A Research Agenda for Territory and Territoriality
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A Research Agenda for Territory and Territoriality

Edited by David Storey

This innovative Research Agenda draws together discussions on the conceptualization of territory and the ways in which territory and territorial practices are intimately bound with issues of power and control. Expert contributors provide a critical assessment of key areas of scholarship on territory and territoriality across a wide range of spatial scales and with examples drawn from the global landscape.
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Chapter 4: Nation, territory, memory: making state-space meaningful

Anssi Paasi


Geography has been a highly important academic subject in the making of ideas of territorially bounded homelands and nations. Its keywords such as territory/territoriality, place or landscape bring together material and affective dimensions, often in emotional narratives related to collective identity, historical experience and remembrance. Territory is both constitutive of and constituted by the spatialized memories, narratives and symbols of national identities. It is therefore critical in state- and nation-building. Memories and identity narratives do not rise in vacuo. Correspondingly, the significance and ideological uses of memory cannot be underestimated when reflecting the manufacturing of national state territories as homelands. This chapter focusses on the oft-neglected relation between territory and national memory. Homeland is a pool of historic memories, images, and accounts of national landscapes, heroes, past struggles and sacrifices recounted by intellectuals, artists, and politicians who usually play a critical role in crafting them. Territory is hence a dynamic, historically contingent manifestation of materiality, symbolism, emotions, memories and power.

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