at as a unitary actor is a better option when dealing with global affairs. For example, within the United States we have a lot of different opinions and parties for numerous subjects. These only effect the U.S. And it’s residents, not the residents of another state because they do not fall under it’s jurisdiction. However, when it comes to the United States international affairs, we are one group or one solitary actor. The ideas of the local/smaller level do not have such an impact on the international or larger scale.
The was one part of the article which I found very interesting. Agnew states that there is a major difference between a territorial state and a nation-state. I found this interesting because I have always only thought of sovereign states as nation states, but then he discusses how a nation state has of a more cultural and social aspect to it whereas a territorial state is more of a political state with a territory with boundaries! He then when on to say how nation states such as the Cherokee nation do not play such a role when it comes to the international relations theory.
I still don’t quite understand what he means by the theory, I take it as states being unitary and their relationships depend on how their territories interact with others, I may be wayyy off but that is how I perceived it.the article is also ‘The traps of territory’ but after I read the article, I didn’t understand what the traps where. He mentioned many conflicting ideas and theories but I don’t know how those would be considered traps. These readings were really difficult for me and hopefully during class discussion I will learn some things that I did not pick up on in the articles.
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