The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Security Studies

Living Edition
| Editors: Scott Romaniuk, Manish Thapa, Péter Marton

Territorial Integrity

  • Glen M. E. DuerrEmail author
Living reference work entry

Introduction and Definition

One of the most significant challenges and debates in contemporary international relations is state sovereignty: who has the right to govern, and who does not, all within a given, usually contiguous, territory. For some people throughout the world, they have a maximalist goal of gaining an independent state (see Griffiths 2016 for the number of movements in the world). For other people in the world, their goal is to make sure that another group does not gain sovereignty; there are differing patterns of nationalism (see Hechter 2000). These conflicting points raise the question of who gets to call themselves sovereign and what constitutes legitimacy (Buchanan 1993; Moore 1998). Thus, a useful definition of territorial integrity is “the principle under international law that nation-states should not promote secessionist movements or to promote border changes in other nation-states, not impose a border change through the use of force” (Commission on Security...


Sovereignty Peace of Westpahlia Federalism Conflict United Nations 
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Further Reading

  1. Fazal, T. M. (2011). State death: The politics and geography of conquest, occupation, and annexation. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hironaka, A. (2009). Neverending wars: The international community, weak states, and the perpetuation of civil war. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cedarville University CedarvilleUSA