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)
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Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts
H.J. de Blij and Peter O. Muller