Lefebvre’s De L’Etat suggests that “the State binds itself to space through a complex and changing relation that has passed through certain critical points” (Brenner and Eldon (eds) 2009). He gives the moments of this process as:
a) the national territory
“a physical space, mapped, modified, transformed by the networks, circuits and flows that are established within it … During the course of this process, the city and the country develop a new relationship in and through the mediation of a third term—the State that has the city as its centre”
b) social space
“an (artificial) edifice of hierarchically ordered institutions, of laws and conventions upheld by “values” that are communicated through the national language”
c) mental space
“comprising a social (but not immediately political) consensus, the State occupies a mental space that includes the representations of the State that people construct… this mental space must not be confused with physical or social space; nor can it be fully separated from the latter” (Brenner and Eldon (eds) 2009:224).