examples of state power that manifests because they have a legitimate claim to control the state's territory. Paraphrasing the Sociologist Max Weber, states often have the ability to legitimize violence against anyone who doesn't follow their rules within in their territory and even sometimes beyond their territory too. But these types of coercive powers aren't the only kind. It's not just violence. Power can be economic, cultural and ideological. Power can be taken but it can also be given. State power is obviously not the only geographic expression. States seem to take on the characteristics of actors. It's difficult to talk about states without using words like "their" or "they," but states are just organization of people at different levels. There is political geographic power at the international scale, like the UN's ability to get states and their populations to cooperate. There is power beneath the scale of the state. States within the United States are an example (confusing language, I know), as are provinces, counties, municipalities, cities, districts, neighborhoods and even families and individuals. Politics can be nested within different scales, which have different amounts of power. Political geographers study these hierarchies and the ways power can "jump" between scales. Let's look at an example. Specific US state's (sub-national) reactions to the federal (national/country scale) response to the Paris Accord suggest that there is tremendous diversity: " U.S. States Defy Trump’s Climate Pact Withdrawal ." Case Study: Vatican City  Incarceration in Alcatraz
/ What is Vatican City or "The Vatican?" It's a city and a state. So it's often referred to as a "city-state." City-states still exist, although they were more common in other times. Before there was Greece, there was a collection of city-states that agreed to a specific way to collaborate. Singapore is a contemporary city-state. Vatican City, however, is also within the city of Rome and the state of Italy. But it's unusual in that a traditional government doesn’t run it. There may not even be a "traditional government" in the world but Vatican City is unique in that it's sovereignty is granted to the "Holy See," the focal point of Catholicism, led by the Pope. Vatican City functions as many levels of political geography at once. It’s a city, within a city, within a state and considered part of Europe and the western world. Furthermore, its political, cultural and economic power are the result of it being the center of a major world religion. The Vatican is a religious, economic and cultural institution, and it's ability to get people to do things shows it's inherent political nature. What's specifically fascinating about the Vatican City is it shows how the concept of a nation-state is limited, complex and ambiguous. Is Vatican City a nation and a state? Besides some tourists, most people within Vatican City are catholic, which is a form of commonality that can be part of a national identity. There are certainly Catholics outside of this city-state, in fact most are. There are also different socio-economic classes, ethnicities, languages and cultures. Very importantly, in
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- Winter '16