Geography Education
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Curated by Seth Dixon
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High Security Borders

High Security Borders | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Accelerated through the fear from the attacks of 9/11 and all what followed, the so called ‘Western Society’ is constructing the greatest wall ever build on this planet. On different building sites on all five inhabitable continents, walls, fences and high-tech border surveillance are under construction in order to secure the citizens and their high quality of life within this system. The fall of the Berlin Wall was described as the historical moment that marks the demolition of world’s last barrier between nation states. Yet it took the European Union only six years to create with the Schengen Agreement in 1995 a new division only 80km offset to the east of Berlin.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This map shows that hi-tech political surveillance of borders is highly correlated with the core areas of the global economy and some of the most attractive immigrant destinations. 


Questions to Ponder: What else do you see in this map?  What does this say about the world order?  Are there patterns that this map reveals/conceals?    


Tagsconflicteconomic, political, geopolitics, migration, map.

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Miles Gibson's curator insight, February 13, 2015 11:04 AM

Unit 4 political geography 

This article explains how the world is filled with division and segregation. Some of the most notable are the walls are the wall in berlin, the wall/border/river/fence between the u.s. and mexico and the border between north and south Korea is the most notable walls.

This article relates to unit 4 because it shows how people, through borders, have divided them through history creating new politics, culture and borders themselves. The political processes involved can change the policies and shapes of nations in the world.

Monika Fleischmann's curator insight, February 15, 2015 4:48 AM
Seth Dixon's insight:

This map shows that hi-tech political surveillance of borders is highly correlated with the core areas of the global economy and some of the most attractive immigrant destinations.  

 

Questions to Ponder: What else do you see in this map?  What does this say about the world order?  Are there patterns that this map reveals/conceals?   


tom cockburn's curator insight, February 27, 2015 5:19 AM

More than simple  'culture clash' or  'politics of fear' etc

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Saudi Arabia's Leadership

Seth Dixon's insight:

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia passed away on Jan 23rd and has been replaced by King Salman.  What does that mean for Saudi Arabia?  What will it mean for the region?  The Plaid Avenger has the answers (here are the links for part 2 and part 3).

 

TagsSaudi Arabiaculturegeopoliticspolitical, Middle East.

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Complex International Borders

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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HarperCollins omits Israel from maps for Mideast schools, citing ‘local preferences’

HarperCollins omits Israel from maps for Mideast schools, citing ‘local preferences’ | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"For months, publishing giant HarperCollins has been selling an atlas it says was developed specifically for schools in the Middle East. It trumpets the work as providing students an 'in-depth coverage of the region and its issues.  Its stated goals include helping kids understand the 'relationship between the social and physical environment, the region’s challenges [and] its socio-economic development.' Nice goals. But there’s one problem: Israel is missing."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In other words, Israel got eliminated from this atlas that was designed to cater to Middle Eastern countries that take umbrage with the fact that Israel...exists.  Making maps always has political overtones and the company is now realizing that you can't please everyone with different versions for distinct audiences.  Now, HarperCollins has pulled the book and will pulp all remaining versions of the atlas.  


Tags: Israel, social media, political, mapping, cartography.

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Who Owns The North Pole?

"Though uninhabited and full of melting ice caps, the Arctic is surprisingly an appealing piece of real estate. Many countries have already claimed parts of the region. So who technically owns the North Pole? And why do these nations want it so bad?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Denmark is now being more assertive in their claimsWhy is this happening now?  As climate change threatens polar ice caps, some see the receding ice as an economic and political opportunity.  Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and the U.S. are all seeking to expand their maritime claims in the Arctic.  When trapped under ice, extracting resources is cost prohibitive, but the melting sea ice will make the Arctic's resources all the more valuable (including the expanded shipping lanes).  Even a global disaster like climate change can make countries behave like jackals, ready to feast on a dead carcass.  For more, read this National Geographic blogpost.  


TagsArctic, economic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, unit 4 politicalclimate change, political ecology.

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Rich Schultz's curator insight, January 2, 2015 5:52 PM

Great question!  I think we all know the answer...Santa Claus!! ;)

Sammy Shershevsky's curator insight, January 17, 2015 4:57 PM

The video discusses a big topic in discussion today - Who really owns the North Pole? Although the North Pole is uninhabited, many countries have claimed to take ownership of the vast majority of land (or, ice). Canada has already claimed that the North Pole is part of its nation. Russia has put up Russian flags on the North Pole (such as underwater) but does that really make North Pole a Russian territory? The media plays a role in this by offering different opinions on who should and who deserves the right to own the North Pole. You might read a Canadian article that lists all the outright reasons why the North Pole is or deserves to be a Canadian territory. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 6, 2015 7:26 PM

In my opinion, I don't understand how the United nations can be seen as an entity that, essentially, controls who would have rights to a place like the North Pole(technically, not owned by anyone).  I, naively, understand the basics of the U.N.  In short, it is an organization that was formed, post-WW I or II, as a governing board for world-issues.

 

 With that being said, how can they believe that their "law" is the all-powerful one?  If I'm a leader of a country who is not a member of the U.N., do I really care what they say?   I just find it odd that this narrator speaks about the issue while holding the U.N. as a supreme authority.  I know that this video is just a quick fun type of video but it leaves me with wanting to hear the perspective of a non-U.N. member.  But a very interesting topic, none the less.

 

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Mistrust Threatens Delicate Balance at a Sacred Site in Jerusalem

Mistrust Threatens Delicate Balance at a Sacred Site in Jerusalem | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A site in the Old City of Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, has been a flash point since the advent of modern Zionism.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There has been turmoil and violence in Jerusalem this month; at it's core, much of the fighting has been around the political control of sacred spaces that are seen as critical to both groups' cultural and religious identity.  This particular sacred place is intertwined with both Judaism as well as Islam, and understanding the current round of violence demands that we understand some of the historical geography of religion in Jerusalem.  To explore more about sacred sites in general as a spatial concept, visit this link


Tagsreligion, culture, Islam, Israel, Palestine, territoriality, political, Middle East.

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Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 19, 2015 3:29 PM

Landmarks can have powerful meanings to different groups of people.  The Dome of the Rock is a sacred site to Muslims across the world.  The Mosque has stood on the location for centuries, and it is said to be built on the site where Mohamed ascended to Heaven.  To Jews, however, this site represents where Solomon's Temple was located.  It was destroyed two times, once by the Babylonians and another time, after being rebuilt by the Roman Empire.  Today, all that remains of this sacred site is the Western Wall.  The Wall is a sacred location to many Jews as it represents their heritage and their nation.  Yet, as the article notes, many Muslims are threatened by the new Jewish interests in the site and they fear that it will be taken by the Israeli government and the Temple will be rebuilt a third time on the Temple Mount.  This shows how much emotion can exist over a piece of land.  The Jewish need to rebuild their temple right on the very spot it once stood, it cannot be built elsewhere, meanwhile some Muslims deny that the Temple ever stood there and there are others who believe that the site should be renamed to "Al Aqsa Mosque or the Noble Sanctuary".  This is one of the great arguments that I believe will never be solved, should the Temple be rebuilt at the expense of the Dome of the Rock?  

 

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 4:03 PM

Sacred sites in Jerusalem are having difficulties due to the differences in culture from the surrounding countries. 

Raychel Johnson's curator insight, March 22, 2015 12:19 AM

Summary: This article is simply over the Israel-Palestine conflict, and how it has evolved since its beginning. This mostly talks about how Palestine believes that if Israel gains control of Jerusalem, they will get rid of Dome of the Rock, an important place of worship for the Islams. 

 

Insight: I think this article accurately represents concepts of political power and territoriality well due to the fact that these two territories are having a very long dispute about this one piece of land. I think there is definitely a solution that should be relatively simple, but with the amount of meaning this location has to both places, and with the continues terrorism occurring, I don't know if a simple solution would work. 

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Cultural Politics

Cultural Politics | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A state-by-state look at our cultural politics.
Seth Dixon's insight:

While this doesn't say everything about the state of cultural politics in the United States, it does lay out some of the more ideologically charged debates in the new political landscape after the midterm electionsWhat does this Venn diagram say about the state of cultural politics in your state?   The Courts have aided the push for same sex marriages; will that also occur for marijuana legalization?


Tags: narcotics, sexuality, USA, electoral, political.

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The Strategic Importance of the Caspian Sea

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Globalization in a Nutshell

"The world is becoming more and more interconnected. Globalization changes how people consume, work and live almost everywhere on the world. Today, many economic, political, cultural or ecological relationships are not explainable from a national perspective. At the same time, a controversial debate about the consequences of globalization has begun."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a good video to explain globalization (although this is my personal favorite), to see that it not just an economic force, but one that touches just about every facet of modern life.
 

Questions to ponder: What are the driving forces behind globalization? What areas are most impacted by globalization?  How does globalization benefit some, and adversely impact others? Why?


Tags: globalization, economic, industry, NGOs, political, scale, unit 6 industry.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 14, 2014 4:24 AM

Globalization in a Nutshell

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, November 2, 2014 4:29 PM

Integração seletiva...

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More than half of all Americans live in states where same-sex marriage is legal

More than half of all Americans live in states where same-sex marriage is legal | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"More than 168 million Americans now live in states where marriage for same-sex couples is legal following the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to not hear five states’ appeals.  That number represents about 53.17 percent of the U.S. population, according to data from the Census Bureau and visualized on the map above."


Tags: sexuality, USA. regions, mappolitical.

Seth Dixon's insight:

UPDATE: As of November 20, 2014 this is now the new map of same-sex marriage in the United States.  Notice that all the states that oppose same-sex marriage are part of one single, territorially contiguous block of states.  How come that is the spatial pattern for this issue?    

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Julia Keenan's curator insight, October 7, 2014 7:57 PM

Shows states that allow same sex marriage or have laws for or against them

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 14, 2014 4:29 AM

Concept of Human Rights in USA

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50 Years Ago, A Fluid Border Made The U.S. 1 Square Mile Smaller

50 Years Ago, A Fluid Border Made The U.S. 1 Square Mile Smaller | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Since Texas became a state, the Rio Grande has marked the border between the U.S. and Mexico. But, like rivers do, it moved. In 1964, the U.S. finally gave back 437 acres of land.


Ever since Texas became a state, the river has been the border between the two countries. But rivers can move — and that's exactly what happened in 1864, when torrential rains caused it to jump its banks and go south. Suddenly the border was in a different place, and Texas had gained 700 acres of land called the Chamizal (pronounced chah-mee-ZAHL), so named for a type of plant that grew there.


Tags: Mexico, migration, borders, political, place, podcast.   

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Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 4, 2014 1:12 PM

This article highlights one of the problems of tying political boundaries to the physical environment. When the Rio Grande moved further south it was in the United States' favor, and they happily accepted the extra land, despite the complaints of Mexico. It wasn't until 100 years later when the US feared the potential of Mexico straying during the Cold War that they decided to handle the issue. This shows some of the issues that can arise when placing rigid political definitions on the fluid and changing landscape.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 5, 2015 2:15 PM

This article is highly interesting because it shows just how "obnoxious" the concept of a border (a man made concept) actually is.  I found it interesting that the border could move that much due to the Rio Grande flooding.  It seems to me that it was a hasty decision on the part of the politicians who set the Rio Grande as the border between the United States and Mexico.  I also found it interesting that how in the 1960's, the United States forced people out of their homes when they were going to cede the land back to Mexico.  Because it was part of an effort to keep them allied with the US during the Cold War.  Also, it was highly interesting how the US built a cement casing around the river to keep it from moving.  Like Trillo says at the end of the article, "There's only so much control a man can do on a river. Sooner or later...the river is gonna do what Mother Nature has taught it to do — to move."

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 21, 2015 10:08 AM

I find this absolutely fascinating; I have never heard of a border moving in such a way! The implications that this deal had for the residents of that disputed territory show the power that geography can have both on global politics and much closer to home. I also find it astounding that the Rio Grande was able to shift that much over the course of only 100 years. One square mile is an awful lot of ground to cover when one thinks of rivers as being relatively stationary- do all rivers shift in such a manner, or is the Rio Grande more active than normal in this regard? And if so, why? I wonder if there are any similar examples in other parts of the world where the fluidity of geography has impacted political boundaries in such a way, as I feel as though this is the first time I've come across this particular kind of story. A fantastic read, I highly recommend it.

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Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution

Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The story behind the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests
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Giselle Figueroa's curator insight, October 8, 2014 2:52 PM

What caught my attention was the name that this protest has ("umbrella revolution”). After investigating I could find why this protest has that name, the reason is  because the people who are protesting  used umbrellas to protect themselves from tear gas.The Occupy Central movement ( which is  a civil disobedience campaign initiated by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong , and advocated by Occupy Central with Love and Peace) threatens to block financial and commercial center of Hong Kong if their demands are neglected: the resignation of the Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying and the possibility of holding truly democratic elections in 2017. If none of the parties can agree I think there will be any solution for both parties and this will continue.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, October 10, 2014 2:56 PM

The umbrella revolution in Hong Kong is simply that Protestants are using all kind of tools to block the tear gas that the police are pulling them. Protests in Hong Kong are to change some of the rules that Beijing has also want Leung Chun-ying resign his position. The vast majority of the protesters are young and who began the protests were also young people who are fighting for the good of their city.

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The myth of religious violence

The myth of religious violence | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The popular belief that religion is the cause of the world’s bloodiest conflicts is central to our modern conviction that faith and politics should never mix. But, Karen Armstrong writes, the messy history of their separation suggests it was never so simple


After a bumpy beginning, secularism has undoubtedly been valuable to the west, but we would be wrong to regard it as a universal law. It emerged as a particular and unique feature of the historical process in Europe; it was an evolutionary adaptation to a very specific set of circumstances. In a different environment, modernity may well take other forms. Many secular thinkers now regard “religion” as inherently belligerent and intolerant, and an irrational, backward and violent “other” to the peaceable and humane liberal state – an attitude with an unfortunate echo of the colonialist view of indigenous peoples as hopelessly “primitive”, mired in their benighted religious beliefs. There are consequences to our failure to understand that our secularism, and its understanding of the role of religion, is exceptional. When secularisation has been applied by force, it has provoked a fundamentalist reaction – and history shows that fundamentalist movements which come under attack invariably grow even more extreme. The fruits of this error are on display across the Middle East: when we look with horror upon the travesty of Isis, we would be wise to acknowledge that its barbaric violence may be, at least in part, the offspring of policies guided by our disdain.


Tags: religion, culture, conflict, political, geopolitics.

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Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 12:13 PM

I would say that Religious Has nothing to do with war but there has been several religious problems in this world, so when it comes to war and religious I don't even know what to think, since God means peace no war. Religious is now separate from political issues, and this is perhaps a good idea but again, I don't know what to think about it.

Evan Margiotta's curator insight, March 19, 2015 5:12 PM

This is a very intelligent article about the problems of secularism in our modern world. "An attitude with an unfortunate echo of the colonialist view of indigenous peoples" has an incredibly sardonic feeling to it. Secularism has been a favorite mindset of Americans in recent years. This is a great mistake in my opinion. Religion is such an easy thing to stereotype and Americans have done just that. Unit 3 Culture

Molly McComb's curator insight, May 27, 2015 10:55 AM

This article talks about religious violence, but especially Jihad. ISIS is ripping through Syria and they are quoting the Quran everytime they behead or kill someone. Islam has been a huge influence in warfare since the beginning of time. 

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Recent Developments in the Ukraine Conflict

"Stratfor Military Analysts Paul Floyd and Sim Tack discuss how Russia's strategy will maintain options as violence in eastern Ukraine continues."


Tags: Ukraineconflict, geopoliticspolitical.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, February 9, 2015 9:12 AM

unit 4

 

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 18, 2015 6:15 PM

I cant believe the cease fire lasted all but 40 minutes!  Putin and Russia are a bunch of scumbags that are just looking for conflict.  As if Russia is not large enough that they have to scrap for these small areas of Ukraine.  Its going to be because of assholes like this that get other countries involved and many lives end up getting lost.  

Avery Liardon's curator insight, March 23, 2015 9:46 PM

Unit 4 :

Russia beginning to take violent actions against the Ukraine. It is interesting to view the military strategies that countries take, and to see the outcomes of these schemes. 

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The colourful propaganda of Xinjiang

The colourful propaganda of Xinjiang | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"China is in the midst of a crackdown on what it describes as 'terrorism driven by religious extremism'. The campaign is focused on the western province of Xinjiang, home to China's Uighur ethnic minority who are predominantly Muslim."

Seth Dixon's insight:

China does not have a good track record of dealing with ethnic and religious minorities and the murals that can be seen in Xinjiang are a testament to that fact.  This has led to many Muslims in Western China being attracted to more radical ideas.  While I certainly don't condone radicalism nor China's heavy-handed tactics, I am fascinated by the cultural messages that are strategically being placed in the landscape to influence the politics and culture of the region.  


Tags: political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia, religion, culture, Islam, landscape.

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Kendra King's curator insight, April 3, 2015 7:37 PM

This art seems like a logical extension of the government’s use of power although I personally don’t agree with their abuse of power. In China the government will uses its authority to monitor the personal activities of its citizens as demonstrated by the pictures dictating what people should and shouldn’t wear. When the citizens don’t follow through with China’s rule, violence typically happens. In fact, a fair deal of the paintings showed violence (i.e. the tank running people over). I actually find those depictions more offensive and disturbing than any of the other pictures because the end result is clearly that of dath rather than disapproval. Now, I understand that some places need to be ruled with an iron fist (i.e. Iraq), however I don’t really see how threatening people with more violence solves the issue of extremism. If anything, doesn’t this just give the extremist more of a reason to dislike the government? As such, is the government just creating more resentment that will lead to demonstrations in the future? I say this because eventually when a local population is subject to such horrible treatment, there isn't much else to lose and very little reason no to fight back. 

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 16, 2015 9:20 PM

This article has great insight on the way government influences popular belief. We have seen these many times in American society also when government was afraid of communism during the cold war for instance. Often we have prejudgements or beliefs and we are not sure where they even stem from. Pushed Propaganda can be very influential over the mass population, in instilling certain beliefs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:45 PM
The point the Chinese are trying to make is that the Muslim people are bad, they do unacceptable things and it needs to be taken care of. They are making it hard for a couple to get married and if they do it is with special permission. They even banned anyone under the age of 18 to enter a mosque. Praying in Xinjiang is highly regulated and comes with strict rules and consequences. In all their propaganda you can see how they represent getting rid of the muslims because they are wearing black. If you ask me, it seems like the government is doing this because they are afraid of being taken over and losing the area, just like we used to use propaganda in the wars.
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Why We Celebrate Martin Luther King Day

Why We Celebrate Martin Luther King Day | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Last year, Julie and I wrote this article for Maps 101 (which was also created into a podcast) about the historical and geographic significance of Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement.  Martin Luther King fought racial segregation, which, if you think about it, is a geographic system of oppression that uses space and place to control populations. Derek Alderman and Jerry Mitchell, excellent educators and researchers, produced lesson plans to help students investigate the politics behind place naming, specifically using the case study of the many streets named after Martin Luther King.  


Questions to Ponder: Why are streets named after Martin Luther King found in certain places and not in others? What forces and decisions likely drive these patterns? What is the historical legacy of Martin Luther King and how is it a part of certain cultural landscapes? 


Tags: seasonal, race, historical, the South, political, toponyms, landscape.

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Kendra King's curator insight, January 22, 2015 7:01 PM

Interesting and different way to view MLK.

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U.S. and Cuba's Rocky Relations

"President Obama announced on December 17 that the United States will resume diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than 50 years of antagonism. Bloomberg's Sam Grobart recaps the standoff between the two nations, and explains why the icy relationship has begun to thaw."

Seth Dixon's insight:

By now I'm sure you've heard the news that the United States is seeking to normalize relations with Cuba and politicians are reacting to this news in diverse ways.  Some see this as a way for the United States to stick it to Russia (which is going through it's on troubles--more on that in the future). This video gives a quick rundown of the history of Cold War tensions between these two neighbors.   


Tags: Cuba, conflict, political, geopolitics.

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Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 10, 2015 12:13 PM

The causes of the issues between the two countries, most surely, can be traced to both sides.  Millions of people have been affected by the hostile relationship.  A relationship that has been at a standstill for decades.  I have always looked at this dynamic as defying logic and common sense.  Without taking sides, one could look at the last half a century from afar, and conclude that it was ultimately a big waste of time and something that probably could have either been avoided altogether or ended a long time ago if it weren't for stubbornness on both sides.  Finally, we are starting to see the construction of the "light at the end of the tunnel", per say.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, March 1, 2015 10:10 PM

I'm amazed that we have had no relations with Cuba for so long.  All it took was one man-Castro-to keep the separation going for so long.  It is time to let go.  Besides, if you were really worried about another country wouldn't you want to have some sort of diplomatic relationship so you could keep a close eye?

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 24, 2015 5:54 AM

The Presidents decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba set off some controversy in the United States. Some Republicans, such as Florida senator Marco Rubio were quite critical of the Presidents new policy. Overall I was surprised at how little controversy erupted from the move. The Cuban community in the United States was divided on the issue. Older Cubans, many of whom fled Cuba after the Castro revolution in 1959 opposed the move. Younger Cubans generally feel that it is time to try a  new approach toward the communist nation. Our policy of isolating Cuba has not led to the desired regime change that many had hoped for. If anything it has hurt the innocent citizens of Cuba more than the Castro brothers. They are the ones who have suffered the effects of economic embargos. History will judge the Presidents move to normalize relations. For the sake of the Cuban people, lets hope that this new policy will finally result in a free democratic Cuba.

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Conflict Kitchen serves up controversy

Conflict Kitchen serves up controversy | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Conflict Kitchen is an art project based in the centre of Pittsburgh which serves food from countries with which the US is 'in conflict'.  The founders get to define what conflict means - it can range from outright war to economic sanctions - and since opening in 2010 they have prepared food from Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba.  But the restaurant's latest choice of cuisine, Palestinian food, has caused controversy in the city and even led to a death threat which temporarily closed the venue.  Critics pointed out that the US is not in conflict with the Palestinian people. They claimed that the pamphlets served with the dishes included 'anti-Israel' propaganda. But Conflict Kitchen's founders said the project was designed to encourage debate among Americans."

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?  Is this a form of 'gastro-diplomacy?' 


Tags: foodpolitical, culture.

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Asian Border Disputes

Asian Border Disputes | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Tags: borders, political, conflict, infographic, map.

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Asie(s)'s curator insight, November 23, 2014 10:23 PM

A good overview on the matter!

Kevin Barker's curator insight, November 25, 2014 8:20 AM

A great primer for discussions over border disputes.  In this modern geopolitical climate, some of these claims can seem aggressive to say the least.  The strategies/responses can also be very interesting when military options are put aside.

Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, November 25, 2014 12:36 PM

I was looking at the disputes between the Paracel Islands, the Spratly Islands, and the Scarborough Shoal. What I notices with all oft he disputes, the land being fought over is all claimed by China but the land location itself is all closer to the country china is disputing it over. For the Paracel Islands, China and Vietnam are in dispute especially after China put 2 oil rigs by their land. The other dispute between the Spratly Islands, China and the Philippines each claim entire ownership of the lands but Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei all claim some part of the islands as well. For the Scarborough Shoal, it is a lot closer to the Philippines than it is to China but China claims it as their own since they discovered the land. Now china has restricted access to the island following a standoff.    

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The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, but Germany is still divided

The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, but Germany is still divided | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Stunning satellite images and maps show how east and west differ from each other even today.
Seth Dixon's insight:

These two maps (unemployment on the left and disposable income on the right) are but two examples in this article that highlights the lingering distinctions between the two parts of Germany that were reunited 25 years ago.  The social geographies imposed by the Iron Curtain and the Berlin  Wall are still being felt from this relic border and will for years to come. 


Tags: Germany, industry, laboreconomichistorical, politicalborders.

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Peter Phillips's curator insight, November 6, 2014 11:43 AM

50 years of communist rule still affect opportunities in Germany today, as these maps show. What they don't show is the social mirror that each provides to the other and the rich discussions about social policy that result. Reunification has been an expensive exercise for Germany, however one that it is committed to.

Jacob Conklin's curator insight, February 12, 2015 6:20 PM

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but its influence is still present in today's Germany. History plays a key role in the shaping of political boundaries and that history is clearly evident in Germany. The line where the Berlin wall once stood still divides the country economically. The western part of Germany is far more economically affluent than the east. The USSR may be gone, but its influence still remains. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:14 AM

These two maps (unemployment on the left and disposable income on the right) are but two examples in this article that highlights the lingering distinctions between the two parts of Germany that were reunited 25 years ago.  The social geographies imposed by the Iron Curtain and the Berlin  Wall are still being felt from this relic border and will for years to come. 


Tags: Germany, industry, labor, economic, historical, political, borders.

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State Borders Were Drawn in the Distant Past. Is It Time to Reimagine Our Map?

State Borders Were Drawn in the Distant Past. Is It Time to Reimagine Our Map? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Most state borders were drawn centuries ago, long before the country was fully settled, and often the lines were drawn somewhat arbitrarily, to coincide with topography or latitude and longitude lines that today have little to do with population numbers.  Most state borders were drawn centuries ago, long before the country was fully settled, and often the lines were drawn somewhat arbitrarily, to coincide with topography or latitude and longitude lines that today have little to do with population numbers."


Tags: cartography, mapping, visualizationregions, gerrymandering, political, mapping, census, density.

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How New Countries Gain Independence

"Secession movements seem to be everywhere: from the Kurds in Iraq, to pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists, to Scotland's aim to break up the UK. How does secession actually happen? Let's look back to South Sudan's successful secession effort to see exactly how new countries gain independence."

Seth Dixon's insight:

What does it take to actually secede from a country?  This video takes the example of South Sudan to highlight the necessary requirements to successfully secede and then gain full independence. 


Tags: South Sudanpolitical, sovereignty, Africastates, unit 4 political.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 14, 2014 4:27 AM

How New Countries Gain Independence

Norka McAlister's curator insight, February 23, 2015 7:06 PM

For a region to be able to succeed as an independent country, it must fulfill a series of requirements. In the case of Catalonia, Spain, it is far from what citizens in that area want to pursue, even when Catalonia is one of the richer regions in Spain. There are many factors that inhibit Catalonia from achieving its status as an independent country such as economic, political and cultural issues. With Spain’s current economy, it would be almost impossible for Catalonia to support itself as its own nation. In addition, if Catalonia gains its independence from Spain, it would not be able to be a part of the United Nations (UN). Language would prove as another obstacle for Catalonia as their combination of French and Spanish is not the official dialect of the region. Cultural assimilation would be difficult as Catalonians would have to transition and adapt Spain’s vascos and gallegos to a version of their own. However, centripetal forces in Catalonian citizens unify them as strong communicators within their region in order for them to promote and retain their distinct cultural identity.

As the video emphasizes how to gain independence; Catalonia does not qualify to achieve independence as it fails to meet some of the characteristics such as an “established group, marginalization, [and] economic stability.” However, as Spain’s economy begins to weaken, Catalonian citizens can take this opportunity to work towards their goal as being an independent entity from Spain

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The Most Complex International Borders in the World

"In this video I look at some of the most complex international border. Of course, there are more complex borders in the world, but this video looks at some of my favourites."

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


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


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ELAdvocacy's curator insight, October 3, 2014 9:40 AM

There are so many reasons our immigrant students come to the United States.  Some stories are so complex and painful it can be extremely difficult for Americans to understand.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, October 3, 2014 10:21 PM

Interesting!

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 6, 2014 5:39 AM

The Most Complex International Borders in the World

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The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests

The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The territory's residents are demanding democracy in city intersections, not central squares.


The significance of the protests, which have brought tens of thousands into the streets, lies not only in what protesters are demanding but also in where they're demanding it—and where they're not. Consider that pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong typically happen in Victoria Park, which is about two and a half miles from Central District and which hosts the annual June 4 candlelight vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing. This time around, however, few police or protesters have ventured there.

The unpredictable, spontaneous geography of the protests is important precisely because it transcends the status quo. It is a testament to how serious these demonstrations are that they refuse to be contained.

Tags: political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia.

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Morgan Manier's curator insight, April 24, 5:20 PM
This article relates to our class by people protesting and with our projects, people in Syria protested and were punished and this relates to political geography. My opinion is that people should be acknowledged with why they are protesting and where they are doing it, also how it affects everyone else. 
Colby Geiger's curator insight, April 28, 7:25 AM
This article relates to political geography because the protestors of Japan are protesting to shut down the cities main shopping center where the government buildings are. The people of Japan want democracy and I believe that they should have it. To me, democracy is a fair way for the people of a country to choose a ruler and have everybody heard for their opinions.
Kobie Carroll's curator insight, April 28, 11:44 AM
I believe the OCLP (Occupy Central with Love and Peace) campaign had good intentions, wanting to build a truly harmonious society. I, however, believe they made a wrong decision to shut down Hong Kong's Central District. This relates to what we are learning because it shows how individuals with conflicting views can express hate towards each other in one geographical area.
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Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off

Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Tensions escalated on Sunday when the broader Occupy Central protest movement threw its weight behind student-led protests, bringing forward a mass civil disobedience campaign due to start on Wednesday.  China's leaders must be sitting uncomfortably in Beijing.

As long as the protests continue, there is a chance they will spread to the mainland, where many are unhappy with one-party rule.  But if the protesters hold their ground, how far will Beijing allow events to spiral before getting directly involved?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Hong Kong is probably the only place under the control of the People's Republic of China (PRC) where protests of this type against the government could have started.  Hong Kong, once administered by the UK, was turned over to the PRC, but with special conditions that grant Hong Kong residents greater freedoms than those available the rest of the citizens of mainland China (One China, two systems).  Hong Kong students are protesting for full universal suffrage and for the right to choose their own candidates--something that Beijing is not willing to concede; some autonomy yes, power to make further breaks with Beijing?  No.  In addition to political control, some students feel economically marginalized by Beijing's policies.  In 1997, when Hong Kong became a part of the PRC, it represented 18% of the GDP of the country; today it is only 3% of the PRC's economic output.  The Chinese govt. is currently blocking Instagram, trying to prevent the spread of viral images that show discontent.  Still have questions?  You are not the only one as the world turns it's gaze to China wondering about the strength of the Communist Party and the collective will of the protestors. 


Tags: political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 6, 2014 5:42 AM

Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:36 PM

Seeing all of these protesters laying across the highway caught my interest.  These people are serious about what they want with their elections and it is not have their candidates picked out for them.  People are taking over roads, shopping malls, schools, whereever they can go to prove their point.  They know that the amount of police forces is not enough to stop them.  Although for the most part other countries are staying out of the business of China Britain is supporting the protests as long as they stay within the rules of protesting.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:42 PM

It will definitely be interesting to see how far this political protest goes and how far the Chinese Government will go to stop this. China in some ways is a victim of its own success, in the past China would have been able to simply throw its military might on the political dissidents and silence all opposition but how possible is that today? Now China is a global economic power and the Western World's view on China matters, not wanting to risk trade problems China is showing far more caution this time around. While China is reaping the rewards of its world position without doubt China is also missing some of the benefits of the Bamboo Curtain.