Territories beyond geography: an alternative approach to the demands of the new states in India

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Taylor & Francis, Volume 50, Number 1, p.121–140 (2012)




commission, globalisation, India, reorganisation of states, statehood, territoriality


Ever since the reorganisation of states in India in 1956, the Central government has reacted to the pressure for the creation of new states on a case-by-case basis, leading to the emergence of new states in fits and starts. But the resistance that is developing to the promise of new states like Telangana suggests that there is no guarantee that newly drawn inter-state boundaries will have universal acceptance. In order to explore ways out of this apparent stalemate this paper takes a closer look at the concept of territoriality. Taking a cue from the distinction made in the literature on globalisation between geographical territory and other aspects of territoriality, the nature of territoriality that is implicit in the demands for redrawing state boundaries is examined. This helps in identifying dimensions of the pressure for new states that are not confined to geographical territory. It is then argued that there are several dimensions of the pressure for new states that can be better addressed through institutions that focus on other dimensions of territoriality.


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