“As we know,” Foucault announced in a famous 1964 lecture, “the great obsession of the nineteenth century was history: themes of development and arrest, themes of crisis and cycle, themes of accumulation of the past, a great overload of dead people, the threat of global cooling.… The present age may be the age of space instead. We are in an era of the simultaneous, of juxtaposition, of the near and the far, of the side-by-side, of the scattered.”1

Influenced by Foucault’s work and powerfully echoing the latter’s claim that “space itself, in the Western tradition, has a history,” Maier sets out in this insightful book to trace the rise and fall of a particular political space that he calls “a territory.” Though his main concern is with notions of bounded political spaces and their evolution from 1500 to the present, this book will interest not only political scientists and...

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