Politics > Political Territories > Review Political Tiers > Two Types of Territory

Social Territory v Service Territory

Differences are Real

Social territories and service territories are very different.

Examples of Getting it Wrong: Closed The attempt to adapt social territories to service territories characterized Stalin's Russia. The attempt to design social territories based on services characterized the UK's 1974 reorganization of local government.

Read more about needs versus services.

People Simultaneously Inhabit Many Territories

Everybody is simultaneously a member of many tiers of natural community, that encompass each other (i.e. a person who lives in a suburb also lives in the town, and in the province, and in the country). The intensity of belonging and identification with each of these tiers varies from person to person.

At each tier, people must decide what their collective needs are within that particular tier, find ways to meet those needs and obtain the required resources (money, land, people &c.), preferably from members of that community.

Each type of social need (e.g. for transport, for security, for education, for welfare) must be met at every tier—but each tier focuses on a different aspect of that need.

The question of which need should be dealt with where is usually politically controversial because it is about access to power and wealth. Higher tier governments frequently intrude into or subsidize lower tier matters for political motives and create confusion. Public debate then becomes muddled and heated, on a topic where there is naturally much uncertainty and controversy at the best of times.

Originally posted: August-2009; Last updated: 15-Nov-2010

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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