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Tsunami of Change Hitting Burma!

Sometimes the news can be good news! The historic April 1st election in Burma that saw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy win 43/45 parliamentary seats is being hailed as the first free and fair elections for 50 years!

 

This is a current perspective on the many changes transforming Myanmar back into Burma.  For more by John Boyer, see: http://www.plaidavenger.com/ ;


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James Hobson's curator insight, December 3, 1:36 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 2)

The oppressive government of Myanmar (aka Burma) may finally be realizing that they are in a sense their own enemy. Since free elections seem to have taken place (and apparently were not 'faked' like other reforming nations have done), it seems as if the government of the time is admitting a type of defeat by showing that more citizens are against it than for it. This also implies that despite giving up political power, those previously in charge of the government see potentially better lives for themselves by not being the only ones in control. If this holds true, then it can serve as a powerful example to oppressive governments that in order to fulfill your own best interests, you have to let others vie for their own. This can also serve as an argument for pro-Democratic activists.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2:19 PM

Burma is an area where the identity of the people has been muddled. This is an election that signals the people of Burma acting to clarify their needs through free and fair elections. Democracy is a powerful tool in regards to expressing the voices of the people. Aung San Suu Kyi is now the face of that voice.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 5:37 PM

This video explains that today the nation of Burma is at the cusp of change. This nation long oppressed by its government now stands to usher in a system of democracy and bring with it a hope of improving the lives of it's citizens. Sadly uplifting events are far and few between today but also long as people such as this aspire to bring change and better things for themselves and their families change can happen. Hopefully the people actually are able to achieve this level of freedom they seek and won't simply end up with a new brand of oppression.  

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ISO: The best state-based political blogs - Washington Post (blog)

ISO: The best state-based political blogs - Washington Post (blog) | APHuG Political | Scoop.it
ISO: The best state-based political blogs Washington Post (blog) That's how long it's been since we released our most recent list of the best political blogs in each of the 50 states. In that time, blogs have risen and fallen.
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The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained


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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 7, 2013 12:10 AM

A great and entertaining way to explain this part of Europe.  I know I have in the past used the terms England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom to all refer to the same thing. It was also amazing to see that people are the same everywhere in that the people in Wales do not consider themselves British, much the same way the people in Sicily consider themselves Sicilain and not Italian. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 12:09 PM

As an outsider looking in the concept of the United Kingdom is a little confusing. We are taught to view Scotland as its own country, but they are countries within a larger structure. This video makes what would confuse many Americans and condenses it into a clear video that is just about 5 mins.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 4:38 PM

Many people often interchange the UK, Great Britain, and England, but in reality, they all describe different different things. The UK is a country of four countries, each with equal power, including Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, and Wales but they are all considered British citizens.UK is a political term, describing a country. Great Britain is a physical geographical term describing the land mass containing Scotland, Wales, and England.  The British Isles refers to both Great Britain and the Island of Ireland. All of these terms describe different things, being characterized by either political affiliation or geographic characteristics. 

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Devolution: A Beginner's Guide

Devolution: A Beginner's Guide | APHuG Political | Scoop.it
What is devolution and how has it changed how Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are governed?

 

This article with videos, charts and images was designed as a primer for UK voters for the 2010 election to understand who devolution in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland were reshaping the political landscape in the United Kingdom.  It is general enough that even though it is outdated as a news story, it serves as a concrete example from geography students to understand the processes and reasons for a decentralization of political power.


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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 6, 2013 9:51 PM

The devolution of the United Kingdom is taking place at a legistlative level right now- if/when will Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland vote to actually secede? The article made mention that people in Britain are starting to get angry that they are subsidizing programs in Scotland that the English pay for themselves. What are the benefits to being a part of the United Kingdom? What's the best balance of power for all involved?

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:21 PM

This shift can reshape the countries in many ways, financially, and the over all quality of life. A place will do better with connections than standing alone. This may help with international relation issues and build new relationships. When places depend on one another it can reshape the Country. It can also help with investment and jobs. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 11:44 AM

The parliament in London is shifting more power to Scotland and other areas in what is called devolution.  This reflects a push for more independence of countries in the UK that are not England. In order to keep the UK together concessions must be made, this devolution is the British Parliament's efforts to keep the UK intact.

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The Rise of the Pawns

The Rise of the Pawns | APHuG Political | Scoop.it

What is the political meaning behind this cartoon?  What is it connected with political events around the world today?   


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Tsunami of Change Hitting Burma!

Sometimes the news can be good news! The historic April 1st election in Burma that saw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy win 43/45 parliamentary seats is being hailed as the first free and fair elections for 50 years!

 

This is a current perspective on the many changes transforming Myanmar back into Burma.  For more by John Boyer, see: http://www.plaidavenger.com/ ;


Via Seth Dixon
more...
James Hobson's curator insight, December 3, 1:36 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 2)

The oppressive government of Myanmar (aka Burma) may finally be realizing that they are in a sense their own enemy. Since free elections seem to have taken place (and apparently were not 'faked' like other reforming nations have done), it seems as if the government of the time is admitting a type of defeat by showing that more citizens are against it than for it. This also implies that despite giving up political power, those previously in charge of the government see potentially better lives for themselves by not being the only ones in control. If this holds true, then it can serve as a powerful example to oppressive governments that in order to fulfill your own best interests, you have to let others vie for their own. This can also serve as an argument for pro-Democratic activists.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2:19 PM

Burma is an area where the identity of the people has been muddled. This is an election that signals the people of Burma acting to clarify their needs through free and fair elections. Democracy is a powerful tool in regards to expressing the voices of the people. Aung San Suu Kyi is now the face of that voice.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 5:37 PM

This video explains that today the nation of Burma is at the cusp of change. This nation long oppressed by its government now stands to usher in a system of democracy and bring with it a hope of improving the lives of it's citizens. Sadly uplifting events are far and few between today but also long as people such as this aspire to bring change and better things for themselves and their families change can happen. Hopefully the people actually are able to achieve this level of freedom they seek and won't simply end up with a new brand of oppression.  

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Justice Dept. approves Florida's district maps

Justice Dept. approves Florida's district maps | APHuG Political | Scoop.it
The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday approved the Legislature's plans for new congressional, House and Senate districts, paving the way for the state to begin using the maps in preparation for the November elections.

 

What is gerrymandering?  Why, when and where might it happen?  What strikes you as distinct about district 5?  


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What is the Arab Spring?

The Choices Program asks Brown University's Political Scientist Melani Cammett to briefly explain the Arab Spring.  This is a great primer to teach young students who don't follow international news to understand the beginnings of the Arab Spring.  For more videos by the Choices Program in their "Scholars Online" series, see:

http://www.choices.edu/resources/scholarsonline.php


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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 26, 3:40 PM

The Arab Spring can be described as an uprising of Arab protesters that are no longer afraid to stand up against their rulers to improve their own political and economic conditions. Arabs march in the streets and hold signs to get their points across in hopes that things will eventually look up.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 10:51 PM

The Arab Spring is an event the media has spend great deals of time talking about, both pros and cons. Yet unfortunately they've neglected to give a decent description of what it actually is. This video provided and over view of the beginnings of the Arab Spring and what it has blossomed into today.

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What is in a Name?

What is in a Name? | APHuG Political | Scoop.it
Issues in Focus East Sea...

 

Does it matter if I call the sea to the east of the Korean Peninsula the "East Sea" and if you call the body of water the west of Japan the "Sea of Japan?"  Absolutely.  When dealing with matters of diplomacy, a name reflects how a country is viewed.  For many years the Sea of Japan has been the defacto name internationally and South Korean officials have lobbied (quite successfully) to bolster the legitimacy of the name within the media, publishers and cartographers.  What other places have multiple names?  What are the political overtones to the name distinctions?  To watch a 10-minute video on the history of the name, see: http://bit.ly/Lu5puJ  


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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 3, 2012 8:19 PM
This issue seemed to be largely overshadowed by China’s claims in the Philippines. While changing the name of the Sea of Japan may have no immediate tangible impact on either country, it will certainly have a symbolic one and could possible pave the way for a claim to exclusive water rights within the area in the future. If a valuable resource such as oil is discovered in this disputed area then perhaps Russia, China or even the US will also get involved?
Seth Dixon's comment, July 5, 2012 9:55 AM
Symbolic value is South Korea's main aim, to minimize Japan's (their former colonizer) dominance in the region.
Lamar Ewing White III's comment, August 23, 2012 5:20 PM
Of course it matters whether you call it the East Sea opposed to calling it the Sea of Japan, just like it matters if you call the Mississippi River the Central River or something lame like that. I feel like Japanese citizens would take much offense if someone tried to change the sea's name. It is traced back to Japanese history and heritage which kind of gives them the right to have it named after them. I use the Mississippi River as a comparison because it also traces history and heritage and has every right to be named after the state. Also, (and this might be off subject), if we changed the name of Sea of Japan it would probably take a generation to get the name remembered as "East Sea". It would only create confusion just like if we changed the name of the Mississippi.
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The ReDistricting Game

The ReDistricting Game | APHuG Political | Scoop.it

This is an interactive way to teach the importance of the redistricting process.  Mapmakers (and geography) are crucial to the process.  This game shows students how the process can be manipulated and if you understand local demographics and voting patterns, subtle shifts in the district borders can swing elections.  This is a great way to teaching gerrymandering and how political cartography can be.     


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Régine Ballonad-Berthois's curator insight, February 23, 9:02 AM

J'ai regardé la vidéo de présentation et j'ai eu envie de jouer à ce jeu ! J'ai aimé le graphisme, la musique et la voix du narrateur. J'ai eu envie de continuer et je pense que mes élèves auraient eu également envie d'aller plus loin. Il ne me reste donc plus qu'à le tester !

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Devolution: A Beginner's Guide

Devolution: A Beginner's Guide | APHuG Political | Scoop.it
What is devolution and how has it changed how Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are governed?

 

This article with videos, charts and images was designed as a primer for UK voters for the 2010 election to understand who devolution in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland were reshaping the political landscape in the United Kingdom.  It is general enough that even though it is outdated as a news story, it serves as a concrete example from geography students to understand the processes and reasons for a decentralization of political power.


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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 6, 2013 9:51 PM

The devolution of the United Kingdom is taking place at a legistlative level right now- if/when will Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland vote to actually secede? The article made mention that people in Britain are starting to get angry that they are subsidizing programs in Scotland that the English pay for themselves. What are the benefits to being a part of the United Kingdom? What's the best balance of power for all involved?

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:21 PM

This shift can reshape the countries in many ways, financially, and the over all quality of life. A place will do better with connections than standing alone. This may help with international relation issues and build new relationships. When places depend on one another it can reshape the Country. It can also help with investment and jobs. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 11:44 AM

The parliament in London is shifting more power to Scotland and other areas in what is called devolution.  This reflects a push for more independence of countries in the UK that are not England. In order to keep the UK together concessions must be made, this devolution is the British Parliament's efforts to keep the UK intact.

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Welcome to Botswana - Newsweek

Welcome to Botswana - Newsweek | APHuG Political | Scoop.it
Newsweek Welcome to Botswana Newsweek Indeed, Illinois faces the worst pension shortfall of any state. The cost of pensions and health benefits to retired state employees has doubled over the past decade, to 15 percent of state spending.
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GPS technology maps land rights for Africa's 'forest people'

GPS technology maps land rights for Africa's 'forest people' | APHuG Political | Scoop.it
In the lush rainforests of Africa's Congo Basin, hundreds of thousands of indigenous people live as hunter gatherers, depending on the forest's natural resources for their survival.

 

The "Mapping for Rights" program trains people in the Congo to map the land they live on using GPS and other geospatial technologies.  This can assist the to produce documents to politically protect their land from encroachment and preserve their access to the forest.  Globalization can blur many of the modern/traditional narratives as the world becomes interconnected in complex ways.     


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The Carolinas Work to Clarify Their Borders

The Carolinas Work to Clarify Their Borders | APHuG Political | Scoop.it
As a team works to restore the North Carolina-South Carolina border to the original 1772 lines, some worry about the consequences.

 

Old maps and borders where often determined by local landmarks like trees, rivers, roads, fences, etc.  Trees get uprooted and over time, rivers will wend their way down slightly different paths and the informal old borders get called into question.  The border between North and South Carolina, traversing through swampy forested area was imperfect and now that they are trying to rectify it, some South Carolina residents face the prospect of needing to be North Carolina residents...not a small thing when you consider the utilities, government documents, taxes and voting. 


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We Just Want To Live Here

We Just Want To Live Here | APHuG Political | Scoop.it

This book is a compilation of letters exchanged between two 18-year-old girls who live in Jerusalem: one Israeli and the other Palestinian. Having met through a student exchange program, they openly discuss their frustrations with the political situation of 2002, and over time come to appreciate the others cultural and political viewpoints. This is a great cross-cultural interaction as the girls show their misconceptions of the other group, but through open dialogue come to an appreciation for other perspectives. This would be a good project to have student read the book and synthesize the cultural and political elements within them to reinforce the class content with a real-world example.


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One Island, Two Countries

One Island, Two Countries | APHuG Political | Scoop.it
Divided islands, like Market in the Baltic Sea, conform to a version of Sayre's law: the smaller the territory, the more confusing the border.

 

In the latest chapter of the Borderlines series in the New York Times, explores the smallest divided island with characteristic insight, humor and intellectual eclecticism.  "Borders allow humankind to separate what nature has united. But an island is a naturally closed entity. Its shoreline is the boundary of the bubble separating it from the rest of the world. And then impose a human-made barrier on an island? What is the meaning of isolation — a word derived, in fact, from the Latin for island — if you have to share it with someone else?"


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From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year

From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year | APHuG Political | Scoop.it
The new African country, founded in part to escape from the northern government's violence, is showing some hostility of its own.

 

Independence for ethnic/religious groups, while culturally satisfying, does not necessarily solve all the problems within a region.  South Sudan's 1-year anniversary shows that even though they have a short history, it has been marked by ineffective governance and social instability.  


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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 28, 2013 11:53 PM

This shows that gaining your independence might be hard, but the actual creation of the new state is harder.  Sometimes the new governement will impose the same methods the old "mother" country used that caused the split int he first place.  They need to ask themselves the hard questions about their actions: Are we turing into the old country?  Are we swapping one repressive and agressvie government for another?  Again one needs to look to the past, learn form it and not make the same mistakes..or else what I like saying...history will repeat itself.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 10, 2013 5:32 PM

This is probably a bad comparison, but say an expansion sports team has just been created for the new upcoming season.  There are new players, new equipment, and new managers to run the team.  Many of these new areas probably have little to no experience with each other professionally, so therefore flaws are inevitable.  In a way, the only way to go is up and mistakes which surely will be made can be used to change for the better in the future.  That being said, a new country with new officals, flags, and economy to name a few are all in a "trial run."  No one should expect them to suddenly become prosperous and great over a few years span.  Just like a new team, a country takes time to develop, people to gain comfort, and regulations and norms for people to follow.  I mean, even Rome wasn't built in a day.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 26, 2013 4:39 PM

This war could have been prevented. The Republic of Sudan and South Sudan are fighting over problems that may or may not exist.  Independence does not always solve the problems within a region, as shown in the case of South Sudan.  

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Size and Politics

Size and Politics | APHuG Political | Scoop.it
Revisiting an Austrian academic's call for smaller borders.

 

This New York Times article, entitled "Kohr Principles" has excellent material for students to think about the spatial organization of political interactions.  Leopold Kohr argued that size matters--and unlike most that argue for the same, he argued that political entities most not be too large.  In the map above, Kohr envisioned a Europe without countries large enough to dream of world domination.  So, how does a country's size shape its politics?  Is there an ideal size for internal unity and external security? 


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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 6, 2012 7:34 PM
I find Kohr principles interesting, but I do not think that decreasing the size of a country will reduce political turmoil or conflict. On the contrary I believe in a world divided among numerous small states, the root of all conflicts would be based upon the territorial makeup of existing states, creating a geographic security dilemma over acquiring “good” land.
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Gerrymandering 101

This video is a good primer to show before the ReDistricting Game (http://www.scoop.it/t/geography-education/p/2214122954/the-redistricting-game ).


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Special Report: For the world's newest nation, a rocky start

Special Report: For the world's newest nation, a rocky start | APHuG Political | Scoop.it
(This is the first in a series of articles: “Birthing a Nation - South Sudan’s first year.”)By Alexander DziadoszPIBOR, South Sudan (Reuters) - In December, the people of this town watched the national (Unsure on title of series but impt story RT...
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