Modern Political Geography by Richard Muir (auth.)

By Richard Muir (auth.)

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By Richard Muir (auth.)

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However, rather than their being modern states, definable in terms of centrally organised territory, they frequently only found unity under a nominal claim of kingship. Central authority in the medieval period was based less upon the purposeful 20 MODERN POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY organisation of territory than upon the establishment of networks of personalloyalty and obligation between the ruler and the nobility. Internal and external instability prevailed, and rules of intranational and international legitimacy which could serve as norms for the stabilisation of systems of authority remained to be developed.

Frequently the state territory incIudes a single capital and one or more core areas, and is defined by a set of boundaries wh ich may or may not also define the 'effective state area'. The presence of distinctive frontier zones adjacent to certain boundaries will depend upon the pattern of colonisation within the state and relationships with neighbours, while former patterns of colonisation or conflict may also be preserved in the landscape. Exceptionally the state may incIude or be punctured by an excIave, posess a territorial corridor, or be temporarily divided.

Note the westward migration ofthe population centre of gravity as a result ofwestward colonisation and settlement. Broken lines show the radials used in the calculation of indices of capital eccentricity, as outlined in the text. The figure below includes the index of compactness, ca1culated according to the Cole method, as described in the text. Ca1culations do not include Alaska or insular possessions. See ref. 26. 40 MODERN POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY concept may be transposed to embrace global ideological cores-the USA and the Soviet Union, mentioned by Kristof,27 and now including Chinaor scaled down to include intra-state core areas.

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