The boundaries of a country are very important, as they effect trade, defense, and cultural identity. There are five dominant state territorial configurations:

  • Compact: Basically a circular shape. The advantages are that all resources are in close proximity
    (notwithstanding physical features), and it is easy to protect. Example: Cambodia (aka Kampuchea)

  • Protruded/extended: A country with a narrow, elongated land extension (like a peninsula).
    Examples: Thailand and Burma (Myanmar)

  • Elongated/attenuated: The length of the country must be at least 6 times that of the average width.
    Examples: Vietnam and Chile

  • Fragmented: Must have more than one territorial units separated by international waters or foreign territory.
    Examples: United States of America, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines

  • Perforated: The country must completely surround a different country, so they're like a donut.
    Example: South Africa (perforated by Lesotho)

node your homework!
Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts
H.J. de Blij and Peter O. Muller

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