Fragmented States
2 types: those separated by water, and those separated by other countries
Contain several discontinuous pieces of territory
Makes communication difficult
More difficult for people in remote areas to integrate with rest of state
Can encourage national integration when people migrate from sparsely populated areas to more densely populated areas
May have many resources
Example: Fiji, Indonesia

Nations such as Indonesia is an example.
Also known as an archipelagic state.
Difficult to govern a country composed of islands because direct communication can be hindered due to the obstacles standing in the way between the areas.
Also difficult to fend off from enemy states due to the vast amounts of islands that a state may consist of.
Denmark and the Philippines are also archipelagic countries separated by water.

Elongated States
Shape is long and narrow
At risk of poor communication as not all areas might have access to capital
Diversity in climate and environment
Areas at the extreme ends might be isolated from the capital (usually in center)
Example: Italy, Chile, Malawi

Long and narrow shape
May suffer from poor internal communication because not every region may have access to the capital.
For example, if the capital were to be in the middle of an elongated state that stretches mostly north and south, then parts of the state that are east and west of the capital would receive communication and affects of power faster than the ends of the state that are north and south of the capital because the north and south ends are farther away from the capital than the east and west ends.
Ex) Chile, lying on the coast of South America. A less extreme example is Italy which extends more than 700 miles from northwest to southeast.

Compact States
Nodal shape, where distance from center does not vary significantly
Ideal shape is a circle
Usually benefits from better transportation and communication
Is as likely as any country to experience war

A compact state with a circular shape is the easiest to manage.
Usually has the central government closer to the center of the state in order to have an equal distance to every part of the state. Mathematically, if the central government is positioned in the middle of the state, then the distance from the center to the edges (radius) is the same for every part of the edge; therefore, the power of the government is evenly distributed.
Ex) Belgium is an excellent example because of the cultural division between Flanders and Wallonia within Belgium.
Easier to defend than states of other shapes.
Example: Poland, Kenya

Perforated States
A state that completely surrounds another state: South Africa
Country that is surrounded (Lesotho), depends almost entirely on the surrounding country for transportation and the import/export of goods
Example: Italy, South Africa

Ex) South Africa, which completely surrounds Lesotho.
The country that is “landlocking” another country
The surrounded nation can only be reached by going through one country.
If there is hostility between the two nations, access to the surrounded nation can be difficult.
Italy is also a perforated state.

Prorupted States
Shape: Compact state with a projecting territory
Projecting territory may help give country a resource or access to sea
Can separate two states to keep them sharing a boundary
The projecting territory of Democratic Republic of Congo was made by the Belgians to give the state, then a colony of Belgium, access to the Atlantic Ocean
Example: Democratic Republic of Congo, Thailand

Lacks a direct outlet to the sea because completely surrounded by other countries.
Direct access to ocean is critical because it facilitates internal trade, so it must depend on other countries for access. So if the surrounding countries are at war with the landlocked country, then the landlocked country would have a great difficulty in trading goods.
Ex) Botswana is 1 of 14 African states that are landlocked. (external link)