Territory + politics are inseparable: just as politics + government are inseparable. Here we consider territory + government—but politics doesn't disappear: rather we have a double dose. The politics are intense, with descent into internal violence and border wars all too common.
When people share a physical territory, they need arrangements, called government, to support both the individuals and the group as a whole. It is necessary to protect individuals from those within who might use violence against them, and to protect the community from other alien communities who might plunder or seek to conquer the territory.
Government therefore commands forces & controls the legitimate exercise of force (coercion) within and without. Revisit: duties of government, and the place of government in political life.
The development and validation of this Framework were carried out at Brunel University (London, UK) within the Political Management Program, whose Co-Director was David Wilshire. Articles related to tiers of government, published by Warren Kinston and David Wilshire from that period, are available, see Political Management.
All modern civilized societies have governing institutions—and it is evident that most have more than one tier (or level) of government. At the very least there is always national and local government—because citizens simultaneously perceive themselves to be members of:
A particular local community—where is intrinsic because there are locally distinctive groups with varying interests, and people differ on how needs should be met;
People everywhere are inclined to view these two forms of government as indispensable. However, most countries have additional tiers of government based on territory, and tensions between the various tiers of government For an example of academic analyses with a survey of aspects of this topic within one region of the world, see: Tensions in the Territorial Politics of Western Europe. Ed. R.A.W. Rhodes and V. Wright, 1986, London: Routledge is common.
To make sense of these tensions, we need to get clarity about some fundamentals:
In pursuing this analysis, we will start with the most unmistakable territorial community possessing government: the nation-state.
Originally posted: August-2009; Last updated: 15-Nov-2010