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World Briefing | Australia: Howard Forced To Drop Asylum Bill

World Briefing | Australia: Howard Forced To Drop Asylum Bill | Chris' Regional Geography |

Prime Minister John Howard has withdrawn a controversial immigration bill rather than send it to the Senate, where it appeared to be headed for defeat after the defection of members of his center-right Liberal Party.

Article NY Times 2006 (old article) 

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NYTimes video: Sweden's Immigrant Identity

NYTimes video: Sweden's Immigrant Identity | Chris' Regional Geography |
One out of four Swedes are immigrants or have a parent with an immigrant background.


Demographic shifts leading to political and cultural tensions.   Europe, which historically has been a source of migrants, is relatively new to be a destination for migrants and that has heightened some of the conflicts. 

Via Seth Dixon
chris tobin's insight:

     This is an interesting video where second generation immigrants help one another by sharing their problems and aspirations with each other. Immigrants started out as visiting immigrants working in factories.  Later in time, they stayed and started families.   These successive second and third generations now are culturally challenged.  They have started their own support groups to help one another with the challenges and tensions they face within Sweden that is now their home.

    American, UK, London, Czechoslavakia, Slovakia and other countries have been experiencing these problems for a long time.  Decreased jobs, increased government aid, mixed cultures, affordable housing and housing shortages, changing community, cultural, religious and economic populations are some of the major problems people face and creates much tension.

They maintain their own cultural identity while melting into a mixed society with rising tensions within the population amidst job competition in a changing economy.

     Cultures tend to segregate themselves to maintain autonomy within this environment and to develop a support system within their group to cope. 

They see themselves as people who are from generations who moved to attain a better way of life, away from political, religious and economic turmoil.  As successive generations follow, they continue to form their own identities and try to 'gel' or fit into their perspective communities as a whole. 


Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 2014 6:29 PM

This video is shows the changing demographics of Sweden. Sweden and several other wealthier countries of Europe are now destinations for immigrants where they were once the origin of them. The change is difficult for these nations as they are somewhat unprepared economically and politically for significant immigration.


The immigrants end up feeling unwanted in their new country and their old. This feeling of being unwanted is possibly worse than it would be in the United States, a country more accustomed to immigration.

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, March 29, 2014 8:07 PM

This growingly intense immigration situation parallels that of our own here in the U.S. and in many other countries throughout the world. World citizens, refugees, don't feel at home in their birth country nor do they feel welcomed in their current home or host country. This puts a lot of stress and pressure on these already punished populations. That's not to say that the host countries concerned citizens don't have a reason to be worried, but are their responses appropriate or productive?  

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:29 AM

Europe is a place that makes traveling to different countries relatively easy. This makes sense that their would be migration that is inter-european. 

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Border Walls

Border Walls | Chris' Regional Geography |

"Geographer Reece Jones discusses his recent book Border Walls, examining the history of how and why societies have chosen to literally wall themselves apart.  He gives a brief history of political maps, how international lines reshape landscapes, and how the trend towards increased border wall construction contrasts with the view of a “borderless” world under globalization."

Via Seth Dixon
chris tobin's insight:

This broadcast states how advances in cartography over time maps borders of territory that became public in europe since the 180's, before that places to travel to were only by memory.  After WWII orders were recognized and redrawn.  Maps and borders organizes land around us as fixed territories to control.  It allows territories control over their land and authority.  Less than 5 borders or fences shortly after WWII existed and now there are at least 50 ,75% which are within the last 70 years.  Physical walls being built slows human travel, borders wealthy from poor--US/Mexico has one of the largest gaps where US GDP is greater by 4 to 1 compared to Mexico (US$40,0000

Mexico $10,000 us dollars)  India/Bangladesh border also illustrates this.  They share the same Bengali languge, with 15 million Bangladeshis living and working in India.  This border is 4000 km long with 200,000 border agents employed.  The border fence is about 10 ft high doubled barbed with many gates and flood lights (no camerastation in space because of the flood lights).  Bangladesh cross into India to visit relatives living there, and work.  Bangladesh has poor standards of living and India has increased standards of living.  Bangladesh has over 160 million people , 1238 people per sq km (dense population) in the comparable size of US state of Iowa, is a low lying area with floods, (Ganges River empties into Bay of Bengal) and as sea levels rise one meter flooding occurs.

The future of borders between $$wealthy and poor and world trade capital movement ,investments of US in other countries and trade of other countries into the US, and the poor becomes a threat to the territories (states, countries) sine they cannot move around in the world.  Morre walls and fence borders are to com.  In the last 15 years walls and fences has increased between countries to protect resources and control their area and even used strategically to their own advantage for resource control, political control and military advantages while affecting the environment, economics and peoples way of life.

This is a must read book which has won Geography awards and very insightful.

Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 9:00 AM
listening to some of the podcast you can get an in-depth synopsis of this. the walls that divide our countries and even towns over time have all the criteria and/or reasoning. Great Wall of China to keep invaders from starting war, Berlin Wall to divide german supporters of war, America/Mexican boarder is to keep illegal immigrants from coming, fence in your moms backyard is to keep neighbors/animals out of yard. Walls all have the same concept of avoiding war, trespassers and privacy. this is seen in not only everyday living but in military use as well.
Amanda Morgan's comment, September 13, 2014 4:49 PM
I found this podcast to be interesting because it seems as though the more popular globalization is becoming, and the more it grows, there are more borders and walls being built. By secluding the poor communities, wealthier communities could essentially cut them off to the rest of the globe.
Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 10:52 AM

I found this podcast to be interesting because it seems as though the more popular globalization is becoming, and the more it grows, there are more borders and walls being built. By secluding the poor communities, wealthier communities could essentially cut them off to the rest of the globe.