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Here Are The Self-Declared Nations You Won't See At The UN

Here Are The Self-Declared Nations You Won't See At The UN | Geography Education | Scoop.it
These nations might not have representation, but they play a major role in international affairs.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Not all countries are created equal.  Political states gain power, prestige and legitimacy when other states recognize their territorial claims.  These 11 places are examples of de-facto states, insurgent states, and exceptions to the general geopolitical order, often created out of border disputes, geopolitical turmoil or tension. 

 

Tagspolitical, states, borders, geopolitics.

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Christian Allié's curator insight, March 31, 5:44 AM

Not all countries are created equal.  Political states gain power, prestige and legitimacy when other states recognize their territorial claims.  These 11 places are examples of de-facto states, insurgent states, and exceptions to the general geopolitical order, often created out of border disputes, geopolitical turmoil or tension. 

 

Tags: political, states, borders, geopolitics.

degrowth economy and ecology's curator insight, March 31, 9:41 AM

Not all countries are created equal.  Political states gain power, prestige and legitimacy when other states recognize their territorial claims.  These 11 places are examples of de-facto states, insurgent states, and exceptions to the general geopolitical order, often created out of border disputes, geopolitical turmoil or tension. 

 

Tags: political, states, borders, geopolitics.

MsPerry's curator insight, March 31, 12:56 PM

Not all countries are created equal.  Political states gain power, prestige and legitimacy when other states recognize their territorial claims.  These 11 places are examples of de-facto states, insurgent states, and exceptions to the general geopolitical order, often created out of border disputes, geopolitical turmoil or tension. 

 

Tags: political, states, borders, geopolitics.

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Timeline of the Breakup of Yugoslavia

Map animation depicting the break up of Yugoslavia through the series of political upheavals and conflicts that occurred from the early 1990's onwards. Different areas of control are colour coded.

 

Tags: devolutionhistorical, political, states, borders, political, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia.

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Forget Sykes-Picot. It’s the Treaty of Sèvres That Explains the Modern Middle East.

Forget Sykes-Picot. It’s the Treaty of Sèvres That Explains the Modern Middle East. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Ninety-five years ago today, European diplomats gathered at a porcelain factory in the Paris suburb of Sèvres and signed a treaty to remake the Middle East from the ashes of the Ottoman empire. The plan collapsed so quickly we barely remember it anymore, but the short-lived Treaty of Sèvres, no less than the endlessly discussed Sykes-Picot agreement, had consequences that can still be seen today. We might do well to consider a few of them as the anniversary of this forgotten treaty quietly passes by.


Tags: devolutionhistorical, political, states, borders, political, Turkey.

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Tania Gammage's curator insight, August 18, 2015 7:32 PM

Geography, Science, Legal Studies

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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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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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Scotland's Decision

Scotland's Decision | Geography Education | Scoop.it
From Catalonia to Kurdistan, nationalist and separatist movements in Europe and beyond are watching the Scottish independence referendum closely.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This issue reverberates on many different scales.  As the video embedded in this article demonstrates,  Scotland's choice on September 18th would obviously impact the local region as some seek to use Scottish history as a rationale to reshape the current political and cultural identity of the region.  Some of the votes are already in and Scottish independence would not only have the potential to reshape the UK and EU, but it could also add some fervor to the various other separatist movements around the world, such as Catalonia.  


Tags: devolutionhistorical, supranationalism, political, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political.

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Nancy Watson's curator insight, September 14, 2014 11:36 AM

Scotland, the site of nationalist and separatist movements, is one to watch as they vote. What the ramifications would be are yet to be seen

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 5, 2015 3:01 PM

It is interesting to see how globalization does as much to bring us together as it does to rip us apart. The exchange of ideas, goods, and people has hugely impacted the lives of everyday citizens and the nations that they call home, where divisions among people are felt more keenly as the competition in today's global economy grows stronger. Catalonia, the region that has done much to keep the economy of the Spanish nation afloat, and Catalans are eager to shed the "dead weight" they feel they are carrying; the Basque region has long since demanded its independence, and we have already seen the fracturing of the Balkans. In some instances, perhaps separation is for the best. However, I feel like these movements are the result of knee-jerk reactions to the current economic climate and deep, underlying hatreds that have no place in the current world order. Spain has been one nation for hundreds of years, as has the United Kingdom; to suddenly dissolve these unions in the name of century-long feuds seems not only unnecessary, but almost child-like. There is enough hatred in the world- why let us continue to divide amongst ourselves when history has shown that people in these regions can coexist and can consistently pull through these difficult periods. It is one thing to be proud of being Scottish- it is another to ignore the economic and political realities of what Scottish independence would bring for its people for the sake of this nationalist sentiment. I, for one, was relieved to see Scotland vote to remain a member of the UK. Separatist movements across the continent have been quieted, if only for another few years.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:16 AM

The Scottish vote for independence would have broken up a modern United Kingdom. Many Scottish folks feel that it is time to separate from a parent country where there are many other countries that are involved. Becoming independent is not an easy task. There has to be a vote and a strong position for those separatists to succeed in getting a victorious vote.

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Donut Holes in Law of the Sea

Donut Holes in Law of the Sea | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Sovereignty over land defines nation states since 1648. In contrast, sovereign right over the sea was formalised only in 1982. While land borders are well-known, sea borders escape the limelight."

Seth Dixon's insight:

These maritime borders mark the economic area is defined by its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a 200-nautical mile-wide (370 km) strip of sea along the country’s national coast line.  This regulation, which was installed by the ‘UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’ in 1982, grants a state special rights to exploit natural (such as oil) and marine (for instance fish) resources, including scientific research and energy production (wind-parks, for example).  This interactive map of the EEZs also shows the 'donut holes,' or the seas that are no state can claim that no state can claim.  Given the number of conflicts that are occurring--especially in East Asia--this map becomes a very valuable online resource for teaching political geography. 


Questions to ponder: how does this series of buffer zones around the Earth's land masses impact politics, the environment and local economies?  Where might the EEZs be more important to the success of a country/territory than other regions? 


Tagseconomic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, states, conflict, unit 4 political.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, July 29, 2014 5:48 PM

Option topic Marine  Environments and management

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 6:52 PM

APHG-U4

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Venice wants out of Italy

Venice wants out of Italy | Geography Education | Scoop.it
VENICE, Italy – Venice, renowned for incomparable Gothic architecture and placid canals plied by gondolas that make it one of the most recognizable cities in the world, may have had enough of Italy.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Some of the wealthiest regions of the poorest countries of the European Union are seeking for greater regional autonomy and even independence.  As one resident said, "I have always felt as a Venetian first, and Italian second."  The scale at which people construct their primary identities and political loyalties play a key role to the political geographic concept of devolution, where power shifts from a central authority to more local control.  So independence moves are to start negotiating.  As another Venetian said, "I think we'll end up with a little more autonomy and a little more pride in our city" and not actual independence.


Tags: Italypoliticaleconomic, states, autonomy, devolution.

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David Lizotte's curator insight, February 20, 2015 12:48 PM

The Italian North, historically speaking was graced by the Industrial Revolution whereas the agricultural south never truly was. This is one of the reasons as to why Southern Italy has no money, there is simply no Industry. 

Throughout the 1800's Northern Italian States developed industry, going along with the rest of Western Europe. Being closer to the west certainly influenced this need of an industrial sector. Northern Italian provinces were also at once ruled by Napoleon, "The Kingdom of Italy" (1805-1814) thus having a share of western influence. In any case the Industrial Revolution reached Northern Italy. The production of war based machinery was developing throughout Europe, in case of another "Napoleon" like person. This created jobs, thus a fluctuation of money. This never reached the agrarian south. 

Southern Italy is not the only area to go untouched by Industry. Eastern Europe was very slow at developing and producing and it can be argued it still is. For example, look at Greece. It has very little industry and a horrid economy to complement it. Due to no industry/no money the North has to take care of the South with its taxes. Citizens of Northern Italy are getting tired of it and want to succeed. 

I understand why they want to succeed. But then what would happen with Southern Italy. It would just remain a tourist attraction with farmers scattered throughout the country side. It sounds nice but it probably isn't These people already have a low standard of living, Northern Italy succeeding would determine an even lower standard. 

A positive aspect of this article is that no one wants to bear arms over the issue. Its a peaceful movement, although there was a homemade tank made from a bulldozer, but still, its peaceful.  Could violence occur if not grow? Perhaps... if the economic loss is great enough to promote such an outcome. 

This article truly does pinpoint the fact that Italy is very much a divided country. The North claims they are a different people, a different identity. Perhaps its not just economic reasons but cultural aspects as well that generate the want of succession. In either case, both the economic and cultural reasonings are products of the Industrial Revolution gracing the North. 

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 16, 2015 3:03 PM

Nobody wants to feel like they're not in control and Venice is no different. Large money making cities or regions often try to break off from their states or countries. New York City has talked about becoming its own state (And with a population of 8.406 million as of 2013, it's bigger than some states) before defending that its taxes aren't going to it and that Albany isn't meeting its demands. Venice is in the same boat (dare I say gondola) and simply wants to have a little more autonomy like way back. Secession is a bold move to make and judging from the article, it seems as if it's not wanted by all and maybe just a little more interest in the region will be taken by the government. Sometimes making bold claims is all that's needed to get what you want.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 6, 2015 9:58 PM

Venice is to Italy as Italy is to Venice.  I imagine it will stay this way forever.  I think if there are wealthy people who want to see the split happen then it will.  But just because a group want a movement started, it won't happen.  I imagine Venice will see a few more concessions in the future if this problem persists.  

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No union, no pound, British official warns Scots backing independence

No union, no pound, British official warns Scots backing independence | Geography Education | Scoop.it
LONDON – Escalating the fight against secession, the British government warned Thursday that Scotland would lose the right to continue using the pound as its currency if voters there say yes to a historic referendum on independence this fall.


Osborne’s stark warning, delivered in a speech in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, represented a new willingness by unionists to take a hard line in persuading Scottish voters to shun independence in a September plebiscite. A thumbs-up would end Scotland’s 307-year-old marriage to England and Wales and cause the biggest political shakeup in the British Isles since Ireland split from the British crown nearly a century ago.


Sturgeon predicted that “what the Treasury says now in the heat of the campaign would be very different to what they say after a democratic vote for independence, when common sense would trump the campaign rhetoric.”

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an intriguing strategic move by the UK as Scotland considers  independence.  Some have argued that this move will backfire and push more Scottish voters into the "yes" camp.  In related news, the BBC reports that EU officials say that an independent Scotland would have a hard time joining the European Union.  


Tags: devolutionpolitical, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political, currency, economic.
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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:40 AM

The countries of Britain want their independence. Scotland uses the pound just like England and Wales but its being threatened that the government might take away that right to use that monetary system. 

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South Sudan’s President relieves VP and dissolves government

South Sudan’s President relieves VP and dissolves government | Geography Education | Scoop.it

July 23, 2013 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has issued a presidential decree removing the vice-president, Riek Machar Teny, and dissolved the whole government.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Just today I mentioned in class that South Sudan had some serious issues in establishing effective governance over their territory and building a legitimate government...then I read this.  Starting a new country is difficult, especially with the hand South Sudan has been dealt--stay tuned. 


Tags: South Sudanpolitical, Africa, states.

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 4:37 AM

Unfortunately, these actions seem to be the one of a man who is trying desperately to hold on to his power. It is known that there was a power struggle between him and members of his government. It is the last thing this young country needs when it is trying to establish itself.  Hopefully this move does not lead to the very thing South Sudanians were trying to get away from.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 24, 2014 9:59 PM

It is very difficult for a country this young to be politically and economically stable. The president must have a difficult time earning the peoples respect when the country is struggling.  Removing the vice president only upset some locals as they felt he showed signs of a dictator.  

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:56 PM

He wants to get rid of the entire political cabinet. Who does he think he is, Superman? There is no way this president can take on a whole nation by himself. He needs to reconsider his actions and think about South Sudan and its needs.

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How Geography Explains the United States

How Geography Explains the United States | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Via Emma Lafleur
Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to ponder: How much do you agree with the author's assertion that geography explains the foreign affairs of the U.S.?  Is there any environmental determinism in this argument?  

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Mary Patrick Schoettinger's curator insight, April 18, 2013 9:39 AM

There are so many facets to geography and the United States has certainly benefitted from all of them; from location to abundant natural resources to cultural histories. I think this is a good introduction to the topic.

Louis Culotta's comment, April 18, 2013 12:41 PM
I would think that the united states treats Canada a lot better at than in Mexico because of the border issues that exist because of people trying to smuggle drugs or people into America from Mexico continues to be abig problem with the US goverment.
Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 1:48 PM

I think the very last paragraph of this article is one of the truest statements about America that I have ever read.  "There's so much good America can do in the world." This is absolutely true because as the author covered, the U.S. is very good at getting involved in foreign affairs and we are extremely lucky to have the borders that we do.  We're safe on this side of the globe, a world away from the places that have suffered religious and political turmoil for centuries.  

However, the citizens of the U.S. often remain marginally uneducated about out foreign affairs because of the portrayals by the media and the many covered up mistakes that the U.S. has made.  The author of this piece noted America's three major faults as pragmatism, idealism, arrogance and ambivalence.  The United States is ultimately the most conceited country in the world but it's not entirely the fault of its citizens.  U.S. media's job is not necessarily to report the truth but report the fractions of truth that will continue to inspire nationalism, even if that means leaving out the fact that many problems around the world have been increased due to America's participation.

The author of this piece pointed out America's habit of only joining in when it is beneficial for our country, even if it is not in the best interest of the people we are helping.  We offered assistance to the reformers in Egypt but ignored problems raging in Bahrain.  The U.S. has only limited understanding of many of the old, traditional cultures that reign in parts of the Middle East but that does not stop the country from trying to help and often, looking foolish or inciting more unrest.

We have grown to feel very safe in on our side of the planet and regardless of the few attacks that have penetrated America's defense, we still have a very limited world view because there are no threats from our neighbors and it is okay to be whomever you'd like to be (technically speaking because racism, sexism, and homophobia are still rampant in this country) without threats from people around you.  It would be in our country's best interest to educate ourselves on world events and other cultures to be well rounded and less offensive to those who suffer in other regions. The author called America's belief that the problems between Israeli's and Palestinians would resolve with a classic Hollywood happy ending a part of America's problem with idealism and not understanding what it is like to have neighbors who want to dive in during the midst of horrible wars and take whatever they can get their hands on.   Having the borders that it does, it was never a real threat that the U.S. faced. 

I think this article is spot on with the problems in U.S. foreign policy and how geography affects our culture and our ideas of how the world works.

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My escape from North Korea

"As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was 'the best on the planet.' It wasn't until the famine of the 90s that she began to to wonder. She escaped the country at 14, to begin a life in hiding, as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Not all migration is voluntary and this woman's personal struggle to flee North Korea alternates between heartwarming and heartbreaking.  Her accent is thick, but it is worth it to her her story from her own mouth. 


Tags: North Koreamigration, political, East Asia, development, states, poverty.

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서병기's curator insight, November 6, 2014 7:00 PM

Because of the tragedies of history, there are still scattered family both in South and North Korea. Please hope for the unification of the Korean Peninsula.

Julia Kang's curator insight, November 6, 2014 8:45 PM

So many North Koreans are suffering from poverty. They do not have any food and we should pay more attention to them. This video was quite interesting!

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 16, 2015 9:37 PM

This TED talk is amazing and gives you a real life insight on what it is like to be a refugee.. This women's story is one of courage an strength. I was thoroughly surprised at how these people were being punished simply for trying to survive.

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‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’

‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’ | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The filmmakers present a 12-step program to establish the world’s newest country: South Sudan.
Seth Dixon's insight:

What does a state need to have to be politically viable?  If you were to start your own country, what would you need to do?  This isn't just a hypothetical question since South Sudan is currently undergoing this process and having to answer these questions. 


Tags: South Sudanpolitical, sovereignty, Africa, territoriality, states, unit 4 political.

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Cam E's curator insight, March 18, 2014 12:51 PM

This is a really interesting dynamic to look into, as it's not everyday the process of founding a country can be seen at work. That's a true once in a lifetime experience for those involved, and is likely one of the harder jobs in the entirety of history.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:46 AM

This video and article highlight the steps a new country takes when it is carved out of an old one.  The problems and tribulations the new country faces and how it responds to the rest of the international community will decide if it will be a long lasting country or just a blip on the road of the original countries history.

Kendra King's curator insight, March 15, 2015 6:33 PM

I think building a country from scratch mostly needs a plan for strong governance. Some of the items mentioned in the video would eventually be necessary (i.e. an anthem or a flag), but not exactly a top priority as the country could function without these. Rather the items like taxes and training the police are hugely important. A society needs the revenue to grow and the police to keep order. However, what disturbed me about this video is there were no other real mention of government institutions. Now I am not saying that the Constitution needs to be exactly like the United States, but the following is needed: a plan for how to treat the citizens, implement social programs, create/review the law, get officials into office, etc. Without looking at these basic questions of government, there is no way the country can function because there aren’t actually the procedures in place when problems do arise.

 

After strong governance, I also think that recognition in our globalized world is needed as well. In order for a country to prosper, the country will need to rely on other nations at one point in time for things like trading. If enough countries just refused to recognize the area and as such refused to trade then the country would more than likely fail. Luckily, Sudan is recognized by the United States and the UN did come to speak with the nation. SO that doesn’t seem to be an issue.

 

To me these are the top two things needed and since one is greatly missing, I am not surprised by the problems Sudan has.  

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Welcome to the land that no country wants

Welcome to the land that no country wants | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Bir Tawil is the last truly unclaimed land on earth: a tiny sliver of Africa ruled by no state, inhabited by no permanent residents and governed by no laws.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Both Sudan and Egypt claim the rightful border between their countries should include the Hala'ib Triangle on their side of the border.  This leaves Bir Tawil unclaimed and it pops up in the news when those hoping to create a micronation claim it.  This bizarre case exemplifies some important principles of political geography with a tangible example to test the limits of political sovereignty and what it take to be called a country.  If discussing the elements necessary to create a state, this article would help fuel a discussion, especially when some people are eager to create their own micronation.    

 

Tagspolitical, states, unit 4 political.

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bridget rosolanka's curator insight, March 23, 8:28 AM

Both Sudan and Egypt claim the rightful border between their countries should include the Hala'ib Triangle on their side of the border.  This leaves Bir Tawil unclaimed and it pops up in the news when those hoping to create a micronation claim it.  This bizarre case exemplifies some important principles of political geography with a tangible example to test the limits of political sovereignty and what it take to be called a country.  If discussing the elements necessary to create a state, this article would help fuel a discussion, especially when some people are eager to create their own micronation.    

 

Tags: political, states, unit 4 political.

Tracy Ross's curator insight, March 23, 10:50 AM

Both Sudan and Egypt claim the rightful border between their countries should include the Hala'ib Triangle on their side of the border.  This leaves Bir Tawil unclaimed and it pops up in the news when those hoping to create a micronation claim it.  This bizarre case exemplifies some important principles of political geography with a tangible example to test the limits of political sovereignty and what it take to be called a country.  If discussing the elements necessary to create a state, this article would help fuel a discussion, especially when some people are eager to create their own micronation.    

 

Tags: political, states, unit 4 political.

MsPerry's curator insight, March 31, 12:57 PM

Both Sudan and Egypt claim the rightful border between their countries should include the Hala'ib Triangle on their side of the border.  This leaves Bir Tawil unclaimed and it pops up in the news when those hoping to create a micronation claim it.  This bizarre case exemplifies some important principles of political geography with a tangible example to test the limits of political sovereignty and what it take to be called a country.  If discussing the elements necessary to create a state, this article would help fuel a discussion, especially when some people are eager to create their own micronation.    

 

Tags: political, states, unit 4 political.

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Why Somaliland is not a recognized state

Why Somaliland is not a recognized state | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"SOMALILAND, a slim slice of Somali-inhabited territory on the southern shore of the Gulf of Aden, ticks almost all the boxes of statehood. It has its own currency, a reasonably effective bureaucracy and a trained army and police force. But it has yet to receive official recognition from a single foreign government in the years since it declared independence in 1991. To the outside world, it is an autonomous region of Somalia, subject to the Somali Federal Government (SFG) in Mogadishu. Why is it not a state?  Throughout the post-independence era, geopolitics in Africa has tended to respect 'colonial borders', i.e. the borders laid down by European colonial powers in the 19th century. Across the continent, there have been only two significant alterations to the colonial map since the 1960s: the division of Eritrea from Ethiopia, in 1993; and South Sudan from Sudan, in 2011."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Somaliland is a 'pocket of stability in a chaotic region.' The global community fears that granting recognition to a Somaliland might led to further devolution, even if the unrecognized government is functioning.  This is an excellent article from the Economist that demonstrates some of the key requirements to be a state, political and regional geography.  For another example of political geography of aspiring states, here is an article about the limited prospects of a future Kurdish state.      

 

Tags: devolutionpolitical, states, sovereignty, autonomy, unit 4 political, Somalia, Africa.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 19, 2015 1:35 PM

unit 4

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 19, 2015 1:35 PM

unit 4

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:55 PM

Like many new developing countries, it is hard to overcome the hardships to prove that you deserve to be recognized as a new nation. Being recognized as a true nation means that there is political and economic stability within a country. The area where Somaliland is located is very unstable. Its parent nation, Somalia is very unstable. For example, in Somalia, there are pirates who hijack mariners and take them and the vessel hostage. Stability within a country is a major aspect for the international community to look at to recognize new countries.

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Why is EU free movement so important?

Why is EU free movement so important? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Where did the idea of free movement of people come from? The precursor to the EU was formed as European leaders came together in the wake of the Second World War, wanting to prevent another catastrophic war. The idea was that allowing people to move across the continent - from countries where there were no jobs to countries where there were labour shortages - would not only boost European growth, but would help prevent war by getting people to mix more across borders.

"The founding fathers of the European Community wanted it to be a construct that also had a political integration and for that you needed people to move because the minute people crossed boundaries and borders, you had deeper integration… So it was both a social as well as an economic aim.


Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, mobility, political, statesmigration.

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Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, August 15, 2015 11:39 AM
A great read
Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 9, 2015 6:57 AM

Immigration is a major source of tension within Europe. The influx of immigrants into Europe has led to a nativist backlash in many nations. The free movement of people is a bedrock principle of the European Union. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the leaders of Europe hoped that the open borders policy would  prevent another costly war by allowing people to move to were there were jobs were located. The mixing of cultures would also prevent war. People would develop an understanding of other cultures, which would make the possibility of war more remote. The leaders did not account for the strong nativist strand that often runs through many nations. The UK is threating to withdraw from the EU over this immigration issue. While immigration on the United States gets much of the attention, a more serous crises is actually occurring in Europe.

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Can You Name the 10 Smallest Countries in the World?

Can You Name the 10 Smallest Countries in the World? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A photo gallery of the world's ten smallest countries, from 0.2 square miles on up to 115 square miles, these ten smallest countries are microstates."

Seth Dixon's insight:

What makes a country a country?  While there are many definitions, full political sovereignty is the gold standard.  This list has some people to try to create their own micronation (except for that little sovereignty detail).  As a student project, building their own fictitious micronation is a way to get them to think about the needs of a state and society in a more holistic manner (here is a K-8 book called Micronations: Invent Your Own Country and Culture in with 25 Projects).


Tagspolitical, states, unit 4 political.

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Zohair Ahmed's curator insight, March 23, 2015 2:41 AM

This picture slide show has to do with microstates, which are states or terratories that are both small in population and in size. These microstates are mostly near the sea, or even islands. Microstates have both pros and cons. Pros include having an abundant buffer zone: the sea. Another pro would be being alone, or isolated, (sometimes) this makes them free from other countries, which can be a pro and a con. A con may be that the country may have a harder time accessing fresh water, and improving agriculture with little land. Unit 4 deals with Microstates. 

 

Microstates are discussed in Unit 4, and all of these are examples of Microstates. Microstates have many pros and cons listed above.

Samuel Meyer's curator insight, March 23, 2015 11:53 AM

Pitcairn Island

Vatican City

Sovereign Military Order of Malta

San Marino

Monaco

Andorra

South Ossetia

Singapore

Transdniesteia

Bahrain

 

Just a few guesses...

 

Connor Hendricks's curator insight, March 23, 2015 4:35 PM

This shows that the world is made up of several countries of different origins. people on this small island nation could have lived there for centuries. this is a goodway to show how diverse the world is.

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Staking a claim to create a country

Staking a claim to create a country | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Jeremiah Heaton wants a no-man’s-land in east Africa, but international officials say his claim is insufficient.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This particular issue isn't especially newsworthy, but it exemplifies some important principles of political geography with a tangible example to test the limits of political sovereignty and what it take to be called a country.  If discussing the elements necessary to create a state, this article would help fuel a discussion, especially when some people attempt to create their own micronation.    


Tagspolitical, states, unit 4 political.

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 15, 2014 1:14 PM

There was once an episode of Family Guy where Peter Griffin establishes his own country when his house is left of a map of Quahog. This story reminds me of that episode, but also raises some questions as to what it takes to be a sovereign nation. Jeremiah Heaton has long term goals of creating an agricultural production center, has been living in area and is willing to put in the work to establish a political identity. Also an extreme example it does show how some nations come to be globally recognized and also how many forces are against new nations being established and recognized.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 3, 2014 12:33 PM

This man decided to give his daughter a piece of unclaimed territory in Africa for her seventh birthday so that she could be a princess.  Now he wants his country to be recognized by surrounding countries as well as the UN.  Everyone is saying that this is not allowed for various reasons.  He does not have people living there, he is not himself inhabiting the area, other countries are not recognizing his claim, and one cannot simply put a flag in the ground and say that it is theirs.  If this were the case there would be seven billion flags around the world.  He is claiming that he has hopes for this area, turning it into an agricultural center where he can help with food supply issues in the surrounding area.  I see that he has hopes and dreams for the area, but as far as calling it his own country I don't see that going as well as he thinks.

Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, November 13, 2014 10:32 AM

Having read through most of the article, I find it funny how he actually believes that he can just step foot on soil and claim it as his own country. The description, “members of the occupying nation must have lived on the land for several years,” and, “it must also demonstrate that it has occupied the space, not that it just physically stepped foot there,” are the best ways to describe why it would never work for him. You have to make use of the space that is provided. Even though he claims that he will, turn the country into an agricultural production center that will tackle food security issues in the region, it hasn’t been done yet, and even if it was he wouldn’t occupy nearly enough of the space. Egypt and Sudan are officially negotiating over the land.

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Why Paris doesn't want a Scottish Yes

Why Paris doesn't want a Scottish Yes | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Nothing unites different nations quite like mutual enemies. But the 'Auld Alliance' between Scotland and France - both historic rivals of England - doesn't mean that the French government favours Scottish independence. Far from it."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Historically, France has supported greater autonomy or independence as a way to limit English political power and influence.  However in the era of the E.U. and greater regional integration, modern geopolitics makes this old alliance untenable as some in Scotland are seeking independence from the United Kingdom.  

 

Tags: devolutionhistorical, supranationalism, political, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political, geopolitics.

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Kevin Barker's curator insight, August 19, 2014 8:59 AM

I was surprised to listen to the affection that Scotland and France have towards each other but I wasn't surprised to hear France's concerns about the further division of countries within the EU.  What is it about the independence of Scotland that causes the French government to be concerned?

MsPerry's curator insight, August 25, 2014 3:30 PM

APHG-Unit 4

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 14, 2014 1:50 PM

Even though in past years France and Scotland have been friendly and wanted the best for each other, Scottish independence is not on the list of things to do for France.  They have good blood together, sharing foods, music and alcohol at festivals there is no need to worry about any hatred happening even if the French does not back Scotland's independence.  While some think that France would think that areas like Brittany and Corsica would want independence from France that is not the reason.  To keep checks and balances in place a strong United Kingdom is needed to keep Germany in line.  With the independence of Scotland, the UK gets a little bit weaker and France is not okay with that.

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Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Gordian Knot

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Trans-Dniester pleads to join Russia

Trans-Dniester pleads to join Russia | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Pro-Russian politicians and activists in Moldova's breakaway Trans-Dniester region have asked the Russian parliament to draft a law that would allow their territory to join Russia.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Transnistria (or the Trans-Dniester region) is one of my favorite examples to use in the classroom when discussing territories that function as a state, but is not internationally recognized.  After the fall of the Soviet Union, ethnic Russians in the former Soviet Republic of Moldova, wanted to remain politically tied to Russia rather than part of an independent Moldova.  Now that Crimea (also an area with many ethnic Russians that were politically separated from Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union) appears to be reuniting with Russia, many in Transnistria are hopeful that this could be a political opportunity for them to likewise rejoin with Russia.  The Crimean situation has upset the status quo in the region.       


Tags: political, sovereignty, territoriality, states, unit 4 political.

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Coach Frye's curator insight, March 20, 2014 10:46 AM

The Trans-Dniester region functions as a working state, but is not internationally recognized as such.  Members of this region are hoping Russia will annex them for political and economic stability.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 15, 2014 1:08 PM

A nation that is not internationally recognized, Trans-Dniester reflect how borders are subject to changed based on cultural differences. The region identifies with Russia more than it does with Moldova. After the USSR broke up, the borders were created without considering demographic and cultural makeup of each region of the new states. With the Ukraine and with Trans-Dniester we see how many eastern European regions still identify with Russia. As Russia seems more willing to expand, many borders are likely to change in the area.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, April 1, 2015 8:10 PM

This situation only further complicates Eastern European dynamics.  One thing that stood out to me after reading this aritcle is the reality that anti-Russian Ukraine is sandwiched between pro-Russian eastern Ukraine and pro-Russian eastern Moldova.  This situation can only get uglier.

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South Sudan factional fighting leaves hundreds feared dead

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

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


Tags: South Sudanpolitical, Africa, states.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Border Walls

Border Walls | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Geographer Reece Jones discusses his recent book Border Walls, examining the history of how and why societies have chosen to literally wall themselves apart.  He gives a brief history of political maps, how international lines reshape landscapes, and how the trend towards increased border wall construction contrasts with the view of a “borderless” world under globalization."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This 30-minute audio podcast is a great preview of Reece Jones' book Border Walls; and discusses many concepts important to political geography.  The physical construction of barriers is an old practice (Great Wall of China, Hadrian's Wall), but those borders were the exceptions.  The recent proliferatrion of walls to separate countries is dramatically reshaping our borders and impacting economics, politics, migration and other geographic patterns (How recent? Over half of the borders with walls and fences we see today have been constructed since 2000). Although walls are often justified as a means to prevent terrorism, most of the world's walls can best be explained as dividing wealthy and relatively poorer countries to prevent migration (download podcast episode here).  You can also read his New York Times article on the same topic.   


Tags: book reviews, podcast, borders, political, landscape, states, territoriality, sovereignty.

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Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 9:00 AM
listening to some of the podcast you can get an in-depth synopsis of this. the walls that divide our countries and even towns over time have all the criteria and/or reasoning. Great Wall of China to keep invaders from starting war, Berlin Wall to divide german supporters of war, America/Mexican boarder is to keep illegal immigrants from coming, fence in your moms backyard is to keep neighbors/animals out of yard. Walls all have the same concept of avoiding war, trespassers and privacy. this is seen in not only everyday living but in military use as well.
Amanda Morgan's comment, September 13, 2014 4:49 PM
I found this podcast to be interesting because it seems as though the more popular globalization is becoming, and the more it grows, there are more borders and walls being built. By secluding the poor communities, wealthier communities could essentially cut them off to the rest of the globe.
Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 10:52 AM

I found this podcast to be interesting because it seems as though the more popular globalization is becoming, and the more it grows, there are more borders and walls being built. By secluding the poor communities, wealthier communities could essentially cut them off to the rest of the globe.

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Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave?

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a very intriguing infographic (download high-resolution image here).  How are old colonial patterns a thing of the past?  How do old colonial patterns continue to affect the African continent? 


Tags: Africa, states, language, infographic, historical, colonialism.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:04 PM

Colony powers are still located within Africa. Just because Africa is technically independent doesn't mean that British Colonial power isn't still in place.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 11, 2014 2:11 PM

unit 4

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 26, 2015 11:08 AM

This article reminds us all of the growth-stunt that colonialism in Africa brought to the continent.  It is not surprising to see that most African countries still depend heavily on their old colonial masters for survival.  People who may casually follow African politics might think that colonialism started with the Berlin Conference and ended in 1990 or so, but one could argue that it hasn't ended due to the urgent dependency African countries still have on their old colonizers.  Africa might be the most beautiful continent in the world but has the worst story of any in the world.

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South Sudan: The World’s Newest Country

South Sudan: The World’s Newest Country | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This infographic is a great introduction to the historical genesis of South Sudan and the political uncertainty and difficulties that it now faces as an independent country. 


Tags: South Sudanpolitical, sovereignty, Africa, territoriality, states, unit 4 political.

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 17, 2014 5:08 PM

South Sudan recently gained its independence from Sudan. South Sudan is now home to 10-12 million people and is the 193rd member of the United Nations. However, just because South Sudan became independent from Sudan does not mean it does not no longer carry some of the remaining issues.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 25, 2014 1:26 PM

This infographic gives an idea of why South Sudan seceded from the rest of the country. Decades of civil war preceded the secession, and it is clear the cultural differences between the two areas were a contributing factor. South Sudan is a part of the fertile Sahel, with the majority of its people Christian, while Sudan is mostly desert, with the majority of its people Muslims. South Sudan, as a new nation, faces a number of difficulties. Its new government needed to remain stable to focus on nation building, but war has broken out between the government and a rebel faction. South Sudan, should it become stable again, should work to improve the education of its people, as the infographic explains, since the vote to secede needed symbols rather than words due to only 15% of its people being literate.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:05 PM

South Sudan has separated itself two years ago from the rest of Sudan. Its powers have become acknowledged by other countries and its messages to the outside world are ones of peace.