Over fifty years ago Nicholas Spykman, a preeminent political scientist, observed that geography is the most fundamental factor in the foreign policy of states. Few would argue that today. In this solid and meticulous work, two academics look back at 770 instances of territorial change in the international system over the period 1816-1980. A great deal of data is tabulated and interpreted. The most interesting point to emerge is that, with the virtual end of decolonization, territorial change will alter in substance and form. Secession of ethnic groups may become the most prevalent form of territorial change. And some Cold War artifacts still need to be resolved, such as the two Koreas and the two Chinas.
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