Mapping Power

  • Edoardo BoriaEmail author


In opposition to the classical assumption that would see maps as neutral and objective products, deconstructionist critique has long explained their ideological and instrumental nature. This decisive intellectual reorientation of the conception of the map has clearly shown that maps conceal within a power of persuasion and that they have served discourses of power. But the deepening of the relationship between maps, authority and scholars via this approach has granted prominence to the first two elements, leaving the third in a distinctly subordinate position. Reassessing the figure of scholars and their cartographic practices, this chapter addresses the issue from a still largely unexplored angle, looking into graphical solutions chosen to depict power, in the belief that these solutions have helped to shape the interpretation of the spatiality of power , and influence the very exercising of it. Thus reversing the perspective, and that is investigating the maps of power rather than the power of maps, or the power over maps, it is reconstructed here by means of many empirical examples: those scholars and cartographic genres that have told the history of the spatial representation of power. In this way it also intends to favour an approach to the history of cartography that can organically place it within the more general framework of the history of visual culture and visual arts .


Mapping Power Cartographic practices Borders Stein rokkan Geopolitical maps 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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