Why is today's world map filled with uniform states separated by linear boundaries? The answer to this question is central to our understanding of international politics, but the question is at the same time much more complex - and more revealing - than we might first think. This book examines the important but overlooked role played by cartography itself in the development of modern states. Drawing upon evidence from the history of cartography, peace treaties and political practices, the book reveals that early modern mapping dramatically altered key ideas and practices among both rulers and subjects, leading to the implementation of linear boundaries between states and centralized territorial rule within them. In his analysis of early modern invations in the creation, distribution and use of maps, Branch explains how the relationship between mapping and the development of modern territories shapes our understanding of international politics today.
Jordan Branch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Brown University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and in 2011-12 he was the Hayward R. Alker Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for International Studies at the University of Southern California. His articles have appeared in the European Journal of International Relations and in International Organization.