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What makes a country a country? There isn't just one definition that is universally excepted as to what a country is; that make the first question even harder to answer. Exploring these terms though is incredibly geographic and highlights some of the lesser known but fascinating places that are mired in geopolitical quanderies.
If you haven't discovered CGP Grey yet, his YouTube channel is a veritable fountain of geographic tidbits. His distinctive style helps to contextualizes some of the more odd and complicated parts of the Earth (but some find the rush of facts disorienting).
Tags: borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty, CGP Grey.
Are you sure you want to delete this scoop?
Fast English, humorous, inconclusive, great!
This is one of those frequently asked questions in Geography class that sometimes results in increased confusion. The maker of this video has summed it up nicely.
What makes a country a country is if they play by the rules, of other soverin nations on a global scale and follow the rules. Most countries recieve taxes from their citizens, have a military and a recognized as a soverin. Not every body of land is a country but are also properties controlled by other countries. There are countries in the South Pacific. In North, South America, Europe, and Asia, and bevcause of politcal geopgrahpy nations sizes are changing often and new countries are usually created from theis process
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner renews her claims for sovereignty of the Falklands at a UN Security Council meeting.
Are they the Falklands or Las Malvinas? It's not just a simple linguistic translation but also a statement of territoriality and geopolitical recognition. This article nicely summarizes the current situation. For a great teaching resource on the historical ebbs and flows in this longstanding dispute between Argentina and the UK, see the second slideshow in this series of AP Human Geography talks that was given at NCGE earlier this month.
Tags: Argentina, borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty.
Im old enough to remember this conflict when Thatcher sent the British to retake the islands. Both sides are claiming the islands for themselves. Seems they were uninhabited when discovered by the French and then it was British, Spanish, French, Argentinan, and British again in 1833 until the militray invasion by Agrentina in 1982 and the retaking of the island by the British that same year. Claims on both sides seem legitimate, but I find it most telling that the people now living there want to be part of Great Britian, not Argentina. The people of mainland Argentina might want the islands, economic reasons and for the EEZ, but the people actully living on the island do not. Another thing I do remember, the US was not with Great Britian at thie time in an unusual split between long term and stanuch allies
I think that countries trying to unite and make claims is sort of like going to a bad college party in a station wagon with people that you might not like, don't like you, and are not like you... At least in the case of the USA. As for Argentina, well I hope they're not as ravishly divided as the united of the constituents of America. I don't really have anything good to say about this country... I have been physically and psychologically abused by police, damaged and violated by medical establishments, and I'm really sick of other people acting like they have the god-given right or my permission to treat me less than pleasantly. How does this relate to Argentina requesting sovereignty? Well, I relate my personal experience to their situation in that they might be better off sovereign than being operated on by deranged fugitive doctors or beaten up by cops in bad relationships... so to speak. For a lack of sovereignity would pose negative things that might befall their people. I think that there is a greater chance for greater things to happen to them if they do it alone, rather than being told what to do, or being thought through and puppetted by other countries!
"Most of us think of international borders as invisible, but clear-cut lines: stand on one side, and you’re in one country; stand on the other, you’re in another country. But here’s a list of five international borders that, for one reason or another, are not quite that simple."
This article is in dire needs of some maps, but it still provides 5 intriguing case studies of borders and chunks of territory that defy normal categorization.
Tags: borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty.
It is Puzzling, but every human being chose to live in a normal, happy and free country, in a Democratie, if possible.
These borders and boundaries indicate something that I thought of while rewatching Independence Day (the Smith/Goldblum flick from '96)... If we make a mess, and destroy this planet, aliens wouldn't want it. The land that no one wants, is probably wanted by someone in reality... I am a fervent believer in aliens, and spend my free time diving into attempts to solve my quandary about the higher questions of the universe. I think that the area that no one wants, everyone wants. Unlike state boundaries in the US, planets are divided as separate entities from other planets, but grouped in solar systems, galaxies, asteroid belts, etc... I can't wait for the day some pompous fool gets on the bridge of a starship from Earth and sits in the captain's chair and says "Lieutenant, take us to Sector ----- (so and so)"... We will have moved up from the United States and Canada to the United Sectors of Galaxies! And that little bit of land that 'no one wants,' everyone actually wants... same with planets. Terraforming will allow those unsightly balls of fury that float around a star to become the most inhabitable of them all! I wonder where these things will stop... or if it keeps going to larger sectors, endlessly? Well, we will likely encounter other species with territorial claims... play nice, America! Or the Aliens will pop out of your stomach. Though there are some politicians now that seem to have popped out of someone's stomach, I think the threat is more domestic while territory disputes occur nowadays, as it is humans arguing with humans, but it will increase when the Martians come to claim what is theirs.
"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."
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.
In the search for Middle East peace, the most fundamental problem is the problem of disbelief.
Wouldn't you like to read the bullet points that accompany this graphic? This article written by a peace negotiator is a good "bi-partisan" approach to understanding what would be needed to actually achieve peace in the Middle East. The first step, is for both sides to believe that it can actually be achieved. Filling in a blank diagram such as this would be a great way to get students seeing the same dispute from multiple perspectives.
Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political.
This article explains the conflicts that are such a problem within the country of Israel, the conflict of religion and space. The Palestinians believe that they belong in the area, where the land was given to the Jewish people. These people are at war each day because they are fighting to hold on to a certain piece of land to claim for their own religion, yet they still incorrectly get blended together as one large group of people who are all the same due to the area they live.
The filmmakers present a 12-step program to establish the world’s newest country: South Sudan.
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 Sudan, political, sovereignty, Africa, territoriality, states, unit 4 political.
I don’t think that Northern Sudan is going to relinquish control of South Sudan that easily. I am going to employ the wait and see attitude to this “Hot Spot” issue.
A new interactive tool allows you to decide how many Israeli settlers to annex and what constitutes a viable Palestinian state.
This article from the Atlantic is a great introduction to a mapping tool that puts the user at the virtual negotiation table. Peace talk proposals often center around the amount of land that Palestinians want and the Jewish settlements in the West Bank that the Israelis want as a part of the state of Israel. This interactive, titled Is Peace Possible?, allows the user to propose potential land swaps, see the demographic breakdown of West Bank settlements and videos to introduce users to on 4 major issues: borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem.
Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political, mapping.
Today, a country’s marine 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 (hi-res image). 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).
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?
Tags: economic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, states, conflict, unit 4 political.
Tags: MiddleEast, territoriality, transportation, borders, conflict, governance, political, unit 4 political.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the knottiest border problem of all.
The historical events of 1948 and 1967 loom large in the formation of the borders in the region of Israel/Palestine. This is the most contentious border in the world with competing political/cultural factions with distinct territorial visions for the place. To complicate matters, other countries (most notably the United States and European countries siding with Israel and Arab states with other Muslim-majority countries supporting Palestine) are involved in the region, making this the most contentious border in the world. As Frank Jacobs said, “considering how deep those divisions are, it’s remarkable how relatively new the current set of borders is.” This is an intriguing analysis of an incredibly important set of borders that have larger geographic repercussions despite the short distances and relatively small populations involved.
London and the City of London are the same political and territorial entity right? Of course not. Why have something simple when we can have a rich archaic legacy with a fascinating (albeit convoluted) history. Here’s a great political geography lesson just in time for the Olympic Ceremonies.
The weird, violent history of the Indo-Pakistani border.
Geography rarely makes sense without the added lens of history. This fantastic article chonicles the history of the geopolitical conflict between India and Pakistan, centering on the disputed Kashmir region. This border is tied into colonial, cultural, political and religious layers of identity. As one of the great unresolved issues of the colonial era, this standoff may loom large as India becomes increasingly significant on the global scale.
This article chonicles the history of the conflict between India and Pakistan, focusing on the disputed Kashmir region. The violence over the border is spurred by religion and political issues. But with India increasingly becoming bigger in a global scale what does that mean for this conflict with Pakistani?
Colonialism rears its ugly head again, this time not in Africa but in India/Pakistan..but with the same result. Borders drawn arbitrarily did not work in Africa, nor did it work in India. It just casues the people there to try and work out and fix problems that the former colonial rulers casued. They tried here to do it so that there was a land for the Muslim population to have a nation on the subcontinent and not subject to Hindu majority rule. However Britain never looked at what would happen with a area that had a Hindu leader with a Muslim population. He wanted to be independant, but the Muslim population wanted to go to Pakistan, so he went to India for help...sound confusing..it is..much like the Northern Ireland/UK/Republic of Ireland debate..there is no easy answer and it looks like we have to try to fix colonialism's problems again.
architectural conjecture :: urban speculation :: landscape futures...
In the 1960s when the island of Surtsey (literally) erupted onto the scene off the coast of Iceland, it's national sovereignty was not really called into question. The seamount, or near island named Ferdinandea in the Mediterranean is not even an island yet and countries are already positioning themselves to claim it. Only 6 feet below sea level, this seamount is incredibly valuable real estate because is a country can successfully came this territory, they could also lay claim to an Exclusive Economic Zone, extending up to 200 nautical miles beyond the coast.
In a busy city like New York, there are never enough places for parking and lanes for traffic. There is simply not enough space for the flow to be smooth and efficient. Cyclists that attempt to assert their right to the street are often times referred to as cyclist activists or hipsters as though their activism or cultural differences makes them synonymous with an extremism that is more easy to dismiss. Many hold views that privilege a motorists right to space in the city above that of a cyclist. I saw this tweet by a NYC cycling organization that referred to "activist drivers" who park in the bike lane as attempting to create a "guerrilla can lane." They used the terms and language used against them and superimposed it on the larger motorist community which sees itself as having a more natural right to all space in the city. This video embedded above is an excellent spoof and highlights the dangers of being a cyclist in a motorist-centric world.
Tags: transportation, cycling, urban, planning, territoriality, space.
Seems like a bit of trivial pursuit on the part of the officer doesn't it? It is especially true when you are on the receiving end of such seeming nonsense.Reminds me of the many times in my young adult life when I was "Routine Checked", for driving in certain East Baltimore neighborhoods. Can somebody say Enough.
BIKERS. be aware of dangers on the street path
I find this to be very true. I have gone to big cities such as Boston and New York and it is always chaotic. I find that there is always terrible parking in the big cities. Also it seems very dangerous for the average civilian trying to get to his or her job on a daily basis. Me not being from around the area found it difficult to navigate.
"Prime Minister David Cameron is 'seriously concerned' about the escalation of tensions on the border between Spain and the British territory of Gibraltar."
This video and article briefly show the reasons behind the current tension between Spain, NATO allies and fellow EU members. The deeper, underlying issues though are all fundamentally rooted in the complex local political geography. As an exclave of the UK on a peninsula connected to the Spanish mainland that controls access to the Mediterranean Sea, there is naturally going to be friction over this unusual political configuration. Spain, in what the chief Minister of Gibraltar calls "sabre-rattling," is flexing its muscles and considering using their border and airspace as a political leverage. Spain is upset that Gibraltar has created an artificial reef in waters that their fishermen use. Spanish fisherman have recently condemned the escalating political rhetoic.
Questions to Ponder: Why are both parties politically and culturally invested in this piece of territory? What challenges are there for a small exclave when neighbors aren't friendly? How does Spanish and British suprantional connections impact this issue?
Tags: borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty, Spain, Europe, autonomy.
Relationships between Britain and Spain.
"The video explains about Spain and Gibraltar and how they have feuded back and forth with one another and their borders for some time now. Gibraltar has made a articfical reef to mess with the Spainish fisherman and SPain has made travel to Gibraltar nearly impossible and dreadfully long for tourists. Spain understands how essential tourism is to their economy. Until they are able to come to an agreement thei matter is only going to intenisfy more and worsen."
"In a new series of four eight-minute videos, National Geographic Emerging Explorer Aziz Abu Sarah is a cultural educator working to build relationships between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem and throughout Israel. In this series of four eight-minute videos, Abu Sarah meets with people from both sides of the conflict in order to better understand and communicate how this international dispute impacts their everyday lives."
Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political, Middle East.
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.
This pictorial diagram describes both physical and human characteristics of South Sudan. South Sudan is the world's newest country.
It is a rare opportunity that the world gets to witness the birth of a new nation. But with the birth of South Sudan, it seems the world was ready to welcome them in. After Sudan became free from Egypt and the United Kingdom in 1956, 39 of thier 55 years of freedom have been in war between the northern part and southern part of the country. It made sense to divide the two. They had different religion focuses, different terrain, and different ways of life. The split was based on a nation wide vote, which well over three million votes were cast. There was really no dispute about a border, one was already mad eby the land. The Sudan was a desert region and as you traveled South it turned into swamp and forests (apparently you can see the border clearly form an aerial view). The border was put in place and now the South Sudan is the 193 nation to join the United Nations. While the Sudan is much larger than the South Sudan, it seems this plan to seperate has worked for the better. Becoming a nation in July 2011, it recieved assistance from the U.N. in its period of transition. Overall, I think the South Sudan and the Sudan seperating was for the best. Now the countires are free to practice their own religions and lifestyles. All that is left to say is #Welcome193
South Sudan secceded from Sudan in 2011. North Sudan is Muslim, while South Sudan is Christian. This difference alone causes one t think of what impacts and consequences this new border will cause.
A website that examines the geographical enclaves of the world
This website is an exhaustive list with information on the world's enclaves that are so often entangled in geopolitical issues.
Tags: borders, political, unit 4 political.
Enclaves of the world HUGGERS....review!
While city lights at night serve as a good proxy for population density, North Korea provides a dark exception.
This image is appears to be a regional inset of the classic Earth at Night composite image however this nighttime remote sensing image was taken from Sept. 2012. The Earth at Night image is typically used in classrooms to discuss what this actually means for human geography (Population density? Development? Consumption? Where? How come?). However, this particular portion of the global image focused on the Korean Peninsula highlights two other specific issues:
Tags: economic, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, territoriality, states, unit 4 political, remote sensing.
Amazing photo! Population density is a good issue but also political geography and economic geography as well.
This cliché image of "North Korea in the dark" reinforces preconceived ideas about the "totalitarian" state and how terrible life must be without electricity. Well, one aspect of this political geography is the effect of US-backed sanctions against North Korea and the severe ecological and energy crisis under which it has struggled for the last two decades. Just as electricity is not simply a "natural" resource, neither is energe consumption nor shortage.
The shape of a state can greatly impact the political cohesion of a country as well as it's economic viability. While this is obviously a fictitious map, it draws our attention to the logistic difficulties that confront Palestine with the Israelis controlling crucial transportation access points and corridors.
Questions to Ponder: How is this a 'persuasive map?' What are some of the geographic impacts of this fragmentation on Palestine? For Israel?
Tags: cartography, MiddleEast, political, states, territoriality, unit 4 political.
Competing territorial claims have led to maritime disputes off the coast of Asia. See a map of the islands at issue.
This is an nice interactive map that allows the reader to explore current geopolitical conflicts that are about controlling islands. This is an good source to use when introducing Exclusive Economic Zones, which is often the key strategic importance of small, lightly populated islands.
Tags: EastAsia, SouthEastAsia, political, unit 4 political, territoriality, autonomy, conflict, economic.
link to part 2 http://youtu.be/I5t9wpEzKRc or http://youtu.be/myNxTaW5z3w link to part 3 http://youtu.be/7mJK4Sgxrbw...
This video clip shows the historical background of the political and economic factors that have lead to competing claims in the South China Sea. The Exclusive conomic Zone (EEZ) with projected oil fields is the main prize and China has been flexing it's regional muscles.
Questions are growing about the fate of President Bashar Assad's regime. One possibility is the creation of a breakaway region in the northwest coastal mountains dominated by the president's Alawite minority.
This podcast explores the geopolitical possibilities that are facing the minority Alawites of Syria. If the major cities of Syria fall to the rebels, would a smaller Alawite breakaway state even be economically or politically viable? This podcast argues that it would not, and therefore many Alawites see this as a zero sum game. While this is all speculative, it uses spatial and geographic prinicples to assess the viability of possible outcomes.
Where you find a border, you usually find somebody pissed off about it.
Disclaimer: This article is more glib and crude in its language than I typically post. However there is some great insight in this article about the curiosities that can occur on the borders that merits inclusion here. Enclaves, walls, roads, glaciers, and tables all play prominent roles in these 5 quirky borders.
Within this article the author said it well, referencing that although these borders just seem silly and "stupid" to us, those who live within these boundaries must have an incredibly frustrating life. Having to hop three-four borders to get to the mainland of your country sounds completely crazy. I'm glad I live in Rhode Island.
Divided islands, like Market in the Baltic Sea, conform to a version of Sayre's law: the smaller the territory, the more confusing the border.
In the latest chapter of the Borderlines series in the New York Times, explores the smallest divided island with characteristic insight, humor and intellectual eclecticism. "Borders allow humankind to separate what nature has united. But an island is a naturally closed entity. Its shoreline is the boundary of the bubble separating it from the rest of the world. And then impose a human-made barrier on an island? What is the meaning of isolation — a word derived, in fact, from the Latin for island — if you have to share it with someone else?"