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Triangulating territory: a case for pragmatic interaction between political science, political geography, and critical IR

  • Burak Kadercan (a1)

The relationship between the political and socially constructed nature of territory (or, territories’ ‘constitutive properties’) and international politics has recently attracted substantial attention from scholars hailing from political science as well as political geography and critical international relations. The conversations across these scholarly traditions, however, leave a lot to be desired. The question then becomes, how can we, if at all, facilitate further interaction and cross-fertilization across seemingly disparate literatures? This study proposes a strategy of ‘pragmatic interaction’, which entails three steps: (i) establishing a simple conceptual framework that would be both recognizable and agreeable to scholars hailing from different perspectives; (ii) emphasizing a number of research topics that are of relevance to these scholars; and (iii) examining some of the recent entries from the relative literatures in the light of the identified research topics. The analysis suggests that there is much potential for interdisciplinary cross-fertilization over two broad research areas – ‘territorial heterogeneity’ of the past and present global territorial orders and the relationship between territory and power – also driving attention to potential research venues such as territorial interpretations of the anarchy/hierarchy problematique and the interaction between identity and territoriality.

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