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Die Macht des Raumes Wahrnehmung, Legitimation und Gewalt zwischen ethnoscape und nationalem Territorium

Conrad Schetter, Markus Weissert

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The power of space: about the perception, legitimacy and violence of ethnoscapes and national territories.

This article emphasizes the role of space in the self-definition of ethnic groups, as well as the formation of modern states and the emergence of ethnicized conflicts. The pivot of the argument is that the imaginations of ethnic groups are anchored in space, so-called ethnoscapes. Enthnoscapes contain the symbols and myths of the origin of a particular ethnic group. They are shaped by ethnic perceptions of settlement history and resource allocation, as well as by ethnic memory of symbolic places. While mapping ethnoscapes is often very vague and blurred, they became politicized during the making of modern nation-states. Thus national territory, as a bordered-container of power, should not only coincide with the ethnic culture of the nation, but, moreover, reflect the ethnoscape of the nation. This is why violent conflicts between, as well as within, nation-states have often revolved around the control and determination of space during the last two centuries.