Geography Education
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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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On the trail of Myanmar's Rohingya migrants

On the trail of Myanmar's Rohingya migrants | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Jonah Fisher has been to Rakhine state in Myanmar to meet Rohingya migrants who are being forced to return home - but at a cost.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Rohingya that are in the news lately are refugees on boats that everyone agrees that SOMEONE should help, but that no country in Southeast Asia wants to bring in. 


Tags: migration, political, refugeesBurma, Southeast Asia.

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U.S. Territories

A set of Supreme Court decisions made over 100 years ago has left U.S. territories without meaningful representation. That’s weird, right?
Seth Dixon's insight:

Disclaimer: this does come from HBO and the content might not be right for your classroom, but in classic John Oliver style he points out the political inequities that exist for those living in Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa. 


Tags: Puerto Rico, Oceania, political.  

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Sameer Mohamed's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:06 AM

I think it is interesting one point that he brought up was the ability for someone who is born in a US territory may vote for president, however; if that candidate would like to win votes from his home territory he cannot. This is because the territory is unable to vote for presidents. Puerto Rico is also spoken of in which it highlights their ability to become a state and the difference they have in language.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, October 12, 2015 10:57 PM

This was amazing! I love him! I  am embarrassed to admit that i had no idea about any of this. I did not know that those territories were part of my country. This populations complete commitment to serving our country without any of the benefits is jaw dropping. We should be completely ashamed of our selves. I am honestly completely surprised that even in today's day in age this hasn't been fixed. Everything about this is unconstitutional. How this case loses in a court is beyond me. One of the things that stood out to me the most was the fact that 67% of Guam shows up to vote in though their votes dont count and yet only 61% of all of the US does...that embarrassing. We have clearly taken for granted our freedom to vote.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, December 3, 2015 8:50 AM

The plight of our territories is a smudge on our nations character. The most controversial of these issues is Puerto Ricos status as a territory of the United States. Puerto Ricans are United States citizens by law, yet they have no representation in their government. They can not vote in presidential elections, have no real representation in the congress except their non voting delegate, and they have no representation in the electoral college.  Something must be done, to rectify this situation. A possible solution may be to pass a 23rd amendment for Puerto Rico. The 23rd Amendment provides residents of the nations capital the right to vote, and representation in the electoral college. DC is given a number of electoral votes equivalent to the least populous state. That number is 3 electoral votes. The amendment does not provide DC  with representation in the Congress. This Amendment has been controversial since the time of its ratification in 1961. Congress later repealed the amendment with a new DC voting rights amendment  that gave DC representation in Congress. The new Amendment failed to garner enough support amongst the states for ratification. To me the 23rd Amendment solution is the best possible compromise. It gives Puerto Rico representation, while persevering the rights and sanctity of the states.

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Romania's Geographic Challenge

Romania's Geographic Challenge | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Stratfor explains Romania's geographic challenge of remaining united while limiting the influence of larger surrounding powers. For more of these videos, visit http://arcg.is/1IeK3dT

Seth Dixon's insight:

Stratfor produced a new video in their "Geographic Challenge" series.  I've updated my map which spatially indexes 70+ of their videos that are especially relevant to geography teachers.  These videos are great starting points for students that are researching a particular country.


TagsRomania, mapping, video, geography education, geopoliticspolitical.

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Sameer Mohamed's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:12 AM

Romania is close to a crossroads of Russian influence in the east and Western influence in the west. Of course the dichotomy isn't as stressed as in that of The Ukraine, but it is also an interesting thing to see that this has always been a dynamic in Romania. Russia has always been seen as a danger to the west and western Europe has always had a defining factor being contrasted against Russia.

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Did You Know It's Legal In Most States To Discriminate Against LGBT People?

The Supreme Court debates same-sex marriage Tuesday. But in many states, a person can marry someone of the same gender and still be fired for being gay.


Tags: sexuality, USA, mappolitical.

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What's the Yemen conflict really about?

What's the Yemen conflict really about? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Is the conflict due to geographical rivalry, sectarian divisions, disappointment after the 2011 revolution or is it part of a wider regional power play?
Seth Dixon's insight:

Saudi Arabia has recently announced that they stop their 4 week long bombing campaign against a rebel group in Yemen.  Like many complex geopolitical conflict, it is hard for students to begin to understand what the fighting is really about, but this article is a solid introduction to the Yemen conflict


Tags: Yemen, political, conflict.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, April 24, 2015 12:42 PM

Something we should know about another insane conflict in which the United States became involved to worsen an already difficult situation

Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 5:36 PM

In 2011, it is told that people from all religion would gather together in the town square, to eat from the same plate, pray for peace together and learn in the same schools; they were not separated by religion. Now Houthis changed from victims, to armed militia. Those who would've given their life back in 2011 for the sake of a better future would not be so willing now due to the fact they would only be collateral damage. 

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The Flawed Standard Model of Geopolitics

The Flawed Standard Model of Geopolitics | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"An overarching issue that is essential for understanding many pressing events of the day is the fraying standard geopolitical model of the world. This taken-for-granted model posits mutually recognized sovereign states as the fundamental building blocks of the global order. Many of these basic units, however, are highly fragile and a number have collapsed altogether. As a result, the next several posts will consider, and critique, the conventional state-based vision of the world. I am skeptical of the standard 'nation-state' model of global politics, as I think that it conceals as much as it reveals about current-day geopolitical realities. This model, evident on any world political map, rests on the idea that that the terrestrial world is divided into a set number of theoretically equivalent sovereign states."


Tags: politicalstates, unit 4 political, geopolitics.

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LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, April 18, 2015 9:09 AM

It should probably be a map of Geo-Econo-Politics 

Tori Denney's curator insight, May 27, 2015 8:18 AM

using and thinking about maps and Geo spatial data -  The process of thinking about and analyzing maps is quite complex. Looking at this map, you would assume that all is well, all is how it should be, nothing is distorted and each state is similar to the United States. But, reflecting on maps involves deep thought and comparison. Each state is supposed to hold ultimate power over the full extent of its territory, possessing a monopoly over the legitimate use of force and coercion. Such states, it turn, are supposed to recognize each other’s existence, and in so doing buttress a global order in which political legitimacy derives in part from such mutual recognition. The territories of such states are theoretically separated by clearly demarcated boundary lines, which are further solidified by international consensus, without overlap or other forms of spatial ambiguity. Standard political maps are flawed in how they make the world seem to be. States are not all equal, and all neighboring states do not get along, possibly due to natural resources, ports, economics, language, culture, religion, nationality, etc. 

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The Armenian Genocide-100 years

The Armenian Genocide-100 years | Geography Education | Scoop.it

“For most of the world, the Armenian Genocide is the slaughter you know next to nothing about. But every year on April 24, Genocide Remembrance Day, we Armenians remember the injustice of a crime that is rarely acknowledged and often flatly denied. It was April 24, 1915, when the Armenian intellectuals, professionals, editors and religious leaders in Constantinople were rounded up by the Ottoman authorities — and almost all of them executed. During World War I, the Ottoman Empire killed three of every four of its Armenian citizens. The majority of Armenians alive today are descendants of the few survivors.”

Seth Dixon's insight:

2.5 million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire--1.5 million were killed. Not just killed, but horrifically slaughtered--beheaded, crucified, burned alive in their churches, loaded like cattle onto freight trains and sent to concentration camps, raped, assaulted, sold as slaves, herded into the DerAzor desert and left to die.  

The United Nations recognizes the massacres and the systematic destruction of two-thirds of the Armenian population as the first genocide of the 20th century, and has stated that the mishandling of its aftermath set the stage for future genocides, from the Holocaust to Rwanda and Sudan and everything in between. Hitler studied what happened and borrowed many of the Ottoman Empire’s techniques to use against the Jews.

And even though some countries in the world recognize and agree with the UN assessment of the fact, Turkey denies it, and the US still stands silent and refuses to officially state that what happened was genocide...because to do so would offend Turkey, and Turkey is a US political ally.  Many are calling on Israel, a country founded in large part because of a genocide, to acknowledge the first genocide of the 20th century.   

Learn about genocide and teach genocide--what causes it, what perpetuates it, what the cost of denial can be. Don’t remain silent. Be a peaceful person in your own life, and in all your relations with others--and speak up about any wrong or injustice. 

*Most of this post is courtesy of Janet Rith-Najarian, professional geographer and member of the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education.


TagsArmenia, genocidepolitical, conflict, Turkey, war, refugees, empirecolonialism, historical.

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Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, April 17, 2015 7:37 PM

A 100 AÑOS DEL GENOCIDIO ARMENIO

Cada año el 24 de abril, día de la conmemoración del Genocidio, nosotros los armenios recordamos la injusticia de un crimen que rara vez se reconoció y a menudo negó rotundamente.

Era el 24 de abril de 1915, cuando los intelectuales armenios, profesionales, editores y líderes religiosos de Constantinopla fueron detenidos por las autoridades otomanas - y casi todos ellos ejecutados. Durante la Primera Guerra Mundial, el Imperio Otomano mató a tres de cada cuatro de sus ciudadanos armenios. La mayoría de los armenios vivos hoy son descendientes de los pocos sobrevivientes ".

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 1, 2015 4:17 PM

I have to be honest, I never knew we had a Genocide Remembrance Day.  As I get older, there seems to be a day for everything.  This is a horrific act.  Unfortunately, as we've seen historically many countries have tried this.  There is never a good outcome.  It's atrocious that we could ever standby and not do something.  

Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 6:24 PM

Unit 3

For most of the world, the Armenian Genocide is the slaughter we know almost nothing about. But every year on April 24,Genocide Remembrance Day, Armenians all over the world remember the injustice of a crime that is rarely acknowledged and often flatly denied. It was April 24, 1915, when the Armenian intellectuals, professionals, editors and religious leaders in Constantinople were rounded up by the Ottoman authorities — and almost all of them executed. During World War I, the Ottoman Empire killed three of every four of its Armenian citizens. The majority of Armenians alive today are descendants of the few survivors

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Cultural Meaning in Moving Monuments

Cultural Meaning in Moving Monuments | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Ever since I researched the meanings of monuments in the cultural landscape in Mexico City, I’ve been fascinated by the cultural politics of memory and heritage. The removal of a statue is a cultural 180, acknowledging what was once honored and revered is now something that is not worthy of that distinction. This sort of change is not without protests on both sides and a cultural rearticulation of who 'we' are when 'we' make a public memorial."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Cecil Rhodes was the namesake for the Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University and the colonial names of Zambia (Northern Rhodesia) and Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia).  He was deeply connected to British colonialism and was one of the most ambitious colonizers that expanded the British Empire.  This week a statue of Cecil Rhodes on the University of Cape Town campus was removed.  See the BBC article, Yahoo News!, and PRI podcastfor more details


Questions to Ponder: Why do you think this monument to Cecil Rhodes was established in 1934?  Why was it removed in 2015?  What does this say about South African politics and culture?  How might we characterize the supporters and opponents of the statue?


Tags: South Africa, Africa, historical, colonialism, political, landscape.

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, April 14, 2015 7:52 PM

I have been to South Africa. The country is very still divided in many ways. My question is do our American students even know the history and geography of Africa? Do they know how the Europeans partitioned the continent ( divvied it up and laid claim to regions ) and that they did this across tribal lands to cause difficulty.

 

I understand the Rhodes scholarship, but it would be good for students and teachers to have ideationa scaffolding to understand the problems of today caused by practices of yesterday.

Rob Duke's curator insight, April 14, 2015 9:41 PM

There's a lesson here in the symbols of conflict resolution....what symbolic monuments do we have to move to solve social conflicts?

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 6:50 AM

The removal of an historical statue, is a broader reflection of what the population of a particular place is thinking. Who a people choose to honor, is a statement of the ideals they hope to espier to. For many people in South Africa, Cecil Rhodes is a symbol of racist colonial tendencies. You can not separate Rhodes from the age of western imperialism. He was one of the leading figures in the scramble for Africa in the late 19th century. In the United States we have seen a similar push to remove statues of historical figures with connections to slavery and racism. Many have called for the removal of statues honoring confederate leaders such as Jefferson Davis or Robert E Lee. The push has even spread to figures beyond those directly connected to the confederacy. The democratic party has removed the names of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from there annual party dinners. There connections with slavery and Native American treatment are just too much for some outraged democrats to handle. I am uneasy about the removals of these statues. History can never be erased. It is futile, to even attempt to do such a thing. Historical figures should be judged by the context of the times in which they lived. It is unfair to judge Thomas Jefferson by the standards of our modern age  society. The overt political correctness is troubling to say the least. It is a whitewash of history.

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Egypt's New Capital?

Egypt's New Capital? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The teeming, maddening, and indescribably charming city of Cairo has served as Egypt's capital for 1,000 years. When it emerged it was perhaps the most important cultural center in the Arab world.

But the city's days as Egypt's capital could be numbered. On Friday, the Egyptian government announced that the country will build a new capital from scratch, carving out a piece of the desert between Cairo and the Suez Canal. The project, which is being dubbed "the Capital Cairo," is slated to cost an estimated $45 billion and host Egypt's sprawling government bureaucracy, universities, tourism facilities, hospitals, and a new international airport.

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Egyptian government has announced plans to replace Cairo as the capital city with a new city built to its east--this article argues that the money would be better spent elsewhere.  This is a good case-study to use when discussing forward capitals, but I think that Egyptian officials need to seriously consider the example of the manufactured capital city of Naypyidaw in Burma before building this forward capital. 

Tags: forward capital Egypt, urbanpolitical, urbanism, APHG.

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Lydia Tsao's curator insight, May 26, 2015 12:01 AM

I think it is really interesting that Egypt is thinking about building a completely brand new city. It just shows how much risk the country is willing to take on this very lucrative project that will cost more than sixth of the country's GDP. If the country succeeds, then it will face an amazing influx of capital and resources that is unprecedented. If the country fails, then it will be one of the worst financial investments to plague the country and will haunt the country for decades to come. Distrust in government fiscal responsibility will decline tremendously. This article demonstrates the forces that are compelling the Egyptian government to drive urbanization in undeveloped areas. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Evan Margiotta's curator insight, May 26, 2015 7:25 PM

This announcement of a new capital city, announced in March of 2015, acts as a part of a inclusive plan aimed at revitalizing the economy and influence of Egypt. In a goal to escape the congestion, pollution, and  sprawl of Cairo, the Egypt government has it aims at 45 billion dollar project. If/when completed the new city will aim at sustainable development and include 2,000 new schools, a new massive international airport, and be about the size of Singapore. 

This situation applies to many principles in human geography. The problems created by overpopulation are evident in Cairo, and it is necessary for this new capital to follow a system of sustainable development to avoid the same problems.

Michael Amberg's curator insight, May 26, 2015 10:53 PM

This shows the development of the world and how now "poorer" countries are beginning to plan out big cities of their own.

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Non-Native American Nations Control over North America

Non-Native American Nations Control over North America | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Above is a still image of this intriguing animated GIF; it is a great teaching resource on the colonial claims in North America and the current political alignment on the continent. 


Tags: North Americahistorical, colonialism, borders, political.

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Alex Lewis's curator insight, April 6, 2015 10:00 AM

This animated photo shows the progression of the different nations in control of North America. The development of the U.S. is also depicted on here, as they went from mostly European control to independence. While the U.S. controlled most of what is now America, you can recognize the Civil War period by the control of Confederate States. 

 

                                        -A.L.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, April 8, 2015 1:33 PM

Wow. As a history major, I found this map timeline really interesting and really cool. It's a great example of how even though the physical geography of a place can remain the same, its political and economic geography can change so rapidly (or not so rapidly). It was especially interesting to see the brief stints that entities such as the Republic of the Rio Grande or the Confederate States of America did in the dividing up of North America over the last two and a half centuries. For someone who knows nothing about U.S. history, those blips on the radar beg the question, "what happened there?" How can a political entity encompass a geographic region and then disappear just as quickly?

 

And that ties into what I think this map is really about: colonialism. This map says a great deal about how European (or Western) empires carved up the New World and what some of their political or economic goals were in the times that the map shows. It's also important to note the title of the map: "Non-Native American Nations Control over North America". So as we see the map changing to show European or United States expansion, what we DON'T see is the gradual loss of land experienced by the various Native American tribes that inhabited the continent long before Europeans ever laid eyes on it. This map, therefore, highlights how political and economic geography can change so drastically when groups with a lot of economic, political, and military power are at odds with groups who are severely disadvantaged in these areas. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 17, 2015 9:00 AM

This map is an excellent resource in show the evolution of colonial claims to North America.. It is fascinating to watch all the political changes that have occurred on the continent in over the past 500 years. The biggest change is the evolutions of the United Sates from a small city state like nation to an empire on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This is also an extremely sad story to be told from this map. The loss and destruction of Native Americans is next to slavery is  the greatest sin of America. This map tells the complex story of our Continent.  

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Syrian Journey: Choose your own route

Syrian Journey: Choose your own route | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Put yourself in the shoes of a Syrian migrant and see whether you could make the right choices on the journey to Europe.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This BBC interactive tries to get the user to empathize with the plight and the geographic circumstances of Syrian refugees that are fleeing a land a strife.  The choices are not easy and there is no certain path.  This is an interesting interactive that is designed to build geographic empathy.


Tags: refugees, Syria, migration, conflict, political, MiddleEast, war.

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Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 5, 2015 8:01 PM

Citizens of Syria have experienced difficult times since their country entered into a period of continual war in the past few decades. People migrate to Europe in demand of better life for their families. All begin with a plan and a &helper,&  called trafficker or coyote in Mexico, and money to cross few borders and be able to live life free from war. Although, with countries such as Egypt, Lybia, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece, with a massive migrations, tough economies, lack of jobs, nothing and no one is safe. However, Europe is very attractive in terms of quality life and safety to raise families. Furthermore, to be able to survive during this migration transition, many risks are involved and even in some cases, killings. Immigrants migrate by boat, truck, train, and sometimes even walking. Day or night immigrants keep moving and pay  high prices to be transported to the next point. It takes them weeks, months, and even years to reach thier final destinations. This is the same for those immigrants in Mexico and U.S. 

Claire Law's curator insight, April 25, 2015 8:41 PM

UK interactive resource to put students in the shoes of refugees fleeing conflict

zane alan berger's curator insight, May 26, 2015 4:42 PM

this is a virtual stimulator showing the struggle of a Syrian migrant, proving that one risky decision can be detrimental for these people. this can be related to the migration unit

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Political Polarization in the American Public

Political Polarization in the American Public | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in recent history. And these trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life.


A decade ago, the public was less ideologically consistent than it is today. In 2004, only about one-in-ten Americans were uniformly liberal or conservative across most values. Today, the share who are ideologically consistent has doubled: 21% express either consistently liberal or conservative opinions across a range of issues – the size and scope of government, the environment, foreign policy and many others.


Tags: political, statistics, regions, USA.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, March 31, 2015 7:57 AM

The right-wing ideology is worldwide, years of racist colonial acculturation, sexist and neoliberal social inequality. The culture industry was filled to disclose these conceptions.

Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 8:14 PM

Unit 6

A decade ago, the public was less ideologically consistent than it is today. In 2004, only about one-in-ten Americans were uniformly liberal or conservative across most values. Today, the share who are ideologically consistent has doubled: 21% express either consistently liberal or conservative opinions across a range of issues – the size and scope of government, the environment, foreign policy and many others.

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 16, 2015 9:49 AM

Bipartisanship is at an all-time low in this nation's history, which is evident in every facet of our political system; our Congress for the past 10 years has been the most inactive it has been since the 1890's. Party members on both sides of the debate have refused to compromise, leaving many Americans frustrated. The polarization of the parties has been the primary driver of this divide, with ideological and social issues now at the forefront of any political debate, in the place of economic, foreign, and other domestic policies. With this ideological element now added to politics, we see much more aggression in terms of how Americans on either end of the political spectrum now view the other end. Although this is great in the sense that many young Americans are becoming more interested in and more involved with politics, it also leads to incorrect, fragmented views that demonize the opposing party. Americans are finding a shrinking amount of political issues to compromise on, and until we learn to do so, Congress will remain in a gridlock. 

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Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan sign deal to end Nile dispute

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan sign deal to end Nile dispute | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Three African leaders sign an initial deal to end a long-running dispute over the sharing of Nile waters and the building of Africa's biggest hydroelectric dam.
Seth Dixon's insight:

85% of the Nile's water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands--it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011.  The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps).  Prior to this trilateral agreement, Egypt and Sudan received the majority of the Nile's waters because of outdated colonial-era treaties that ignored upstream riparian states.  This explains why in the past, Egypt was so adamantly opposed to Ethiopia's plan fearing that their water supply with be threatened.  Today though, the Egyptian President said, "We have chosen cooperation, and to trust one another for the sake of development."  


Tags: Ethiopia, Africasupranationalism, political, development, environment, water, energy, borders.

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Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 7:22 PM

This article discusses the dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia over the construction of a dam that would provide Ethiopia with a larger share of the Nile's water. Egypt is wholly opposed to this dam because it would mean less water for the country, which so desperately needs it. With 95% of the population of Egypt living within 20km of the Nile River, a reduction in the amount of water supplied to these tens of millions could potentially spell slow disaster. At the same time, however, Ethiopia desperately needs water from the Nile in order to provide sustainable energy for its citizens. 

 

The Nile has been a source of life and energy for thousands of years in an oppressively hot, dry place. The ancient Egyptians counted on the Nile to flood every year so that they would have arable land and used the large river to irrigate their farmland. It is almost ironic, therefore, that Egyptians are once again counting on the water of the Nile to help them survive in such a harsh climate. It seems that the Nile is one of those natural geographic features that is pivotal to political, economic, and social wellbeing. It represents the nexus between natural landforms and the political and economic goals of human beings and nations. Dispute over use of the Nile as a natural and life-giving resource is not the first instance of human debate over possession or use of natural geography and it likely won't be the last. 

Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, March 31, 2016 11:57 AM

85% of the Nile's water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands--it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011.  The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps).  Prior to this trilateral agreement, Egypt and Sudan received the majority of the Nile's waters because of outdated colonial-era treaties that ignored upstream riparian states.  This explains why in the past, Egypt was so adamantly opposed to Ethiopia's plan fearing that their water supply with be threatened.  Today though, the Egyptian President said, "We have chosen cooperation, and to trust one another for the sake of development."  


Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, supranationalism, political, development, environment, water, energy, borders.

Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, April 1, 2016 12:19 AM

85% of the Nile's water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands--it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011.  The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps).  Prior to this trilateral agreement, Egypt and Sudan received the majority of the Nile's waters because of outdated colonial-era treaties that ignored upstream riparian states.  This explains why in the past, Egypt was so adamantly opposed to Ethiopia's plan fearing that their water supply with be threatened.  Today though, the Egyptian President said, "We have chosen cooperation, and to trust one another for the sake of development."  


Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, supranationalism, political, development, environment, water, energy, borders.

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10 truly absurd features of contemporary geopolitics

10 truly absurd features of contemporary geopolitics | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The U.N. Security Council. What’s Up With That?  And 9 other truly absurd features of contemporary geopolitics."

Seth Dixon's insight:

"Some of these absurdities persist because they’ve been around a long time, or because powerful interests defend them vigorously, or because they align with broader social prejudices. Some of them may in fact be defensible, but we should still bring such oddities out into the open air on occasion and ask ourselves if they really make sense."


Tags: political, geopolitics.

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LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, May 14, 2015 9:13 AM

Absurdity is in the eyes of the beholder ... if the beholder doesn't understand what's behind the actions and behaviors of those who, in this case, are the face of the powers that move the world. The veil of absurdity gets lifted immediately when you take a look at the economic motivations and interconnections, as well as at the fact that politics is the Petri Dish of psychopathy—Look up: Political Ponerology, the subject matter of my new novel: THE GALAPAGOS AGENDA, coming out soon with Suspense Publishing (e-Book) and Story Merchants Books (print).

Kevin Barker's curator insight, June 5, 2015 10:09 AM

What exactly is geopolitics?  Well this is a very interesting article help  understand the concept while having fun with prevailing attitudes, assumptions and structures of the world today.

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Digging In: Land Reclamation and Defenses in the South China Sea

Digging In: Land Reclamation and Defenses in the South China Sea | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The U.S. Department of Defense’s latest assessment of the Chinese military provided new detail on China’s land reclamation efforts on several of the islets that it occupies in the South China Sea. These include Fiery Cross Reef, Gaven Reef, Johnson South Reef, Mischief Reef, and Subi Reef in the Spratly archipelago. By December 2014, the report estimated that China had reclaimed as much as 500 acres of new land, creating full-fledged islands where only coral reefs or sand spits existed before. Since then, China has only accelerated its efforts, expanding the total land area that it has reclaimed to 2,000 acres and building military facilities, ports, and at least one airstrip on the islands.
Seth Dixon's insight:

We've heard in the news recently that China is reclaiming land from the South China see to presumably construct an air strip to strengthen their claims in the region.  China is not alone in this...


Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

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Marc Meynardi's curator insight, May 13, 2015 1:49 AM

By doing so, China is not only digging land, but also preparing futur heavy discord. It's so strange : China critisize US hegemony and try to balance it. As result, China is having the same agressive attitude that US Bush era. Of course, not using bombs, but "pacifically" invading south China Sea.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 8:15 PM

I was wondering with the world being 80% ocean how much ocean can be transformed into land with these man made islands. Once again creating military strategic posts.

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Shifts in Political and Cultural Norms

Shifts in Political and Cultural Norms | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Eleven years after Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry, the Supreme Court on April 28 will hear arguments about whether to extend that right nationwide. The case comes amid a wave of gay marriage legalization: 28 states since 2013, and 36 overall. Such widespread acceptance in a short amount of time isn't a phenomenon unique to gay marriage. Social change in the U.S. appears to follow a pattern: A few pioneer states get out front before the others, and then a key event—often a court decision or a grassroots campaign reaching maturity—triggers a rush of state activity that ultimately leads to a change in federal law.

We looked at six big issues—interracial marriage, prohibition, women’s suffrage, abortion, same-sex marriage, and recreational marijuana — to show how this has happened in the past, and may again in the very near future.

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It wasn’t just the Armenians: The other 20th century massacres we ignore

It wasn’t just the Armenians: The other 20th century massacres we ignore | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Last week marked the 100th anniversary of the killings of more than a million Armenians during the dying days of the Ottoman Empire. Despite considerable opposition from the Turkish government, the anniversary is bringing renewed attention to an often overlooked historical issue, with President Obama in particular facing criticism for not using the word 'genocide' to describe the killings. The 20th century was bloody and violent, and while some horrors are at least relatively well-known – the Holocaust or the genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia, for example – others have become mere footnotes in history."


Tags genocidepolitical, conflict, war, refugees, empirecolonialism, historical.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 28, 2015 9:48 AM

units 2,and four :(

Padriag John-David Mahoney's curator insight, April 28, 2015 6:18 PM

I have often thought about this. The Armenian genocide was the first genocide of the 20th century, but was largely forgotten. Very few- VERY FEW- American students learn about it before college or high school. What do we learn about? The only genocide I remember being taught in school was the Holocaust- the Jewish Genocide at the hands of Nazi Germany. But there was also the genocide and apartheid in Rwanda and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. My father taught me all about all of these genocides. There is a statue outside Auschwitz concentration camp with the inscription "Never Again". But what have the many organizations done to prevent or reveal such atrocities? I don't see the Shoah foundation standing up for the Armenians now, or the victims of the Cambodian or Rwandan genocides. I believe the inscription on that statue truly means ''Never again.........to the Jews''

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Who Owns Antarctica?

Seth Dixon's insight:

If there is one thing that the modern political order can't stand it is letting unclaimed land remain unclaimed...even if it covered in frozen ice.  See some of the competing claims (and international agreements) on the political status of Antarctica.  Click here to see a similar analysis on competing claims over the North Pole.    


TagsAntarcticaclimate changepoliticalresources,watersovereignty.

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Blake Joseph's curator insight, April 24, 2015 3:48 PM

With Antarctica being the coldest, driest, and most isolated continent on earth, it is surprising that 51 different countries own pieces of land on it. As of now, the lands there can only be used strictly for scientific research, but I presume that treaty will not be in effect forever. Hidden resources yet to be discovered and future technology and is bound to give us some reason to permanently settle in this barren land someday. Discovering oil or minerals would be a good bet, as it was a leading factor in causing Dubai to form in the Arabian Desert, or the city of Perth in Western Australia. A healthy fishing industry could even help support future economies there. While weather has always been an important factor in human colonization, it does not make a place totally inhospitable. If economies can form in places like Barrow, Alaska and Longyearbyen, Norway, I don't see future  settlements in Antarctica as an impossibility.

Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 25, 2015 5:20 PM

In reality, no one own Antarctica for now. However, it is governed under the Antarctica treaty of 1959.  There are a few reasons why no one has been claimed Antarctica, one being that is has extremely cold temperatures that drop to -122 °F. The continent also has a vast amount of thick ice that is 3 miles deep and covers its surface. In addition, it would be very costly to explore these regions and difficult to build infrastructure and transport food due to the cold temperatures and frozen seas. The Antarctica treaty of 1959 is an international agreement which states that no one cannot own the Antarctica. However, some countries have claimed some part of Antarctica. These designated areas are only to be used for scientific research purposes. Also, since an international agreement has been putted in place, Antarctica cannot be used for military purposes. The agreement also stresses freedom of scientific investigation but prohibits nuclear testing and waste disposal in Antarctica. This research has helped scientists discover new truths about global problems, climate change, and geology. 

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 1, 2015 4:16 PM

It will be interesting to see what happens to Antartica as the climate shifts and continues to get warmer.  What is under the frozen tundra?  Will it be something of a natural resource or mineral?  I think this is when the fight will get real about the slice of pie and how much each has.  

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China 'building runway in disputed South China Sea island'

China 'building runway in disputed South China Sea island' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Satellite images show China is making progress on building an airstrip on a reef in disputed territory in the South China Sea, a report says.
Seth Dixon's insight:

So that's what they are up to...hmmmm.  A clearer, more detailed image can be seen here.


Questions to Ponder:  Why is China building up this island?  What advantage would that give them?  Why aren't other countries with competing claims stopping China?


Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.


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Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 22, 2015 7:02 PM

This is always amazing to me when countries create these islands in the middle of the sea.  I remember when Dubai was doing this a few years back thinking that something like this was crazy and would never keep up.  China is smart by doing this because it feels it can control the S. China Sea if they have areas set up all over it.  I can see why surrounding countries that share the Sea's borders are pissed off at China because they should not have more right's to the Sea than any of them.  But what are/can they do about it?  If you mess with China, you are asking for trouble.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, April 30, 2015 8:43 AM

My research paper is on China and I'm adding topical China stories to it. This is just another example in an endless procession of questionable land grabs by the Chinese. They should not be allowed to play poker, they are really bad at hiding what they really want. China wants to add land for a simple reason; extending their military reach so they can dominate the region. It pushes out their boundaries to enable them to strike their enemies with relative ease. Missiles that fly 400 miles, planes that need refueling after 300 miles are now strategically placed on these islands to form a sphere of commanding  influence in Asia and beyond. If they were to use it to extend their fishing rights to feed their burgeoning population that would be almost diplomatic. China bears watching....

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 1, 2015 4:22 PM

China has the wealth and power to unfortunately , do these things.  This is a concern to the US, but what can they do.  Vietnam may be upset as well as other countries, but China is the big dog in the South Sea.  

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One Place, Two Names

One Place, Two Names | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The government of the People’s Republic of China calls the country’s westernmost region Xinjiang, but the people who have lived there for centuries refer to their home as Eastern Turkistan. Many times when two groups do not refer to a place by the same name, it points to a cultural or political conflict, as is the case here.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Multiple names on the map can hint at bigger cultural and political fault lines.  Is it Londonderry or just Derry?  The Sea of Japan or the East Sea?  This article I wrote for the National Geographic Education Blog is on the always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province.  


TagsCentral Asia, toponyms, culture, political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia, religionIslam, landscape.

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Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 12:51 PM

The region in North-west China where the indigenous people refer to home as Eastern Turkistan is being stripped by the Chinese government. They are banned from practicing their religion of Islam and cannot wear certain clothing that they are accustomed to. This is an example of History repeating itself, similarly to the United States government treating Native Americans and their way of life. Ultimately, it is important that the people of Eastern Turkistan has the right to practice in what they believed in, so that they do not lose their identity, culture and heritage.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:38 PM
Going by either the name Xinjiang or Eastern Turkistan, Sometimes when people cannot agree on the name of a single place there is conflict, but apparently not here. it became an economic hub after they extracted natural gas, oil, and coal. Because of its location, a lot of the people in the area are Turkish and are Muslim. The Chinese government does not really like this and they are doing what they can to get rid of the Muslim ways, for example, one thing they have done is denounce the hijab, or ban any religious displays. .
Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:45 PM

it seems that this a a recurring theme with china. disputed lands surround this country inside and out, they claim to own all of it as well. but when the people that live their claim to be independent and choose not to associate themselves with you than it creates and interesting dynamic.

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New Images Show China Literally Gaining Ground in South China Sea

New Images Show China Literally Gaining Ground in South China Sea | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Satellite photos show the speed, scale and ambition China has exerted to assert ownership over South China Sea islands, far from the mainland.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In addition to the original BBC article, here is another article from the Telegraph with some aerial imagery showing the extent of this geo-engineering project.  This has plenty of geopolitical implications and the United States government is on record saying that it is "concerned."


Questions to Ponder:  Why is China building up this island?  What advantage would that give them?  Why aren't other countries with competing claims stopping China?


Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

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Marc Meynardi's curator insight, April 13, 2015 2:40 AM

Suprisingly, the other countries dont show a lot of concerns.

Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 15, 2015 10:06 PM

China is a powerful country with a population of 1.357 billion people. China as a regional hegemony, the more land means expansion of territorial control on the region and projecting sea power on international waters. However the main reason why China, the Philippines, and other countries are trying to claim these islands is due to the oil and natural gas exploitation in the South China Sea. Even when geopolitical conflicts between Philippines and other countries arise, any of these countries will have to form powerful armies in order to fight against China. The U.S. would be the only country that could pursue different strategies and mediate agreements between China’s neighbors. However, through military intimidation, China would overpower any country that tried to claim these islands as part of their territory. 

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 1:37 PM

China has its hopes on securing the land that is rich in oil to bring prosperity to the country.  China is building a great wall of sand and seems as though they are not fearful of others stopping it even though China has been warned that these actions create tension from Taiwan, the Philippines, and Vietnam.  

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Nicaragua's Controversial Canal

The proposed Nicaragua Canal could be one of the largest engineering projects in history and promises to bring thousands of jobs to the impoverished country. But the government’s secretive deal with a Chinese-led firm has some Nicaraguans raising the alarm about displacement and environmental destruction in the canal’s path.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm fascinated by massive geo-engineering projects.  Usually, the proponents of the project will support it claiming that by reconfiguring the geographic settings it will lead to the economic growth of the country and strengthen their political situation.  Opponents cite that traditional land use patterns will get disrupted, the poor will be displaced, and the environment will be degraded. This canal is not so very different from many other geo-engineering projects in that respect.

 

Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, industry, economic, environment, political, resourcespolitical ecology.

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Blake Joseph's curator insight, April 24, 2015 4:38 PM

The Chinese government is seriously considering plans to build a new canal through Nicaragua that will rival the United States' Panama canal. The size of the planned canal will be much larger than the Panama canal, allowing much bigger freighters and cargo vessels to be able to pass through it to and from the Chinese mainland. While many Nicaraguans are enthusiastic about the potential jobs and money involved in the project, others can see through this and sense great problems for the country if completed. The canal would destroy many environments within Nicaragua such as Lake Nicaragua and the forest that are located nearby, displacing many people who live and depend on the area for food and work. China is fast becoming a world superpower, and is alarmingly similar to the old Soviet Union as far as a lack of environmental protection and the welfare of citizens. I fear the future environmental impact this will have on Nicaragua could be devastatingly similar to the fatal impacts of other old Soviet failures like the Aral Sea or Chernobyl (without the radioactive isotopes, of course). I think many Nicaraguans do as well.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, June 1, 2015 2:13 AM


Chapter 5

Humans value, change and protect landscapes

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:12 AM

I'm fascinated by massive geo-engineering projects.  Usually, the proponents of the project will support it claiming that by reconfiguring the geographic settings it will lead to the economic growth of the country and strengthen their political situation.  Opponents cite that traditional land use patterns will get disrupted, the poor will be displaced, and the environment will be degraded. This canal is not so very different from many other geo-engineering projects in that respect.

 

Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, industry, economic, environment, political, resources, political ecology.

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China building 'great wall of sand' in South China Sea

China building 'great wall of sand' in South China Sea | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The scale of China's land reclamation in the South China Sea is leading to "serious questions" on its intentions, a top US official says.


China is building artificial land by pumping sand on to live coral reefs - some of them submerged - and paving over them with concrete. China has now created over 4sq/km (1.5 sq miles) of artificial landmass.  China is creating a great wall of sand with dredges and bulldozers over the course of months.


Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

Seth Dixon's insight:

UPDATE: In addition to the original BBC article, here is another article from the Telegraph with some aerial imagery showing the extent of this geo-engineering project.  This has plenty of geopolitical implications and the United States government is on record saying that it is "concerned." 

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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, April 3, 2015 10:45 AM

In addition to the original BBC article, here is another article from the Telegraph with some aerial imagery showing the extent of this geo-engineering project.  This has plenty of geopolitical implications and the United States government is on record saying that it is "concerned."

Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 6, 2015 9:16 PM

Pumping in sand to cover coral reef and create more land is a very inventive way to make new territory, using concrete and placing bulldozers and other machinery is helping China gain more land and gain more access in the South China Sea yet this who pumping is making people question and causing places such as the Philippines to  file complaints saying they will not be associated with the whole plan that China has. Why is China exactly pumping sand and spreading concrete over the live coral reefs? Does China know they are killing live animals and plants underneath the sea? 

While looking into the matter I found that China believed the whole act of reclaiming land to be "entirely within China's sovereignty and are totally justifiable". Now people all over the world are focused on land and power, not about other social matters. This land pumping is not only causing conflict but it is creating more opportunity to better work and living conditions.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 16, 2015 2:41 PM

China is a large and powerful nation that is not afraid of flexing military muscle to its smaller neighbors.  The developments of China building artificial land to strengthen its claim in the region shows how determined the country is to have its claims honored.  It also shows that China will stop at nothing to have regions were resources could be to aid in the countries economic growth.  However, China is causing a great deal of controversy through its actions.  Also, China's neighbors are becoming increasingly frustrated with the large nation, yet they are all much smaller nations that really can't prevent the Chinese from doing what they want, especially with China declaring it won't listen to what the UN has to say.  China is a country that is not afraid of strongman politics to get what it wants.

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Teach Mideast

Teach Mideast | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"TeachMideast is an educational outreach initiative developed by the Middle East Policy Council. TeachMideast is a resource designed primarily to give high school and community college teachers the foundation they need to teach about critical , complex, and intriguing subjects."

Seth Dixon's insight:

After writing an article about cultural empathy and stereotypes for National Geographic Education, I was delighted to hear from the educational outreach coordinator at Teach Mideast.  The amount of resources they have for teachers is impressive--check it out!


Tagsreligion, culturehistorical, political, Middle East.

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Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire

Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Animated GIF map chronicling the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire." 


Tagsempire, devolutionMiddle East, borders, historical, map.

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Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 23, 2015 5:47 AM

Many of the problems the Middle East faces today, are a result of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. During the First World War, the Ottoman Empire was aligned with Germany and Austria- Hungary to form the central powers. Following their defeat in the war, the empire collapsed in the ensuing chaos. The victorious allies divided up the ottoman territory amongst themselves. The Borders and nations they created, were poorly designed. They failed to take into account the wide divergences of ethnic groups in the Middle East. The artificial nations they constructed, were ripe for ethnic conflict.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 2:33 PM

The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire can be clearly seen at the beginning and the end. They had a massive territory expansion at 1300 and it bloomed from there. from then to 1900 then only had some minor changes with some changes in territory. At the end, in 1900s was the most significant change with the Empire collapsing with the Republic of Turkey being established in 1923.  

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 13, 2015 3:39 PM

A fascinating look into the shifting nature of borders through history. Unfortunately it also reflects many atrocities that also occurred in those years. Geographically the Empire wouldn't last given its difficult to defend borders. Additionally its extremely conservative Political and Cultural nature made it nearly impossible for it to adapt to changing times in technology. Which is ironic in a way because it was their innovation that sparked the Empire and the seizure of Constantinople to begin with. Also it should perhaps be mentioned that the current nation of Turkeys borders are an unnatural creation on the part of the Turks when they were aware their Empire would collapse. This unfortunately also means this map hides events such as the Armenian Genocide to try and purify Anatolia so that the Turks could claim it as its sole homeland while abandoning the rest of the Empire (so in effect they consolidated to try and keep as much land as possible).