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Putin fills another U.S. leadership void in Nagorno-Karabakh

Putin fills another U.S. leadership void in Nagorno-Karabakh | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Russia exploits a conflict in Azerbijan’s breakaway region while Washington watches.

 

On April 1, an obscure conflict in Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh nearly devolved back into full-scale war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Transatlantic leaders called for an end to the violence and for redoubled efforts to settle the underlying political conflict but did little else. Russian President Vladimir Putin, by contrast, launched decisive actions to shore up Russia’s international reputation and pull Armenia and Azerbaijan away from the West.

 

TagsArmenia, political, war, borders, political, geopolitics, Central AsiaAzerbaijanRussia.

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The Strategic Importance of the Caspian Sea

"Stratfor Eurasia Analyst Eugene Chausovsky examines the Caspian Sea's large energy reserves and its conflicting maritime boundaries."

Seth Dixon's insight:

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world's largest lake went from having just two countries on its shores to five. Dividing the maritime borders has been especially difficult since the Caspian Sea has rich energy reserves and this lake will remain a place of strategic interest for many regional powers.  This video has been added to my ESRI StoryMap that spatially organizes place-based videos for the geography classroom.    


Tags: borders, political, geopolitics, Central Asia, energy, resources, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Russiaeconomic, water.

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Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:48 PM

The Caspian Sea, an area of importance for the middle east, is divided between 5 countries. It was once divided between 2 but was divided post soviet era. The sea is a area of importance because it is a hub of transportation and economic significance for transporting goods and services. Because of the waterway in Azerbaijan they have a significant way of gaining ecnomic growth by controlling the trade in and out of the Caspian sea.  

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 2:09 PM

The Caspian Sea which is bordered by five countries, Russia, Turkmenistan, Iran, Kazakstan and Azerbaijan. The seas importance come from its abundance of resources. It contains large volumes of oil and gas, an estimated 48 billion barrels of oil lies within and 8.7 trillion cubic meters of gas. Much of offshore oil has not been tapped because of disputes over maritime borders. Europe is interested in energy sources as well in the southern corner as a release from Russia's grip. Both Iran and Russia seem to disagree because of the idea of a TransCaspian pipeline.    

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 12:44 PM

The Caspian Sea is an intriguing geopolitical situation. The region was once dominated by the Soviet Union but  after the collapse is shared by multiple countries. Further complicating matters is the sea is full of untapped oil deposits. Territory disputes in such a situation are almost inevitable raising tensions in the region. Azerbaijan also wants to make a deal with Turkmenistan and Europe to move gas through a pipeline to diversify their income and provide Europe and alternative to Russian fuel. Naturally the Russians with the help of Iranians are making this difficult because it would threaten their profits. It seems that  the whole area likely needs a neutral party to try and arrange fair economic usage zones in the area. The Ukrainian conflict has further exasperated this since Europe is sanctioning their key fuel provider which in turn leads to more tension over pipelines. Hopefully all the oil exploitation doesn't also lead to poor environmental consequences such as the Aral sea economic usage. It is clear that central Asia while free from communist rule is still very much tied to Russia and its past decisions.

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Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Gordian Knot

Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Gordian Knot | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Is this an opportune moment for Eurasian powers to tackle the festering Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
Seth Dixon's insight:

Recently Crimea has has been a hot topic and in years past Chechyna was another much discussed topic.  Both of these ‘hot spots’ have some important geographic reasons as to why they are hot spots.  The collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent re-emergence of the Russian Federation have created geopolitical ripples that reverberate throughout the region.  Transnistria, Abkhazia and Novorussiya are places that few have ever heard about, but are now becoming critical locations for international relations because of they have an uncertain status that might shift soon.  One place to add to that list is Nagorno Karabakh, a region that is ethnically Armenian but nestled within Azerbaijan.  This article argues that now is an opportune moment to settle this issue that has been festering since the 90s, even if many feel that the international community is indifferent on the issue.    


Tags: political, sovereignty, territoriality, statesAzerbaijan, Armenia.

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Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, May 19, 2014 12:26 PM

You can find this on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagorno-Karabakh

Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, May 27, 2014 12:44 PM

The Crimea region has been hotly debated and fought over for quite a while now. The collapse of the USSR created a power vacuum in Eastern Europe which led to the contest for power in many of the former Soviet Satellite countries, including Ukraine. The Crimean peninsula, while mostly occupied by Russians, is legally a part of Ukraine, but maybe not for long. The Russian government is seemingly working to annex the peninsula while the Ukrainian government is working to keep it. The region will continue to be under lots of tugging and pulling for a while until a single government wins in to their nation. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:36 AM

this is a perfect example of some of the conflicts which have resulted because of the failure of the soviet state. with many of these states trying to gain land that the view as theirs, these wars can only really end in bloodshed or massive investments in peace.

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Azerbaijan Is Rich. Now It Wants to Be Famous.

Azerbaijan Is Rich. Now It Wants to Be Famous. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Oil-rich, velvet-rope-poor Azerbaijan, a country about the size of South Carolina on the Caspian Sea, would very much like to be the world’s next party capital.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Azerbaijan has limited cultural prestige and international recognition, but it has great quantities of oil, and they are parlaying that wealth into an important geopolitical position in Central Asia.  It appears that Baku has ambitions to become the next Dubai.


Tags: Azerbaijan, political, development, Central Asia, unit 4 political.


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Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 19, 2015 1:06 PM

Oil is a prime element in making a country very rich, almost like gold was back in the Age of Exploration.  The fact that a country that not many have heard of (including myself) one day hopes to be the new Dubai is completely believable.  Dubai itself, at one time, was another country that no one had heard of before and yet today it is the playground of the mega-rich.  Ibrahimov certainly has a dream for the city of Baku which he wants to build as the "Dubai of Central Asia".  I think that when it is all finished, the city should be impressive.  Yet, Ibrahimov always tried to avoid political questions, however this is very wise of him, because in this part of the world politics can be a very dangerous affair.  Ibrahimov himself, is very very wealthy.  I am not surprised that he said people with political pull believe in what he is doing.  The only thing that worries me about these oil rich countries is once the oil eventually runs out, then what will they do?  Also, it is interesting to see how Russia will react as the country of Azerbaijan increases its international presence in the coming years and becomes (in its hope) a rich nation.  I believe that will be very interesting to see, especially if the nation attempts to send oil directly to Europe, thus weakening an advantage Russia holds over the Western Europeans.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:52 PM

Azerbijan a country on the west coast of the Caspian sea is a very well equipped area with oil. This country also has the waterway in and out of the Caspian. Because of the oil and minerals that this country has they are becoming increasingly rich and gaining strength in the middle east. 

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 3:13 PM

By the looks of it, a tiny nation about the size of South Carolina, Azerbaijan wants to be exactly like Dubai. They want to be famous for what they have. It appears as if they will use their crude oil resources as their help to the top of the world. They will be quite the impressive country if they come out to be what they want. With help from the petroleum country BP, they are pumping oil out of the Caspian Sea. 

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Complex International Borders

More complex international borders in this follow up to part 1
In this video I look at even more enclaves and exclaves."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video (like part 1) shows some great examples of how the political organization of space and administration of borders can get complicated.  Here are the examples (and time in the video when they are covered in the video) on these complex borders:


Tags: borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty, video.

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Lydia Tsao's curator insight, March 23, 2015 11:40 PM

After viewing this video, I found one common characteristic that ties together the countries involved in all of these border disputes: hunger for power. Although culture and sacred lands do cause border disputes, I believe the underlying purpose of claiming land for cultural reasons is to demonstrate power. Claiming lands for cultural purposes demonstrates that one's culture is superior to the other's culture, so naturally the more powerful culture gets to claim territory. On another note, I think it's interesting to see just how many enclaves and exclaves exist in the world. I did not know how many existed until I saw the video. I think this shows how insignificant these border anomalies are because these exclaves are usually just governed by the other country by which they are surrounded. 

Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 7, 2015 9:13 PM

Borders seem to be a problem whether you live in one continent or another, everyone wants power and control but not everyone can gain it. This video focuses and goes into depth about enclave and exclave borders, showing the irregularity of the borders in different areas that causes conflicts and problems. An example of a problem that the citizens have to deal with is that some villages can not leave due to the road blocks due to the borders. I can not imagine not being able to leave a certain area for all that time, I would go insane and I imagine those people are as well. International borders power has to be split somehow and not everyone can always come to an easy decision because parts of the land are claimed but the people do not have any control of it. Irregular borders cause more trouble than they are worth in my opinion. The final interesting fact about this video was that you learn that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are the two locations that have the most irregular border, these places must have the most conflict and problems. These borders are in places such as Germany, South Asia, China, Belgian, Sweden and Central Asia.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 5:17 PM

A fascinating look into the complexity of borders. It is always important to keep in mind when looking at maps that the borders are neither permanent or defined as it exists in reality. Borders on world maps are rough estimations of what the borders actually are for they can't depict precise details on such a large scale. Furthermore regional/local maps sometimes do not whether as to conform to the border misconception unfortunately. In Central Asia as defined int he video the border were primarily a result of the Soviet Unions attempts to divided ethnic minorities reducing their power (primarily Stalin). As a result the countries after the collapse proceeded to claim the ethnic groups which created enclaves within each-other. As long as these groups are on peaceful terms this kind of thing isn't an issue. Unfortunately it does make the peoples lives in the enclaves slightly more difficult due to having to cross the border twice to see the rest of your country. This kind of thing was even done to the Jews in the first century AD who like the Russians wanted to eliminate or at least reduce attempts at revolution by the local populace. Hopefully Central Asia has or will make the lives of these enclaves easier.

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Welcome to Baku, the Fiercely Modern, Millennia-Old, Capitalist-Socialist, Filthy-Rich Capital of Azerbaijan

Welcome to Baku, the Fiercely Modern, Millennia-Old, Capitalist-Socialist, Filthy-Rich Capital of Azerbaijan | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Since 2006, when the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline prompted a surge in crude oil exports -- up to a million barrels a day travel through neighboring Georgia and on to Turkey and the West -- there’s been no shortage of cash in Baku. Now, the city is eager for the prestige that goes with it."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Baku is described in this article as an East-West, socialist-capitalist, Muslim-secular, ancient-modern mishmash due to the numerous cultural and political interactions that it has had.  This makes for a fascinating cultural landscape emerging in a city that has been dubbed "the Dubai of the Caucasus" but still has a rich Silk Road history.  Caspian Sea oil lies at the heart of Azerbaijan's geopolitical importance and cultural aspirations. 


Tags: Azerbaijan, political, Central Asia.

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Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 15, 2014 5:21 PM

I'm not on the oil or gas business, or a follower of the Eurovision Song Contest, so it's unlikely that Baku is top in my mind. The pictures of the building looks classic. The Russian taxi looks like if was built in 1940, but it was recently. Russia because the embargo, along side cuba, has the oldest looks cars.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 19, 2015 1:20 PM

Baku is a very interesting city, because of how much of a mish-mash the city is.  What always interests me as an American, is the fact that how varied the old world can be.  In the article it shows the modern, opulent Four Seasons hotel, behind an old government building that looks like it belongs in 18th Century Europe.  It is also crazy how the Maiden Tower from the 6th Century sits right across from Designer Clothes retailers.  Once again, as an American this is very hard for me to visulize, our oldest buildings still standing in cities date back to the 1800s, maybe 1700s, if you are in a city like Newport, RI.  The fact that an ancient tower still stands in a modern city is absolutely fascinating.  Also described in the article is a Bentley dealership (a British Luxury car).  This shows that the city is growing in wealth and changing.  The country of Azerbaijan is certainly on the path (as mentioned in my scoop about Azerbaijan wanting to be famous) to become a world destination.  I think it will be interesting to keep following what is going on in this region, as the country continues to transition.   

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 8, 2015 9:40 AM

People will come if there is something exciting to see.  Also if they feel there is relatively little danger.  I'd say they need to keep on developing and make it glitter.  Once the wealthy are attracted and the celebrities then maybe more tourism might happen.  

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Technology and Tradition Collide: From Gender Bias to Sex Selection

Technology and Tradition Collide:  From Gender Bias to Sex Selection | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Every year, as a result of prenatal sex selection, 1.5 million girls around the world are missing at birth.  How do we know these girls are missing if they were never born? Under normal circumstances, about 102 to 107 male babies are born for every 100 female babies born. This is called the sex ratio at birth, or SRB."


Seth Dixon's insight:

How do local cultures create these demographic statistics?  How do these demographic statistics impact local cultures? 


Tags: gender, technologyfolk culture, statistics, China, population.

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