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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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DR Congo election: 17 dead in anti-Kabila protests

DR Congo election: 17 dead in anti-Kabila protests | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Three police officers and 14 civilians die in Kinshasa, capital of DR Congo, during protests calling for President Joseph Kabila to step down.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The DRC is a land of great wealth but is impoverished.  This may seem strange to outsiders but the weakness of their social institutions pays a key role in keeping the economy from reaching it's potential.  Strong institutions matter more than resources for sustained economic development. The most important line in the article was the last one: "DR Congo has never had a smooth transfer of power since independence more than 55 years ago."  That is a staggering historical burden.  

 

Tags: Congo, political, conflict, Africa.

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Introducing ISIS

"The invasion of Iraq was supposed to turn the country into a democracy that posed no threat to the United States, or the rest of the world. Thirteen years later, Iraq has collapsed into three warring states. A third of the country is controlled by ISIS, who have also taken huge amounts of territory in Syria. VICE correspondent Ben Anderson gains exclusive access to the three front lines in Iraq, where Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish forces are fighting for their lives. Anderson visits with the Russian military forces in Syria, meets captured ISIS fighters in Kurdistan, and interviews US policymakers about how the situation in Iraq spun out of control."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Many young students are especially baffled at how a terrorist organization can seize control of large chunks of territory.  If you are looking for a good video introduction that explains how and why ISIS was able to gain power and than gain and maintain territory, this is it (it's classroom safe despite the source). 

 

Tags: Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Iraq, devolution, terrorism, ISISMiddle East.

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Turkey's 'bumpy ride' into the EU?

Turkey's 'bumpy ride' into the EU? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"As the UK prepares for what looks like a slow and painful divorce from the European Union, the people of Turkey are wondering how their relationship with Europe will now develop.

The government in Ankara has been seeking to strengthen its case to join the EU, but as Europe grapples with Brexit - is the Turkey's membership closer or further away?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video show some of the recent shifts in the always important, often rocky Turkey/EU relationship.   Economically, Turkey has consistently sought greater ties with Europe for the past few decades and Europe keeps Turkey at arms length.    Turkey has applied to join the EU, but that is not going to happen without some massive social restructuring that would take years. 

 

Tags: EuropeTurkey, supranationalism, economicrefugees, political, video.

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FARC-Colombia peace deal finalized

FARC-Colombia peace deal finalized | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Negotiators seeking to end the insurgency in Colombia, one of the world's longest-running conflicts, said they had reached a final peace deal.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Farclandia has long been an insurgent state where the Colombian government had no real power to enforce the rule of law and their sovereignty over this area that all the political maps say are Colombia.   This shadowy place became a place where drug cartels could operate freely and many of the concessions that Colombia is making for this deal to happen involve amnesty for past crimes. 

 

TagsSouth America, Colombiapoliticalnarcotics. conflict.

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No America, You can’t claim Monica Puig’s Puerto Rico gold medal win as your own

No America, You can’t claim Monica Puig’s Puerto Rico gold medal win as your own | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Like many boricuas on Saturday, Aug. 13, I celebrated when tennis player Monica Puig won gold in the single women’s division and became both Puerto Rico’s first gold win and a woman’s first gold win for the island. It was an overall historic moment that everyone back in the island basked in with full pride. I’ve noticed a trend on social media regarding the Olympics: multiple posts and tweets about how Puerto Rico shouldn’t compete independently, confused as to why Puerto Rico is competing in the first place or that a victory for Puerto Rico supposedly 'counts' because it’s a U.S. commonwealth."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is good article showing the distinct nationalism of Puerto Rico and its political ties with the United States.  This is but one of the many example of how you can link students' interest in the Olympics to expand their understanding about the world.  Other include:

 

Tags: sport.

 

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When Mexico Was Flooded By Immigrants

When Mexico Was Flooded By Immigrants | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In the early nineteenth-century, Mexico had a problem with American immigrants.
Seth Dixon's insight:
A century and a half ago, the immigration debate and geopolitical shifts in power on the United States-Mexico border reflected a profoundly different dynamic than it does today.  This history has enduring cultural impacts on southwestern states that had the international border jump them.

 

Tags: culture, demographicsmigration, North Americahistorical, colonialism, borders, political.

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Ken Feltman's curator insight, July 31, 7:56 AM
Turning the tables...
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Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault

Conventional wisdom in the West blames the Ukraine crisis on Russian aggression. But this account is wrong: Washington and its European allies actually share most of the responsibility, having spent decades pushing east into Russia’s natural sphere of interest.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Ukraine is culturally, economically, and geographically connected with Russia. It is a territory that Russia cannot afford to lose as a part of their sphere of influence.  John Mearsheimer, in his article Why Ukraine Crisis is the West's Fault, gives a detailed account of NATO expansion and how it effected the Russian demand for hegemony in East Europe. Ultimately it is his conclusion that it was this expansion that provoked the Russians, and the current crisis is on the hands of the West. The will of a majority of Ukrainians is be begin economically aligning more with EU/NATO countries.  Ukraine decided against Russia, and Russia responded with force.   Here is an article where scholars weigh in and mostly disagree with the author's provocative assessment

 

Tags: op-ed, Ukrainesupranationalism, Russia, geopoliticspolitical.

 

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Brexit: Reaction and the Aftermath

Brexit: Reaction and the Aftermath | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The reactions to the Brexit have come in from all corners.  Since this was so shocking, newspapers articles that are insightful are using hyperbole in their titles to get our attention (Britain just killed globalization as we know it–Washington Post; Will Brexit mark the end of the age of globalization?–LA Times).  There have also been some excellent political cartoons and memes, so I wanted to archive a few of them here."  

 

Tags: Europe, supranationalismglobalization, economic, political, images.

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MsPerry's curator insight, June 29, 11:29 AM
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Cities are the New Nations

Cities are the New Nations | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Political geography is not determinant anymore, because cities are more important."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Controlling borders and territory were the main factors in geopolitics for centuries.  In his book Connectography by Parag Khanna, he argues that connectivity and networks are more important today.  The world's most connected cities act in ways that transcend political boundaries.      

 

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Sally Egan's curator insight, June 20, 6:46 PM
A great article providing an new insight into the development and role of World cities.
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Why Germany's recognition of Armenian genocide is such a big deal

Why Germany's recognition of Armenian genocide is such a big deal | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Armenian American journalist Liana Aghajanian says the German parliament's decision is all the more groundbreaking because it was a politician of Turkish descent who pushed it through.

 

The German Bundestag's overwhelming vote last week in favor of this resolution, with just one vote against and one abstention, brought both gratitude and anger. Armenian communities, many of them descendants of genocide survivors who are dispersed across the world, are grateful. Turkey, however, was incensed and recalled its ambassador to Germany. Many Turks see the vote as not just a threat to longstanding German-Turkish relations, but to Turkish national identity.

Seth Dixon's insight:

I've posted in about the Armenian genocide in the past, and until Turkey acknowledges that it was a genocide, this issue will continue to fester.  Considering that Germany has a large Turkish population and an obvious historical connection to genocide, this recognition is far more important some other random country taking this stance. 

 

TagsArmenia, genocidepolitical, conflict, TurkeyGermanywar, historical.  

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Why Africa’s migrant crisis makes no sense to outsiders

Why Africa’s migrant crisis makes no sense to outsiders | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Violence and insecurity are so bad that other war-torn countries have become sites of refuge."

 

In 2015, nearly 100,000 Ethiopians and Somalis traveled by boat to Yemen, one of the world's most dangerous countries. Last year, nearly 5,000 citizens of Congo, which is fighting powerful rebel groups, were seeking refuge in the Central African Republic, itself torn apart by civil war. And yet 10,000 Burundians have fled their country's own growing civil unrest for Congo. Thousands of Nigerians escaping the extremist Islamist group Boko Haram have gone to Chad, where different strains of that same insurgency conduct frequent deadly attacks. 

 

Developing countries have long taken in a disproportionate number of the world's refugees — roughly 80 percent, according to the United Nations. But even for migration experts and relief workers, the willingness of refugees to leave one war for another is shocking. It's also proving an enormous challenge for humanitarian agencies, which are already overstretched and often not equipped to welcome refugees in countries that are still racked by conflict.

 

Tags: refugeesAfrica, migration, conflict, political, war

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Looting and Conflict: The ISIS Antiquities Pipeline

Looting and Conflict: The ISIS Antiquities Pipeline | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2011, ISIS has looted ancient sites, using the plunder to help finance its operations."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This short comic-book style interactive from National Geographic is incredibly well-done and very engaging.

 

Tags: National Geographic, Syria, political, terrorism, ISIS, historical.

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Point Roberts

Point Roberts | Geography Education | Scoop.it
An American city stranded at the tip of a Canadian peninsula where strict adherence to the "49th parallel rule" became problematic.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm sharing this because what isn't exciting about an exclave that was created by a superimposed, geometric border?  

 

Tags: borders, political.

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Bratislava EU meeting: Merkel says bloc in 'critical situation'

Bratislava EU meeting: Merkel says bloc in 'critical situation' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The EU is in a "critical situation", the German chancellor says, as leaders meet to discuss ways to regain trust after the UK's vote to leave the bloc.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Some of this article is focused on the micro-issues of the day, but the larger issues of what is the proper role for an economic supranational organization is front and center.  Should the EU have a military headquarters?  How should the member states respond to the underlying tensions in the Union?  Attached is a video showing residents of EU countries with a wide range of opinions about the organization and what it's future should be and another video about the major topics on the table.  Given that the politicians there are balancing personal, national, and European interests, it is a sticky wicket (if British phrases are still allowed, even if they are the only member state not invited to the summit).   

 

Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, political, video.

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Remembering September 11th

"Video and Photographs of the event. All media is from the internet and not my own. I compiled all media from the internet and edited them together to tell the story of the deadliest attack on America."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The compilation above was created by a teacher who realized that now none of his students were alive to remember how emotional it was for people to watch the horrific news unfold.  Additionally, this video of how Canadians helped the U.S. paired with this lesson plan from the Choices Program will help students explore the human dimension of the September 11 attacks as will this lesson from Teaching History. For a geospatial perspective on 9/11, this page from the Library of Congress, hosted by the Geography and Map Division is a visually rich resources (aerial photography, thermal imagery, LiDAR, etc.)  that show the extent of the damage and the physical change to the region that the terrorist attacks brought.  The images from that day are a part of American memory and change how the event is remembered and memorialized in public spaces (if you want a touching story of heroism, the Red Bandana is moving). 

 
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Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, September 10, 11:16 PM
Because many students were not born when 9/11 occurred, or don't remember, it is important to have sources like this available.  Take a moment and look at this information about this time in U.S. history.
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What assimilation means to the 'taco trucks on every corner' Trump supporter

What assimilation means to the 'taco trucks on every corner' Trump supporter | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Marco Gutierrez, founder of Latinos for Trump, explains his view of immigration and assimilation to the US.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm NOT trying to use this platform to advance any partisan political agenda, but I think this brings up some very interesting narratives that are used when discussing migration and culture, which becomes a political 'hot-button' topic.  There is often cultural pressure on the migrant to assimilate into the host culture (or at least acculturate to a certain degree).  This larger national discussion centers on whether cultural assimilation should be expected of migrants and how much cultural diffusion the host culture will be receiving from the migrants.

 

Questions to Ponder: How are cultural norms placed on migrants?  What are some recent examples of migrants not wanting to assimilate that have led to political tension?    

 

Tags: culture migration, political.

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Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio

Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Feyisa Lilesa crosses his arms as he wins a silver medal - a gesture used by his Oromo people at home to protest against the government.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Olympics can bring to interesting cultural and political issues to a larger international audience.  The Oromo people in Ethiopia are off our collective radar, but this marathoner made the world pay attention and start to ask questions about a part of the world that rarely gets global attention.  Some other examples of how you can link students' interest in the Olympics to expand their understanding about the world include:

What was your favorite 'teaching moment' from the Olympics?

Tags:  political, conflict, sport.

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Japan's Emperor Akihito fears age could impact ability to rule

Japan's Emperor Akihito fears age could impact ability to rule | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In a rare televised speech, Japan's Emperor Akihito has addressed his people directly about his declining health. A Japanese monarch has not stepped down in about 200 years.

Once revered as a living God, the Japanese emperor became a ceremonial figure in Japan's constitutional monarchy after World War II. Occupying forces seized much of the imperial family's wealth and today Parliament controls the household's annual budget and allowances, which total well over $100 million."
Seth Dixon's insight:

It's amazing to think that this is only the 3rd public message from an Emperor since the invention of TV and the radio.  (1-Surrender to end WWII, 1945. 2-Fukushima nuclear disaster, 2011, 3-Emperor's Declining health, 2016).  This news though, brings up the questions of how many monarchs still rule today, and with what amount of power do they actually have?  The map accompanying this gives the quick run-down.  

 

Tags: Japan, political.

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Old Mexico lives on

Old Mexico lives on | Geography Education | Scoop.it
On February 2nd 1848, following a short and one-sided war, Mexico agreed to cede more than half its territory to the United States. An area covering most of present-day Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, plus parts of several other states, was handed over to gringolandia. The rebellious state of Tejas, which had declared its independence from Mexico in 1836, was recognised as American soil too. But a century and a half later, communities have proved more durable than borders. The counties with the highest concentration of Mexicans (as defined by ethnicity, rather than citizenship) overlap closely with the area that belonged to Mexico before the great gringo land-grab of 1848. Some are recent arrivals; others trace their roots to long before the map was redrawn. They didn’t jump the border—it jumped them.

 

Tags: culture, demographics, North Americahistorical, colonialism, borders, political.

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London Should Secede From the United Kingdom

London Should Secede From the United Kingdom | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Beyond the stunning act that has become Britain’s vote to leave the European Union lies a deeper message: Democracy is not destiny, but devolution. Ceaseless entropy — the second law of thermodynamics — applies to politics as well. The more countries democratize, the more local populations seek greater self-rule.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In his book Connectography by Parag Khanna, he argues that connectivity and networks are more important today.  Using those ideas, Khanna discusses London's options after the recent Brexit vote in this op-ed (this additional article explores the demographic divide on the Brexit vote, especially how many British Millennials feel that their future has been snatched from them).      

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In stunning decision, Britain votes to leave the E.U.

In stunning decision, Britain votes to leave the E.U. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The country opted to become the first ever to leave the 28-member bloc in a result that will send economic and political shockwaves across the globe.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The foundations of the European Union have their historical roots in World War II.  To ensure that European countries stop attacking each other, they knit their economies together and cooperated more on political and economic policies.   

The UK has narrowly voted to leave the European Union (52%-48%).  The Brexit (Britain + Exit) was expected to be close, but shows discontent with London.  The ‘Remain’ campaign dominated in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland while the ‘Leave’ campaign found its strength across England and Wales (see maps). 

The fallout of this vote is big and far-reaching.  The first global reaction was financial panic as numerous stock exchanges plummeted.  UK Prime Minister David Cameron will resign.  Already Spain is calling for joint control of Gibraltar (which they’ve wanted anyway) and using this as an opportunity to advance a Spanish agenda.  Many in Scotland chose to stay in the UK in part because they wanted Scotland to remain in the EU.  Another referendum on Scottish Independence feels eminent at this point.       

Still confused?  Here are answers to 9 frequently asked questions about the Brexit as well as a good overview from on the economic issues from the Economist.

   

Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, political.

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How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring

How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring | Geography Education | Scoop.it
How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Seth Dixon's insight:

Unraveling the situation on the ground in Syria is much like opening a Russian nesting doll, it's a battle, inside of a battle, inside of a battle. A complex series of local, regional, and global rivalries all playing out on the battle grounds of Syria, turning the country in a wasteland. It's created a nightmare for the millions of non-combatants forced to flee, and those stuck within the borders. What started as Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad cracking down on Arab spring protesters in early 2011, quickly escalated into a civil war. Regional rivals Iran, and Saudi Arabia then got involved sending aid to differing sides. Soon, as a result of the rise of ISIS, the west and Russia chose to intervene. Lost in the greater game of Geo-politics is the sad, slow death of the optimism that accompanied the Arab Spring. As Marc Lynch laments in 'How Syria ruined the Arab Spring', all of the momentum was lost and forgotten when Al-Assad resorted to force and Syria became a pawn in regional and global geopolitics.

 

Tagsop-ed, Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Middle East.

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Bad drivers are a good indicator of a corrupt government

Bad drivers are a good indicator of a corrupt government | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Traffic accidents kill 1.25 million people per year, and it’s well-known that those deaths are disproportionately in low- and middle-income countries. Over at CityMetric, writer James O’Malley has added an interesting wrinkle, by showing a correlation between the number of traffic fatalities in a country and the corruptness of its government."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I love the last paragraph in this article because it echoes the "Broken Windows" theory--not at the neighborhood scale, but for the state.  Horrible driving isn't the worse thing for a country, but it is indicative of the degree of social trust in each other and in the collective system; corruption erodes both. 

 

"Bottom line: If you’re in a country where everyone drives on the sidewalk and nobody stops at stop signs, you can be pretty sure the government isn’t working right."

 

Tags: political, governancetransportation.

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Adilson Camacho's curator insight, June 10, 2:12 PM
Será?
Caitlyn Scott's curator insight, June 14, 1:05 AM
This article shows a scarily real insight into the effects of corruption on certain countries. Would be useful for situations where looking at the broad range of effects of corruption but also has some interesting statistics regarding earnings and road fatalities.
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Megacities, not nations, are the world’s dominant, enduring social structures

Megacities, not nations, are the world’s dominant, enduring social structures | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Cities are mankind’s most enduring and stable mode of social organization, outlasting all empires and nations over which they have presided. Today cities have become the world’s dominant demographic and economic clusters."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This map is a sneak peek preview from the new book Connectography by Parag Khanna.  This main point of the book and article is that economic and social connectivity is the new driving force is of geopolitics, not just global economics.  Supply chains matter more than borders and the largest cities are the controlling nodes of those supply chains.  

 

Tags: political, globalization, urbaneconomic.

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Caitlyn Scott's curator insight, June 14, 1:22 AM
Rare insight into the changes of the economic climate of the world. Fantastic for use in unit focused around mapping and the changing distributions of the world by asking students to think outside the boundaries of traditional maps and what future maps could possibly look like and have them map their ideas as to why their maps look the way they do with research to enforce their ideas.
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There has never been a country that should have been so rich but ended up this poor

There has never been a country that should have been so rich but ended up this poor | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Venezuela has become a failed state.  According to the International Monetary Fund's latest projections, it has the world's worst economic growth, worst inflation and ninth-worst unemployment rate right now. It also has the second-worst murder rate, and an infant mortality rate that's gotten 100 times worse itself the past four years. And in case all that wasn't bad enough, its currency, going by black market rates, has lost 99 percent of its value since the start of 2012. It's what you call a complete social and economic collapse. And it has happened despite the fact that Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves. Never has a country that should have been so rich been so poor.  There's no mystery here. Venezuela's government is to blame--which is to say that Venezuela is a man-made disaster. It's a gangster state that doesn't know how to do anything other than sell drugs and steal money for itself."

 

Tags: Venezuela, South America, op-ed, economic, political, governance.

 
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Ken Feltman's curator insight, May 21, 7:44 AM
Gangster government.