Space: empires, nations, borders

James Koranyi, Bernhard Struck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Maps offer powerful visual representations of space, since they tend to portray stability and the dominant spatial order at any given moment. Focusing on space and territories, this chapter explores how and when imperial and nation-state borders, as well as spheres of influence appeared in this region from roughly 1700 to the present. The juxtaposition of the two maps of the region illustrates the drastic territorial changes and the shift in borders – and thus of the populations these encompassed – in East Central Europe. Space can be interpreted as absolute in geography or cartography. Absolute space can be imagined, measured, and divided through cartography, statistics, and other forms of knowledge. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries East Central European borders were far more porous and fluid – particularly, linguistic ones – and as such were connectors of shared and entangled histories, rather than stark dividers between clearly defined national spaces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge history of East Central Europe since 1700
EditorsIrina Livezeanu, Árpád von Klimo
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages54
ISBN (Electronic)9781315230894
ISBN (Print)9780415584333, 9780367581329
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge histories


  • East Central Europe
  • Modern History
  • Transnational History
  • Borders
  • Empires
  • territoriality
  • spatial history


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