The Concept and Components of Discursive Territoriality in Critical Geopolitics

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate professor of geography, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of political geography, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 PhD candidate in political geography, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Extended abstract
Territoriality is considered in the political geography and geopolitics as one of the fundamental issues. Territoriality is man-made political structure that seeks to divide space. Territoriality is political nature or the nature of dispute and no existed without division of space into separate parts and the exclusive allocation of space. Therefore, territoriality is purposeful process that may pursue various purposes, including economic, security, identity, stimulus or even emotional. This paper intends to use the three elements of "space", "power" and "identity" to explain the formation process of discursive territoriality. This result can achieve the ways in which critical geopolitics scholarship has understood and made use of discourse analysis.
Discursive territoriality is " process in which the individuals, groups, or dominant countries for the control and management of geographic space to your desired geopolitical and political order, beyond the discourse in which hard power to control space so that those who exercise authority over them are not realizing such a process”. By the definition, discursive territoriality is the practical relations between "space", "power" and "identity". Each of these three components is referred as social phenomena in the context of the three components of their meaning. The most important element of this concept is power. The definition of power used in steven‌lukes is the special nature contrary to the classical theories and new theories of postmodern (or foucault). 'Power' is a concept in which society is divided into two poles obeys and ruler. Power in this view is something that is in the hands of some people and not the others. Despite the effective application of the definition of the concept of power steven‌lukes in discursive territoriality but actually is inefficient to explain some geopolitical discourse. Hence, to get out of this trap, we used of nietzsche's will to power and the forces of action and reaction deleuze. He explains by borrowing from nietzsche's will to power, both proactive and reactive power.
The research is fundamental and using descriptive-analytical method. The method of data collection is libraries and the internet.
Results and discussion
What will be followed by the meaning of the expression " discursive territoriality " and its three components of the "space", "power" and "identity", is that in addition to the obvious dimension of territoriality through territorial expansionism and aggression, there are also the (soft) territoriality dimension mentioned in the article as "discursive territoriality". Based on this proposition, we should mention discursive territoriality as the unit state or the units of imperial. To create the space homogenizing, the discursive territoriality implies that the dominant discourse (hegemonic) influence such ideas and goods. It has the culture in different geographical areas, so that the areas affected by specific thought patterns (hegemon) have favorable political and geopolitical order. Namely, nowadays the west's discourse does not have Ratzel territorial expansionism theory. However, the same kind of attitude and expansion will follow the areas of thought and culture to dominate the minds and hearts of people. Finally, control and monitoring of different geographical territories in line with the pattern of capitalist can order their requirements in different geographical areas. In fact, today the west discourse to promote the idea of capitalism has many geographical territories to recruit in line with the goals of capitalist system.
Authors believe that the discursive territoriality is a useful analysis tool for explaining how to change the map of the south-west Asia (map 1, 1625 ad., before the treaty of Westphalia) to the present (2015 m.). The main argument of the paper is on this basis that the west discourses are in the needs of its discursive to product space in the south-west Asia.. In other words, this time the west seeks their goals and strategies through its discourse to institutionalize that rather than through force and violence (hard power) to territoriality. The south west Asian players who played this role for the west, without the slightest feeling of being in line with the goals of the west, want to find out their own. The first signifier of west discourse for the territoriality of the south-west Asia was based on colonialism factor, . However, this was not the end and the post-colonial period in nationalism for the territoriality of their favorite. But the most dangerous tool for the territoriality of the west in south west Asia, which now has also affected the area, is factor of religion.
In the texts associated with political geography and geopolitics, the element of space has attracted much attention for key character in this field, but it has been somewhat neglected in the role of the “thought ". This paper tries to show what it is, right as this issue noted: how are general ideas and political and geopolitical ideas in particular with shaping particular discourses in the spatial consequences. It soon becomes operational across the territory, starting in the territoriality. The main principle in the territoriality is strategy and purpose not merely the geographical distribution of idea. The main argument of this paper is that the political thoughts shape the geographical origin of particular discourses and if ideas, discourses or other geographical areas, adopted the ideas of thought, even as imperfect or even native to the steps, but still not get rid of the spatial effects of that idea.


Main Subjects

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Volume 47, Issue 3 - Serial Number 3
October 2015
Pages 577-588
  • Receive Date: 10 March 2015
  • Revise Date: 22 April 2015
  • Accept Date: 22 April 2015
  • First Publish Date: 23 September 2015