Geography Education
1.4M views | +185 today
Follow
Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Military industrial complex: These 15 countries have the largest defense budgets

Military industrial complex: These 15 countries have the largest defense budgets | Geography Education | Scoop.it
World defense spending is expected to go up for the first time in five years, thanks to China and Russia.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The top 3 shouldn't come as any big surprises, but there might be a few farther on down the list though that might raise some eyebrows.  There are specific geopolitical, historic, economic and cultural rationales for each of these countries that explain why they are on this list, and discussing those reasons is a conversation would having. 

more...
Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 2014 1:32 PM

Russia is the third highest goverment military that spends around 143 million people lived in Russia in 2012 and they spent around $475 per person on it's military. Russia compared to China and the US is another story the US is number one in who spent the most on their military forces at $600.4 billion. As far as China is concerened it comes in at number two at spending around  $112.2 billion. These numbers make sense especially for the power house that China is and how their values of militarism affect their spending and their way of society/life.

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, March 7, 2015 10:00 PM

Wow looking at all these defense military budgets show why some economies are not producing well, but at the same time its astonishing how much money is spent protecting homelands. It will grow in the next 5 years, and hopefully i'll be around to see what has changed who has taken the top position because i feel as if their will be a shift in the tides.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 9, 2015 6:10 PM

Not surprised at many names on the list, but am surprised at The US figure, how much it costs per American, and at the gap between The US and China.  Its scary to see some of the names on the list though and wonder if they are using that money for defense, or an offensive attack.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Security Still A Major Concern In Sochi

ESPN Video: Jeremy Schaap details the threats to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Seth Dixon's insight:

It's not everyday that ESPN will use terms like insurgency, region, state, suicide bombs, attacks, threats, heightened security, terrorists and black widows during a video clip, but when they do it's worth paying attention to the geographic context of their story.  Here is an additional NY Times interactive, also on the geopolitical context of Sochi.


Tags: sport, political, conflict, devolution, Russia.

more...
Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 2014 2:14 PM

Security is a major concern in Sochi! There have been suicide bombers and many other forms of bomb threats. The athletes are under MAX security and in my opinion need to be because they are in danger because of the way their society is over there and the current issues they have been dealing or not dealing with.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 2014 2:57 PM

The Olympics being held in Sochi, Russia concern many across the globe. Located very close to neighboring terrorists, Olympic athletes question whether it is safe to go or not. ESPN discusses the concerns, threats and  increase of security at the games this year. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 2014 8:29 PM

The Olympic games only come around every four years. From a spectators point of view, these games are a worldwide phenomenon. Millions of people will be watching them from home and in attendance in Sochi. Threats against HUGE events like these need to be taken seriously. Whether or not they are realistic, with so many lives in potential danger Russia needs to take the threats seriously.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

A short, recent history of Congo

Mapping the war in Congo: mineral wealth, militias and an epic march
Seth Dixon's insight:

To understand much of the political situation in Central Africa, a short history of the recent political and ethnic turmoil in Rwanda and Congo are helpful.  This particular videographic from the Economist is a few years old, but the historical context is still incredibly relevant  This series provides a wealth of information and several will be added to the place-based geography videos interactive map.


Tags: Congo, political, conflict, devolution, refugees, Africa.

more...
Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2015 2:39 PM

This is another sad story.  There is fast wealth in this area.  More than enough to get this economy off the ground and be a booming source of wealth for the countries.  Ever since the British, Belgiums, and foreigners created conflict in the area there has been so much unrest. They need to get out of their own ways and elect someone who won't steal millions.  They could get back to the golden days, but not until they have some peace which would then lead to prosperity.  

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:00 PM

once again a recurring theme, greedy and corrupt people running countries. with such immense mineral deposits how can this country not be prospering. because the people of these countries are selfish and once again not nationalistic to the point where people will try to make a significant change.

Brian von Kraus's curator insight, January 12, 6:15 PM

Amazing videographic from The Economist showing the recent history of Congo that explains the current instability of the country. 

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

South Sudan factional fighting leaves hundreds feared dead

South Sudan factional fighting leaves hundreds feared dead | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Two days of street battles between rival factions in South Sudan's army left parts of the capital in ruins and prompted fears of a bloodbath in the world's youngest country.

UN officials in New York said they had received reports from local sources indicating that between 400 and 500 people had been killed and up to 800 wounded. More than 16,000 people were seeking refuge at UN facilities. What began on Sunday night as an alleged coup attempt now threatens to widen deep ethnic divisions in a country awash with weapons and still recovering from a devastating war that led to its secession from the north in 2011."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Earlier in the semester we discussed how difficult it is to establish a new country in a region with political and economic instabilty.  This is only further complicated by the presence of factional rivalries.  It's a tragedy that these problems are being played out.  


Tags: South Sudanpolitical, Africa, states.

more...
Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 24, 2014 9:51 PM

The newest nation in the world still faces hardships today in 2014. In 2013 the country was almost involved with a civil war between the government and rebel forces. One of the reasons for violence occurring was some people who were supportive of the vice president felt the president was acting like a dictator. However, in 2014 a cease-fire was signed between the government and rebel forces, but violence still occurs between those groups of people and over natural resources such as oil.

It is very difficult for the newest country in the world to be successful, as it is politically unstable. 

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 4, 2014 2:37 PM

Wow they just got their own country and now they are fighting amongst themselves. The government said it was a misunderstanding. Sad that 500 people died due to a misunderstanding.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 1, 2014 10:59 PM

Two and a half years as a country and they are already fighting?  With all the instability already in Sudan before South Sudan was created it doesn't help that there are differences between the people of South Sudan to add to the mix.  The people don't even trust their own government as they are flocking in masses to the UN refugee centers instead of listening to the government when they have been assured security.  With any hope South Sudan can get it together, stop killing their own people, and become an example for other countries around them to follow.

Suggested by Thomas Schmeling
Scoop.it!

Most Americans live in Purple America, not Red or Blue America

Most Americans live in Purple America, not Red or Blue America | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"We're far less politically divided by geography than it may seem....Of course, it’s true that Americans aren’t of one mind on many political issues.  But it is important that we not look at these maps and infer that we are so politically polarized by geography.  In fact, most Americans live in places that are at least somewhat politically and ideologically diverse — even if that’s not reflected in how congressional district boundaries are drawn.   In terms of the most important driver of political choices — partisanship — most of us live in a purple America, not a red or blue America."

more...
Chamath Gunawardena's curator insight, December 15, 2013 5:06 PM

I like this article because it shows that the preference of a political party doesn't divide america completely so that that some states are completely republican or completely democratic. Showing that america isn't as politically divided in certain areas means we can view other's views in those areas as a unique view.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 16, 2014 2:01 PM

Americans are entitled to their own beliefs. If they want to be a democrat thats fine. If they want to be a republican thats fine too. Back in the day, this map may have looked different and more on the red and blue sides than purple, but in todays world people have changed. They are not entitled to be a democrat just because they live in a democratic society. People live in areas of purple (more so than just red or just blue), not red or blue and the purple color gives Americans a chance to think for themselves.

Gabby Watkins's curator insight, May 13, 2014 7:50 PM

Unit 5

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Moving Capital Cities

Moving Capital Cities | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A comprehensive listing of world capital cities that have moved from one city to another."

Seth Dixon's insight:

What happens when a country moves it's capital city?  Why would a country choose to move it's capital?  This list (with some short historic and geographic context) helps answer those questions. 

more...
The Rice Process's curator insight, November 24, 2013 9:52 PM

Great resource!

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 11:39 PM

Over the years countries have moved their major capitols from one area of their country to another. They move their capitol cities to try to please the people and reform. By moving the capitol cities it causes more growth and development which can lead to the area being more populated. 

Suggested by Thomas Schmeling
Scoop.it!

So you want to form your own state? It may take a while

So you want to form your own state? It may take a while | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Voters in five Colorado counties said on Tuesday they want to form their own state.  But the breakaway regions face almost impossible constitutional and political obstacles. The North Colorado movement supporters claim that their counties have little in common with more urbanized parts of the state, and they are unhappy with state-wide laws about gun control and energy standards. 

Seth Dixon's insight:

There are other secessionist movements, and other ways the states might have formed, but these are all very unlikely.  There's that little document called the Constitution that makes these movements impractical.  

more...
Tony Aguilar's curator insight, November 17, 2013 6:26 AM

movements to secceed and create their own state is a popular idea but will not be easy because of the political and cultural implications. Already exisiting states would become smaller and turn into smaller autonmous states. in the long run it may be more to manage because we would not more representatives and senators to represent this additional state. THe independant states may have more states but could become a headache for the 50 original states we already have.

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 16, 2013 10:27 AM

Theres an old saying that fits well with this article and its "if its not broke dont fix it" theres no major problem with having some demographicial differences in a state. Sure Nor Cal and So Cal may be nothing alike but that doesnt mean they need to officially seperate. Thanks to the constitution the seperation of a state/ forming of a state isnt a easy proccess, because if it was there would be endless amounts of states in this country because no 2 people share the exact same opinion.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

How Many Countries Are There?

Seth Dixon's insight:

What makes a country a country?  There isn't just one definition that is universally excepted as to what a country is; that make the first question even harder to answer.  Exploring these terms though is incredibly geographic and highlights some of the lesser known but fascinating places that are mired in geopolitical quandaries.


Tags: borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty, CGP Grey.

more...
Heather Ramsey's curator insight, November 3, 2013 8:12 PM

This is one of those frequently asked questions in Geography class that sometimes results in increased confusion. The maker of this video has summed it up nicely.

Tony Aguilar's curator insight, November 8, 2013 2:44 AM

What makes a country a country is if they play by the rules, of other soverin nations on a global scale and follow the rules. Most countries recieve taxes from their citizens, have a military and a recognized as a soverin. Not every body of land is a country but are also properties controlled by other countries. There are countries in the South Pacific. In North, South America, Europe, and Asia, and bevcause of politcal geopgrahpy nations sizes are changing often and new countries are usually created from theis process

 

Mrs. B's curator insight, February 15, 2014 9:44 AM

193....except........

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

The End of the Nation-State?

The End of the Nation-State? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
With rapid urbanization under way, cities want to call their own shots. Increasingly, they can.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This article could just as easily been titled, "The rise of the modern city-state."  Parag Khanna (known for his TED talk, Mapping the Future of Countries) argues in this article that governance is happening increasingly at the city scale.  "In the face of rapid urbanization, every city, state or province wants to call its own shots. And they can, as nations depend on their largest cities more than the reverse."


Questions to Ponder: Is this devolution?  How so?  How does this make us rethink political power and 'the state?'  How might this shift reshape the world?  How might this concept relate to the term primate cities? 

 

Tags: political, urban politics, urban.

more...
Tony Aguilar's curator insight, October 17, 2013 10:01 AM

The end of Soverign nation states has alot to do with how interact with other states into a more integrated regional economy. The global community is realizing its importance of woking together to mazimize on trade and technology building as an economic world effort. This would blur the lines of independent soverign countires and bring regions together for economic puprposes even redrawing regional lines. Cities want more autonomy on responding to urbanization and move more away from being identified as a nation state. It is the desire to listen less to what washington has to say and act more as an independent state which makes more decisons with the regions around it to mazimize on rapid city growth and the money making opportunities that a re created from a rapidly changing global community.

Keileem's comment, October 17, 2013 3:41 PM
Just end reading a book: the end of the nation state, but than in mind a non-democratic eu government.
Emma Boyle's curator insight, November 20, 2013 8:31 AM

Good examples: NYC, Washington DC, Brasilia, Hong Kong, London, and many more.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

This Pittsburgh restaurant only serves food from America's "enemies"

This Pittsburgh restaurant only serves food from America's "enemies" | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Conflict Kitchen is the only restaurant in the world that serves cuisine solely from countries with which the U.S. is in conflict.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: What do you think the purpose of Conflict Kitchen is for the restaurant owners?  Many people choose restaurants for a cultural experience; what type of cultural experiences are these patrons searching for by eating at Conflict Kitchen?  What political overtones are there to these cultural encounters?  


Tags: foodpolitical, culture.

more...
Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, October 3, 2013 4:26 PM

Any Ethnic conflicts here HUGGERS?

Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 20, 2013 3:04 PM

Initially I wasn't really sure what I thought about this resturant. My initial reaction was that I hated it and thought it was a bad idea. I to seemed like we were supporting another country by serving their food. However there is a cultural experience involved when we go out to eat. Many people go out to italian resturants to get the experience of italy and etc. However after really thinking about it the US is typically in conflict with another countries government, not the people who live there. By selling the food of countries we are in conflict with almost gives us an idea about what exactly the culture is there. I think it almost educates people in such a way. I think that might be the purpose on the resturant. By eating at this resturant it opens peoples eyes to what people of that particular country are consuming on a regular day basis. That experience can be good or bad, but either way it still opens up peoples eyes to the type of world other countries are living in. I think by eating there you open yourslef up to a new cultural experience, which I belive is exactly the point that the kitchen is trying to serve. Even if it is through food. 

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 12:06 PM

Conflict Kitchen serves foods from the countries the United States is in conflict with. They might be doing this to show Americans a little bit of how their culture is b eating their foods. 

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Debating the U.S. Response to Syria

Debating the U.S. Response to Syria | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Students will:

  • Analyze the issues that frame the current debate on U.S. policy towards Syria.
  • Consider the role of the U.S. public, the president, and Congress in the decision of whether to use military force.
  • Work cooperatively within groups to integrate the arguments and beliefs of the options into a persuasive, coherent presentation.
  • Explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy towards Syria through a role-play activity.
Seth Dixon's insight:

You want resources for teaching the most important geopolitical issue right now?  This set of resources from the Choices Program is just what you are looking for. 


Tags: SyriaMiddleEast, conflict, political.

more...
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Religious Geographies

Religious Geographies | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

I recently got my hands on a fabulous atlas entitled Mapping Mormonism which shows the historical geographies of this particular Christian denomination (see a review here).  I'll briefly share just this one cartogram above that is from the atlas; it displays territory not by the size of the landmass but by the LDS population living within the given territory.  While we would expect to see Utah to be very large on this cartogram, are there other pockets of large LDS populations that are surprising to you?  What explains the small spatial distribution patterns of limited diffusion that you see?  The LDS church is well-known for its missionary program and proselytizing efforts—does that play a role in this map?


On a related side note I found a curious political/religious map of the United States (a map that is partially explained by understanding some of the patterns on the map above).  The most typical religious maps show where particular religions are pre-dominant.  This map shows territories marked not by the faith of the residents but by the religion of the local congressmen.  This make me wonder:  Is this map religious or political? Is there valuable information to glean from this maps or is it simply a fun curiosity?  How does the religious geography of the United States impact political geography (or vice versa)?    


Tags: religion, culture, diffusion, mapping, historical, cartography.

more...
Jacob Ramsey's comment, September 1, 2013 10:42 PM
Its really interesting how a so many people can collaborate on one topic to bring not only the history of a ideal, but the true history of a long line of people that were a big part of the development of the west in the United States. We always learn about how this and that president did something to help the country expand but it would very interesting to see how we as a country grew from the influences of someone outside of our own society. And not only does this book offer maps but it also includes charts and timelines!
Kendall Belleville's comment, September 2, 2013 5:11 PM
It is really cool to see how much of tho religions are in the United States. it is really nice to see that people are being supportive of them. It is interesting that there are large areas of religion and then some areas have very little.
Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 29, 2014 12:30 AM

This map conveys the population of Mormons in each state. The sizes of the states are presented as corresponding the the Mormon population in each. The map links to more than what it shows. When you ask why are so many Mormons in Utah you can look into the past of Utah and the past of Mormons and you will find that Mormons settled in Utah following one of their leaders. You can then even ask the question why are Mormons still migrating to Utah or the question why did they stay there. Human geography can help us find the answers to these questions. A shared ideology among the community. A lack of repercussion for being open about their belief. A sense of belonging. Family connections. Human Geography help us unravel these mysteries which were brought to our attention by a simple map.

Regional spaces of Mormon's (such as the rather Formal region of Utah) are shown through the map and show the distribution of Mormonism throughout the world.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Argentina renews Falklands claims

Argentina renews Falklands claims | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner renews her claims for sovereignty of the Falklands at a UN Security Council meeting.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Are they the Falklands or Las Malvinas?  It's not just a simple linguistic translation but also a statement of territoriality and geopolitical recognition.  This article nicely summarizes the current situation. For a great teaching resource on the historical ebbs and flows in this longstanding dispute between Argentina and the UK, see the second slideshow in this series of  AP Human Geography talks that was given at NCGE earlier this month. 


Tags: Argentinaborders, political, territoriality, sovereignty.

more...
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 7:10 PM

I think that countries trying to unite and make claims is sort of like going to a bad college party in a station wagon with people that you might not like, don't like you, and are not like you... At least in the case of the USA.  As for Argentina, well I hope they're not as ravishly divided as the united of the constituents of America.  I don't really have anything good to say about this country... I have been physically and psychologically abused by police, damaged and violated by medical establishments, and I'm really sick of other people acting like they have the god-given right or my permission to treat me less than pleasantly.  How does this relate to Argentina requesting sovereignty? Well, I relate my personal experience to their situation in that they might be better off sovereign than being operated on by deranged fugitive doctors or beaten up by cops in bad relationships... so to speak.  For a lack of sovereignity would pose negative things that might befall their people.  I think that there is a greater chance for greater things to happen to them if they do it alone, rather than being told what to do, or being thought through and puppetted by other countries!

Joshua Mason's curator insight, February 19, 2015 12:59 PM

Often times, the thoughts of the Days of Empire are long gone. Most people see World War I as the boiling over of competition for colonies. As Europe gave most of their colonies up in the mid-20th century, some of them still stayed in their colonists' hands. The Falklands are that shining example of the UK's Empire days and it's understandable why they would want to hold on to them. Not only are they a decent naval base for operations in the Americas and along the Atlantic, they remind Great Britain that she was (and one could argue still is) a world power on the sea and land. No country wants to give away land voluntarily. Argentina sees these islands as her's and wants them back while the United Kingdom still holds claim. The UK also has the backing of the inhabitants when a referendum was held. Only three of the residents on the Falklands voted to split from its over seas ruler. What do you do when a country right off your shores demands your home back while a country thousands of miles away wants to keep you? It was a recipe for disaster in the 80's and still proves to be a point of tension in the 21st century.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 1, 2015 8:10 AM

The controversy of the Falklands continues. You would think that someone would have proposed viable solution to this issue by now. The Falklands war back in the 1980's remains one of my favorite skirmishes in history. The whole issue is throwback to the colonial era when the sun never set on the British Empire. In the years following the Second World War, the Empire collapsed. Today there is virtually nothing left of that once great empire. Great Britain should let one of its last vestiges of Empire go. There is no need for the British government to administer an Island in South America. The days of imperialism and colonialism have long since passed.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Why Sochi?

Why Sochi? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Why would Vladimir Putin want to host the Olympics in an underdeveloped place where terrorists lurk nearby? The answer is not as complicated as it may seem.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This article is an excellent explanation of the geopolitical significance of holding the Olympic Games in Sochi.  Geographer Carole McGranahan writes critically about the location of the Olympics given Putin's policies in the Caucasus Mountains (especially in regard to the 2008 invasion of Georgia to protect Russian interests in South Ossetia).  Additionally, here is a link from Stratfor discussing the shifting foreign policy concerns of the United States towards Russia.


Tags: sport, political, conflict, devolution, Russia.

more...
Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 2014 2:52 PM

There are many reasons as to why the Olympics this year are held in Sochi, Russia i. Although it is an underdeveloped, terrorist driven area, it holds much potential and Vladimir Putin has reasons to why it is the perfect place.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 2014 12:59 AM

This article explains why Putin wanted the Winter Olympic games to be in Sochi. The Olympics have historically been used as a way for a nation to showcase progress or power, and the case is no different here. By hosting the games in Sochi, Putin was drawing attention to his successful crushing of the Chechen rebels and Russia's reinvestment into the area. Through the games, Putin is trying to make an international statement about the security and progress in this war-torn area. Still, there are a number of Chechen rebel cells and Circassian protesters in the area with a grudge against Russia.

Patty B's curator insight, April 29, 5:23 PM
This article seeks to answer why Putin deemed Sochi a viable spot to host the Olympic games. A war-torn, violent, dangerous, and desolate area, Sochi looked like one of the last places on Earth on would want to host the games. It seemed like the type of place other countries did not want to travel to. It was the type of place foreign fans did not feel safe walking around the streets of. But Putin saw the Olympics as a chance to reverse all of the negative aspects surrounding Sochi. In fact, the Olympic games have often served as a crutch for struggling nations to use to generate economic growth and to essentially turn things around a complete 180 degrees. Sochi, in Putin's eyes, was just that type of place. He believed Sochi needed the Olympics, and in a way, the Olympics and the world needed Sochi to be the host. In Putin's eyes, the games would have brought unity to the war-torn area. But, despite the Olympics helping countries of the past do so, Sochi remained as violent as before. 
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Oil Pirates and the Mystery Ship

Oil Pirates and the Mystery Ship | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Forget Somalia, the world's new epicenter of piracy is on the other side of Africa."


Some experts believe that the uptick in the number and geographical reach of pirate attacks is due in part precisely to the 2009 government amnesty for the Nigerian militants in the Niger Delta who had justified their attacks on oil infrastructure and their widespread theft of crude oil as a political protest. "With the political pretense lost, there is no longer any need for oil thieves to limit themselves to targets in the Delta," a United Nations study said.

more...
Shiva Prakash's curator insight, February 3, 2014 11:20 PM

Technology is changing the shopping habits of buyers. Compete recently conducted a survey that reported a rapid increase in the number of people using their mobile devices for shopping Online shopping which u can buy from home easily with lots of designs of cloths and new technology mobile phones without going out for shopping just click here to go eaZy http://shopdeer.blogspot.in/

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:08 AM

This article points to the little known problem of piracy off the western coast of Africa.  When one thinks of African piracy, one thinks of the Somali pirates it is important to know that piracy is not just limited to eastern Africa.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Walled World

Walled World | Geography Education | Scoop.it
We chart the routes of, and reasons for, the barriers which are once again dividing populations
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an in-depth, multi-media interactive that explores the political, economic and cultural implications of borders that are heavily fortified or militarized (I found this too late to be included in the "best posts of 2013" list, but this will be the first to include for 2014).  Not all of these borders are political; in Brazil it explores the walls that separate different socioeconomic groups and in Northern Ireland they look at walls dividing religious groups.  The interactive examines various borders including U.S./Mexico, Morocco, Syria, India/Bangladesh, Brazil, Israel, Greece/Turkey, Northern Ireland, North/South Korea and Spain The overarching questions are these: why are we building new walls to divide us?  What are the impacts of these barriers?

  

Tags: borders, political, territoriality, unit 4 political.

more...
Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 29, 2014 1:06 AM

We looked at this map in class its really interesting nd weird to see all the dividing walls in the world and to discover ones youve never seen before.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, October 12, 2015 9:53 PM

The video attached to this article reminded me made me think "racism". It is not Americas first time targeting one cultural group and antagonizing them. We did it to the Indians, Jews, at one time we denied Chinese immigrants the right to enter the country or become a citizen. The projection of walls in my opinion only creates more room for crime. I would love to research what benefits its had. I think the world is lacking the understand that people are people .period. This segregation and division is so unnecessary and creates wars, tension, hostility, and divide.

 

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 2, 2015 9:41 AM

the social impact is we do not get to mingle with people of different culture, religion, ethnicity. Economically businesses do not grow at least on the small business side. There is no chance of growth. what about population once again if you stay with in a section divided by walls then the population stays within. a society would have to stay above the 2.06 fertility rate to keep their population stable.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Ukraine: To Face Europe or Russia?

Ukraine: To Face Europe or Russia? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"This map illustrates the country's deep division – and why the protests might not be what you think. Ukraine has been wracked by protests for two-plus weeks over President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to reject a deal for closer integration with the European Union. Russian President Vladimir Putin had been pressuring Yanukovych to quit the EU deal and join with a Moscow-led trade union of former Soviet states instead. Will Ukraine's future be with Russia or with Europe?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

The country of Ukraine is both ethnically and linguistically divided and since the fall of the Soviet Union, the partisan politics have mirrored these divisions.  The northwestern portion of the country is primarily ethnic Ukrainian and with the majority speaking Ukrainian.  This section of the country that is hoping to strengthen economic and political ties with the EU and face Europe; those that aren't as bullish on the EU here at least want to explore other options so they aren't overpowered by Moscow's shadow.  The southeastern portion of Ukraine primarily speaks Russian with sizeable ethnic Russian populations (although many ethnic Ukrainians speak Russian here); not surprisingly, this is the part of the country that would rather join in an economic union with Russia and other former Soviet Republics, or at least not turn their backs on Moscow. 


Questions to Ponder: Why are language and ethnicity often tied to political orientation?  Why might trading with all economic partners not be as viable an option?

more...
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 15, 2014 2:16 PM

The Ukraine is divided along Ethno-linguitic lines. Even within the borders of Ukraine there are contrast in the characteristics of local communities. Some identify with Russia, others with Ukraine. The borders of Ukraine are likely to change because there are such differences between its citizens.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 17, 2014 10:08 PM

Ukraine has been wracked by protests for two-plus weeks over President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to reject a deal for closer integration with the European Union. Thousands of protesters in the capital city of Kiev are calling for Yanukovych to step down. This is a potentially big moment for Ukraine, as well as for Europe: Russian President Vladimir Putin had been pressuring Yanukovych to quit the EU deal and join with a Moscow-led trade union of former Soviet states instead. Will Ukraine's future be with Russia or with Europe? What's happening in Ukraine is complicated and driven by many factors: the country's history as an unhappy component of the Soviet Union, its deep economic woes, a sense of cultural fondness for the West, wide discontent with government corruption, two decades of divided politics and a sense that Yanukovych caved to Putin.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 8, 2015 10:23 AM

It is unfortunate to see this happening.  Ukrainians want to be connected to Europe not Russia.  The divide between the people ad the President is quite large.  This makes me wonder if Putin is promising Yanukovych with a monetary bribe.  Or if Putin is threatening Yanukovych.  

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

In the East China Sea, a Far Bigger Test of Power Looms

In the East China Sea, a Far Bigger Test of Power Looms | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In an era when the United States has been focused on new forms of conflict, the dangerous contest suddenly erupting in the East China Sea seems almost like a throwback to the Cold War.
Seth Dixon's insight:

China has been very aggressive in how they assert their territorial claims in both the South and East China Sea.  China is claiming control over the airspace of the East China Sea and the Senkaku Islands. While the U.S. government rejects this claim, they are encouraging commercial airlines to comply with China's request that all flight is this zone submit their flight plans to the Chinese government.  Japan, on the other hand, does not want the Chinese to have this as a symbolic victory that would further legitimize their political control over this space.  Why does China care so much about some minor islands?  Why would other countries not want to accept China's territorial assertions?


Tags: borders, political, conflict, China, Japan, East Asia.

more...
Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:38 PM

There will always be problems with every country. China needs to focus on their new issues and deal with them properly.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:35 PM

As China grows more aggressive in its territorial claims, Japan and South Korea are both adjusting their militaries to fit the situation. Both countries are expanding their military presence throughout the disputed region as they worry about China's expansion. The article states that China may be attempting to push American presence further away from their shores, and explains the increasing tensions between the two.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 8:32 PM

I understand that the united states has been the most powerful country in the world for the last 100 or so years and that china was not so powerful. But now china thinks it is time to grow and can do so because of its great economic situation and its building of military. China has rapidly moved up the ranks in these two titles and finally they want to show the world how powerful it got. i don't know what happens in the future but china knows it got America nervous though we would never admit it. 

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

India and Pakistan Reunited

"It’s rare that a video from a brand will spark any real emotion--but a new spot from Google India is so powerful, and so honest to the product, that it’s a testament not only to the deft touch of the ad team that put it together, but to the strength of Google’s current offering."--Forbes

Seth Dixon's insight:

True, this is a commercial--but what a great commercial to show that the history of of a geopolitical conflict has many casualties including friendships across lines.  This isn't the only commercial in India that is raising eyebrows.  This one from a jewelry company is proudly showing a divorced woman remarrying--something unthinkable for Indian TV one generation ago. 


Questions to Ponder: How does the Indian media reflect the values and beliefs of Indian culture?  How does the Indian media shape Indian culture?  

 

Tags India, borders, political, Pakistanmedia, gender, popular culture.

more...
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 2:38 AM

This video is reminiscent of the families separated during the Korean war recently being allowed to visit one another. While tensions still exist between India and Pakistan many have begun to come to peace with the concept their nations won't be unified under either's rule. Because of this cooling of tensions families and friends are now able to see each other again after years without seeing them. Of course this is a Google commercial so the sincerity is somewhat diminished because of it's origins.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 3:11 PM

The most intriguing commercial that shows the differences and consequences of what happens between two nations. It shows hurt and feelings no human should have to go through. The biggest thing with this is how that after so much time apart two different people of different religions or countries can come back together and remain friends after so long of conflicting issues.

MA Sansonetti-Wood's curator insight, January 26, 9:29 PM
Seth Dixon's insight:

True, this is a commercial--but what a great commercial to show that the history of of a geopolitical conflict has many casualties including friendships across lines.  This isn't the only commercial in India that is raising eyebrows.  This one from a jewelry company is proudly showing a divorced woman remarrying--something unthinkable for Indian TV one generation ago. 


Questions to Ponder: How does the Indian media reflect the values and beliefs of Indian culture?  How does the Indian media shape Indian culture?

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

(Serbo-)Croatian: A Tale of Two Languages

(Serbo-)Croatian: A Tale of Two Languages | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"What language is spoken in Croatia? Croatian is now the 24th official language of the European Union, but there are disagreements about whether it’s a distinct language or just a slightly different dialect of Serbian. Serbian nationalists believe that everyone shares the same language, “Serbian”. But many Croats persist in making their national language as distinct from Serbian as possible. Listeners will discover how politics is intruding on language, and how it is changing the map of linguistic patterns in unexpected ways."


Tags: language, Croatiapolitical, podcast, Maps 101.

more...
CCRES's comment, November 6, 2013 4:06 AM
Baška tablet , Croatian: Bašćanska ploča, pronounced is one of the first monuments containing an inscription in the Croatian recension of the Church Slavonic language, dating from the year 1100.
Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 1, 2014 3:03 PM

This part of the world has been so mixed up for so long. Each country wants their own identity, language and name but the borders are continually changing. Although these fights seem petty to me (an American) I am sure they mean quite a bit to the people living in these areas. National identity is very important to humans in general. Where we come from is the basis of who we are.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:51 AM

Languages are sometimes a mystery to countries but mostly has to do with who's occupying these countries and where the countries are located.  Croatia is only a few countries away from Serbia so the fact that the language they speak may/not be close to Serbian is no surprise. Migration and other factors contribute to the language developed in specific countries.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Take This State And Shove It: The New Secession Movement

Take This State And Shove It: The New Secession Movement | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Residents of rural areas feel shut out of their states' politics, so why not create their own?
Seth Dixon's insight:

One county commission discribed these political movements thus: "It's grounded in the legitimate feeling that if you're marginalized by geography, it's easy to feel neglected by the central government."  The political division between urban and rural citizens can lead to pockets of the population feeling as though the state government ignores your and the surrounding communities.  It took the Civil War to separate West Virginia from Virginia, and while many may want to be in a different state, it's not happening simply because there is grassroots support for greater local autonomy.  Hypothetically, let's say that many new states are generated; what consequences might come of this?  Would it leading to further gerrymandering?      


Tags: political, conflict, devolution, autonomy, bordersgerrymandering.

more...
Heather Ramsey's curator insight, November 18, 2013 2:25 PM

On election day this year, several Colorado counties voted on whether to secede from Colorado and create a new state. Many of the counties voted in favor of the idea. (See the link below for more info on the Colorado secession movement.) This is not the first time groups of Americans have considered (and voted on) breaking away from their state. When political issues come up and decisions are made by the government and/or the people, some get their way and others do not. The article explains one way that some people have decided to take action when they do not feel their interests are being served.

 

BONUS for my students:

1) What steps do you think should be taken before people consider seceding from their state?  

2) What are some possible pros and cons of breaking away from a state to create a new one?  

3) Hypothetically speaking, what would it take for you to want to create a new state?

 

Here is the link to the article about Colorado's secession movement:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/colorado-rural-voters-approve-secession-idea-20850962

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 11:43 PM

Some states urban and rural areas have had differences and beliefs when it comes to politics. For example Virginia and West Virginia have had their differences and this is what has caused them to seperate. If every state did this there would be too much craziness because im sure each state would have a different belief and nobody would agree on anything. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 1, 2014 7:57 PM

This article is about segments of California, Colorado, and Oregon wanting to separate and become their own states so their voices can be heard in Congress.

 

If, hypothetically, new states were formed out of existing ones this kind of gerrymandering would likely only lead to even more new states. It might even lead to a secession arms race to gain more Democrat and Republican seats in the Senate. With so many new states, it could lead to increased division, with no Democrat or Republican wanting to set foot in an opposition’s state. In the long run though, political affiliations do eventually change and we would have a precedent analogous to attempting to take the ball home when the other kids don't want to play the same game as you, which is not how a democratic republic works.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Puzzle: Put the Congressional Districts Back Together

Puzzle: Put the Congressional Districts Back Together | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Gerrymandering is the practice of redrawing congressional districts after a decadal census to favor one political party over the other.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This interactive mapping activity is an excellent tool to introduce the idea of redistricting in general and gerrymandering to be more specific.  The creation of a new congressional district, or the loss of an old one, affects every district around it, necessitating new maps. Even states not adding or losing congressional representatives need new district maps that reflect the population shifts within their borders, so that residents are equally repre­sented no matter where they live. This ritual carving and paring of the United States into 435 sovereign units, known as redistricting, was intended by the Framers solely to keep democracy’s electoral scales balanced. Instead, redistricting today has become a part of the political game—a way for elected leaders to entrench themselves in 435 impregnable garrisons from which they can maintain political power while avoiding demographic realities.  And how is gerrymandering a part of the current government shutdown?  Read Thomas Friedman's opinion on the subject or an opinion from the Economist.


Tags: gerrymandering, political, mapping, census, unit 4 political.

more...
Noel Magee's curator insight, April 11, 2015 8:07 PM

This short, simple depiction of gerrymandering serves a strong message. Congressional districts have literally been turned into a jigsaw puzzle. While we can all agree that it is nice to have votes in our own favor, it is unfair to allow political parties to divide up the United States unfairly. It is imperative that such an important decision be fair and justifiable. For the good or our nation, gerrymandering needs to be controlled. When it comes to elections, the United States should be divided fairly and properly. Any altering of the district lines should be considered unethical, immoral, and should be made known to the public so they can decide what should be done. This type of decision affects every single individual living in America, and this should be the least of our worries. It may be beneficial to political parties at the time, but the changing of these should be an eye opener of the type of congressional "leaders" that we look to to make executive decision regarding the rest of our lives. 

 

*Module 7

Alexa Earl's curator insight, May 26, 2015 6:51 PM

This showed me how unfair gerrymandering is and how it is a total false representation of what the people want. This diagram not only showed me how it works but it also showed me how it is so unfair...

Kristen Trammell's curator insight, May 26, 2015 7:36 PM

I. Gerrymandering is the practice of redrawing congressional districts after a decadal census to favor one political party over the other. In this puzzle, the user has to place the congressional districts onto the state/county. 

 

II. I liked this puzzle. I thought it illustrated the oddity of the redrawn districts and highlighted the unfairness of the voting system. The weird shapes of the districts showed how hard the political officials would try to get a voting area where they would be supported. The unfairness is also illustrated with the idea that the congressional districts can be put into a puzzle, where a fair district would be shaped like rectangles or equally sized squares. 

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

A 250-mile show of support for Catalonia independence

A 250-mile show of support for Catalonia independence | Geography Education | Scoop.it
More than 1 million flag-draped and face-painted Catalans held hands and formed a 250-mile human chain across the northeastern Spanish region Wednesday in a demonstration of their desires for independence.
Seth Dixon's insight:

September 11th means different things is different places.  While many Americans were remembering the terrorist attacks of 2001, it was Catalonian National Day.  In addition to the festivities, they organized a massive public demonstration to support independence and to garner international attention.  They created a 'human border' that sretched across the region to apply pressure on the Spanish government to allow a vote that would let Catalonia break away and form their own country.  While this energy and enthusiasm swept Barcelona, the Spanish government stopped the protest from spreading into neighboring Valencia (many Valencians speak Catalan).

  

Questions to Ponder: How do events such as this in public places impact the political process?  Is it significant that the link about the Spanish government stopping Valencia comes from a Scottish newspaper?  Why?  How can social media and technology (such as the hastags #CatalanWay #ViaCatalana) impact social movements?  


Tags: Catalonia, Spain, political, devolution, autonomyEurope, culture.

more...
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:40 PM

While the early 20th century saw the rise of nationalism leading to the destruction of empires and birth of nations based upon culture not all cultures achieved this. An example of this today is in Catalonia within Spain. The people of Catalonia wish to separate themselves from the rest of Spain and become an individual free nation. Unfortunately for them Spain has no intentions of letting them go and few within the UN are siding against Spain.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 1:18 PM

There are a lot of unknown countries in the world, for instance Catalonia. A country that is independently located in Spain, Catalonia is one that is rarely heard of. With recent countries wanting to claim independence from their larger states, its looks like Catalonia wants a piece of the pie. Though coming to a place of self-governance is a mile stone, it also comes at a high sticker prize. They not only have to develop national recognition by other states in the world union, they have to be able to produce commodity that is able to compete on a global level. These countries wanting to claim independence have a long way to go.

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, May 7, 2015 2:08 PM

Until pretty recently, I wasn't even aware of Catalonia, nevermind their hope for independence. I didn't know that they didn't consider themselves Spain, but another place entirely.  But, because they've been considered part of Spain for so long, it seems like independence from Spain could be hard to achieve. However, holding marches and things like this are a great way to get a movement going, as long as it doesn't become violent or any sort of serious public disturbance, because that never solves anything.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Complexity in Syria

Complexity in Syria | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A color-coded map of the country's religious and ethnic groups helps explain why the fighting is so bad.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This map of the various ethnic and religious groups in being shown on major media outlets as some Western countries (including the United States) are considering military action in Syria.  This and other maps like it powerfully conveys while many may conceptualize Syrians as a single monolithic group, that idea is a fiction that was created in the absence of geographic content to fill the void. 


Additionally this diagram has also been circulating lately for the same reasons; this flow chart lays out the Middle East's political rivalries and alliances.  "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is a well-quoted proverb to simplify Middle Eastern political alliances and rivalries.  Seeing this web, you can only imagine that living by that dictum can certainly lead to complicated geopolitical conflicts among countries and culture groups.


Tags: SyriaMiddleEast, conflict, political, ethnicity, religion.

more...
Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 2, 2014 6:19 PM

This map shows tha tthere are an overwhelimg amount of Arabs especially in centeral Syria. And then on the coast lline it is mostly mixed with pink representing the overwhlming other majority.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 2, 2014 8:11 PM

It appears from this article that Syria is a complicated country. The map shows the different ethnic and religious groups of Syria, along with other groups, all of which live within a small area. Syria, along with other countries within the Middle East have been faced with one serious issue or another. Many different people live within a very small area; those people practice different religions and are ethnically and culturally different. Unfortunately, being different in this part of the world may get you killed.   

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 2014 1:25 PM

Maps such as this one are very valuable when trying to understand conflict.  In Syria and the greater Levant area, unbalanced power and representation in politics is the result of many different religious and ethnic groups living in such close proximity each other, allowing conflict to become very invasive.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

The End of the Solid South

The End of the Solid South | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The region's emerging majority is progressive. Its capitols are more conservative than ever. Something's got to give.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Political affiliation differs tremendously from region to region.  This article is a great reminder that there is plenty of intraregional diversity in the South as well.  Migration, urbanization and a changing economic landscape is reshaping Southern demographics as well as the voting constituency.  Imagining that all of the South will vote in one particular way as a solid block is now an antiquated way of thinking about Southern politics. 


Tags: political, the South, regions.

more...
Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 15, 2015 9:13 AM

While the demographics in the south are changing, I still see the region remaining largely Republican at least over the next decade or so. In the era of Obama the state governments have swung largely to the right. So far they have faced little backlash for the turn rightward. I agree that something does have to give. I believe in will give in the direction of conservatism in the south. The region, for its entire history in our union as been conservative. The region will probably stick with the majority conservative party. Though in the year of Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders who Knows?