This book addresses one of the core concepts across the social sciences: territory. Social theory has struggled to conceptualize territorial space in the nexus between the 'state' and 'global change'. This innovative book argues that the discussion of territorial change remains trapped within a dual tension between subjectivist and objectivist accounts of space, and a flawed dichotomy between global and territorial space. In order to address these problems, this book analyzes the history of cartography as a way to understand the nature of modern political space. From the 15th to the 17th century European cartography underwent a transformation establishing a new reality of space that conditioned the possibility of developing centralised sovereign territorial states within a unified global framework. This so-called modern cartography produced space as an autonomous sphere based on abstract mathematical principles. To understand the relationship between territory and globalisation we have to understand thatboth depend on a cartographic reality of space. This has profound implications for our understanding of political identity, changes associated with globalization, and explains why state territory has proven such a persistent dimension in global politics.-- Back cover.