Mapping the Sovereign State: Technology, Authority, and Systemic Change

  title={Mapping the Sovereign State: Technology, Authority, and Systemic Change},
  author={Jordan Branch},
  journal={International Organization},
  pages={1 - 36}
  • Jordan Branch
  • Published 1 January 2011
  • History
  • International Organization
Abstract This article examines the effect of cartography on the development of the modern state system. I argue that new mapping technologies in early modern Europe changed how actors thought about political space, organization, and authority, thus shaping the creation of sovereign states and international relations. In particular, mapping was fundamental to three key characteristics of the medieval-to-modern shift: the homogenization of territorial authority, the linearization of political… 
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