The notion of state territorial morphology reflects how the territory of a state is located. There are such types of territorial morphology: compact states, protruded states, elongated states, fragmented states, perforated states (355). Cambodia is a compact state: its shape is almost round; Thailand is a protruded state: its most territory is compact, but the country has a peninsular part; the Philippines are a fragmented state: the territory units are separated by water.
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When a country is compact, it is easier to rule it and control it; vice versa, when the territory is separated, it is difficult to maintain political unity. From an economical perspective, it is also easier to cooperate when a country is compact. However, there are exceptions from the rule: for example, compactness has not helped Cambodia maintain political unity; besides, the brightest example of a fragmented country that has managed to reach significant economic success and political stability in Japan.
The USA is an example of all types of morphologies except “elongated state”: its most part is compact; it has prolongations (Florida; Maine, New Hampshire, et al) and separate territories (Alaska, Hawaii).
Australia has a significant core/periphery divide. This implies that the density of the population is not homogeneous: there are two cores in Australia (the east and southeast, and the southwest); the rest territory is the poorly inhabited periphery. This can be explained by the climatic peculiarities of the territory (378). This situation is similar to that in the USA where the east and the west have high population density and the periphery lies between them.
According to the World-Systems Theory by Immanuel Wallerstein, there is the following divide in the world-system: core, semi-periphery, periphery. This divide emphasizes the unequal terms of trade: the periphery sells raw materials at low prices, and the core provides high-priced goods. IT is not appropriate to apply this model to Australia, as core and periphery are located in one country, and in case the core benefits from its export and other economic activities, the whole country also benefit from it.
Blijde, Harm J., Peter O. Muller, and Antoinette Winklerprins. The World Today: Concepts and Regions in Geography. 4th ed. USA: John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print.