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As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey

As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey of Following Suit

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Joshua Choiniere's comment, December 18, 2012 11:23 AM
This is really interesting professor
Eliana Oliveira Burian's curator insight, December 28, 2012 6:34 AM

How to handle it?

 

Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, January 8, 2013 1:15 PM

Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds have been caught in other people's plans for what the states of the Middle East should look like and are the largest 'stateless nation' in the world.  Divided between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, the Kurds have not been able to politically mobilize support for Kurdistan as they have been violently oppressed in these countries.  The Kurds in Iraq have been able to gain political autonomy with the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, and the Syrian Kurds are hoping to do the same if and when the Assad regime crumbles at the end of the civil war.  This make Turkey concerned that the Kurds in the southeastern part of Turkey will make renewed efforts to push for sovereignty. 


UPDATE: This PBS feature explains the historic timeline of the important political events for the Kurds in Iraq.This article from the Economist focuses on the key reason that outside forces won't leave the Kurds alone: oil.

 

Tags: Syria, ethnic, conflict, political, Turkey, culture, devolution.

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God Grew Tired of Us

God Grew Tired of Us | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

The story of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan is a heartbreaking and inspiring tale of youth caught in cultural and geopolitical conflicts and fored to leave their homes. The film God Grew Tired of Us tells a moving story of young people overcoming incredible challenges and struggling to improve their own lives and those of family and friends left behind."  Linked here is a lsson plan from National Geographic "to teach students about concepts of migration, cultural mosaics, sense of place, and forces of cooperation and conflict among communities" using this 90 minute documentary.  The film can be viewed online on HULU as well as other media outlets.  

 

Tags: culture, Africa, political, conflict, war, migration, development, APHG. 


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Syria could Balkanize as Assad falls

Syria could Balkanize as Assad falls | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Syria is destined to fragment into three separate sectarian states after the regime of Bashar al-Assad is extirpated, according to Mohammad Yaghi, a Syrian jour...

 

"It no longer matters whether what is happening in Syria is a revolution or a conspiracy that preempted a potential revolution — or even a conspiracy targeting the 'non-aligned' countries. The substance of the matter is: Is it possible to save Syria from imminent disintegration?"  This article that originally came from a Palestinian news agency serves as a good material to start a discussion about centripetal and centrifugal forces.

 

Tags: Middle East, devolution, political, unit 4 political and war. 


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Don Brown Jr's comment, September 4, 2012 12:17 PM
This article reveals that diversity and stability in society may not be synonymous in a location where there is limited population diffusion. If a population is never diffused throughout a particular space, you risk creating a situation where ethnic and religious groups become highly regionalized which in turn further erode the solidarity of nations like Syria.
Chris W's comment, September 5, 2012 11:21 AM
the whole situation in the Middle East right now is on a dangerous and slippery slope when it comes to governments controlling the populations by force. the Arab Spring was a turning point in the history and current direction of the region as Arabs across the region are striving for freedoms that they see as essential to their livelihoods. In Syria's case, Assad has taken over the country using his military forces to overrun cities and villages in efforts to establish his control. Opposition forces are battling to drive Assad out of power. There are record numbers of refugees fleeing Syria as it descends in civil war. Al-Jazeera has a really good article on what constitutes a civil war and if Syria is indeed heading towards one or is in fact currently in a civil war. the link is posted here: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidesyria/2012/08/201282683723964944.html
Megan Becker's curator insight, May 26, 11:49 PM

Summary: Syria's composition of multiple nations has lead to stress and internal conflict in the country. This article discusses the balkanization of Syria, if these centrifugal forces were to come to the breakup of the country.

 

Insight: This article relates to unit 4 in that the devolution of Syria, and possible balkanization, is due to the centrifugal force of having several different nations inside your country, that don't share the same culture, religion, or even language. This article does a great job of explaining the forces that can lead to the breakup of a country, scarily evident in present day Syria. 

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Devolution: A Beginner's Guide

Devolution: A Beginner's Guide | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
What is devolution and how has it changed how Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are governed?

 

This article with videos, charts and images was designed as a primer for UK voters for the 2010 election to understand who devolution in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland were reshaping the political landscape in the United Kingdom.  It is general enough that even though it is outdated as a news story, it serves as a concrete example from geography students to understand the processes and reasons for a decentralization of political power.


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:44 AM

The parliament in London is shifting more power to Scotland and other areas in what is called devolution.  This reflects a push for more independence of countries in the UK that are not England. In order to keep the UK together concessions must be made, this devolution is the British Parliament's efforts to keep the UK intact.

Miles Gibson's curator insight, February 11, 9:30 AM

Unit 4 political geography 

This picture explains how devolution works and provides a specific example with the breaking down of power of the imperialist England and it's control into an equally represented United Kingdom. This is an example of devolution at it's best.

This picture relates to unit 4 because it shows how devolution, which is a major part of unit 4, works. It explains it's parts and gives specific geographic examples as in the U.K. this overall relates to unit 4.

Matthew Connealy's curator insight, March 22, 4:04 PM

Devolution is the transfer of powers from a central government to more regional power, in this case, the UK. The UK devolved its powers to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These countries have had independent parliaments since 1997. Some "reserved powers" have not been devolved from the UK such as foreign affairs, military defense, international and  economic policies. This change of power has stirred questions on public spending and tax policies, and is still a debate and event to keep your eye on.

 

I feel that devolution has many benefits that outweigh the negative consequences such as money spending. Countries can function in a more independent manner and govern themselves within their defined boundaries in a more efficient way. This topic and article gives greater insight to our political unit and provides great insight for each country's respective parliament.

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Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay

Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Learn more about the ethnic, religious and political powerplays in and around Iraq during a virtual tour of the region led by NBC’s Richard Engel.

 

This is an incredibly well-put together, video/slideshow about the complex geography of within Iraq that has lead to so many difficulties in the post-Saddam Hussein era.   The ethnic patterns, religious divisions, spatial arrangements of resources as well as the larger regional context all play roles in creating the a contentious political environment. 


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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:33 PM

I enjoyed this video. I never really understood why these groups were fighting. It was an easy video to understand and I learned that the fighting is not just about religious but cultural differences as well. 

Stacey Jackson's curator insight, March 22, 2013 11:03 PM

Although I try to keep up with world events, Iraq has puzzled me. This was spectacularly helpful, although I still don't feel like I have the full picture. For instance, I understand that three ethnic groups were forced in to a new country, Iraq, after World War I and that the country has been in turmoil ever since. However, these ethnic groups were all a part of the Ottoman Empire before there was an Iraq, so why did the trouble start after the formation of Iraq?

 

These ethnic groups had their own provinces within the Ottoman Empire. I'm assuming these groups thought they'd establish their own separate nations after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, but were not given the chance to decide for themselves since Iraq was a product of "European powers." If this is accurate, then European nations have a horrible track record when it comes to dictating foreign boundaries that lead to unrest abroad. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 12:55 PM

Iraq is a complicated country. The current differences and disparities in culture, ethnicity and resources has led to some harsh rivalry between people within the borders of the country. This shows how borders can be artificial and just because a map shows a region as one unit, it is not always the case. After the Ottoman Empire fell many groups of people were thrust together and this is why we see these divisions so clearly.

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The Italians who want to be Austrian

The Italians who want to be Austrian | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
It is Italy's richest province, and has been part of the country for almost 100 years - but some in South Tyrol just do not feel fully Italian.

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Scarpaci Human Geography's curator insight, December 14, 2012 11:13 AM

Questions to Ponder: How to political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line?  What elements are a part of a regions heritage?  Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages?  How does devolution impact the whole country?

Allison Anthony's curator insight, December 14, 2012 1:46 PM

Take note Kate and Johnny!!

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 30, 2014 8:14 PM

Being an eighth Tyrolean, I remember my great uncles and other family members complaining about this at every family reunion. Newer generations in my family would refer to themselves as Italian, and the arguments would ensue. That being said, it is no surprise that those living in what was once Tyrol have faced conflict. Historically, peoples with languages, cultural heritages, or religions that differ from the rest of a country usually hold grievances. During the time of Mussolini, Italians were encouraged to move to the northern reaches and Italian was forcibly taught in the school systems. Italy's past of forcing the Austrian speaking Tyroleans to assimilate into a more Italian culture may remain, but fortunately, they have worked to preserve their culture. The bilingual nature of this region allows for the people to thrive in business and tourism. Unfortunately, this autonomous state is facing dark times as Italy's financial crisis puts pressure on South Tyrol by increasing taxes. Many see this as a continuation of Italian oppression on a not so Italian demographic. 

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The New World

The New World | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
An interactive series of maps show possible new additions to the world’s list of independent nations.

 

This is great way to show examples of devolution and political instability.  Included are 11 potential scenarios where further fragmentation/disintegration might occur or even greater regional integration that would redraw the map.  These case studies include: Somalia, Korea, Azerbaijan, Belgium and the Arabian Gulf Union.

 

Tags: political, devolution, supranationalism, war, autonomy, unit 4 political.


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Benjamin DeRita's comment, September 23, 2012 9:36 PM
Very interesting and informative piece, I found slide (10) especially intriguing with its discussion on the possibility of China claiming parts of Siberia.
Anna Sasaki's curator insight, March 24, 8:53 AM

This article is probably one of my favorites I have read so far. It describes perfectly the political instability still present in the world, and that the globe and its boundaries are constantly changing, never staying put for too long. It surprised me at the new borders which most likely are going to happen, such as the unification of parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Also, the fact that South Korea is subtly getting ready for the reunification of North and South Korea. Also, there may be devolution in Mali and splintering devolution in the Congo's.

This shows devolution as the power in these nations in which are breaking up, such as Belgium and the Flemish peoples. It shows the centrifugal forces behind the breakup of nations, such as ethnicities which vary, or the centripetal forces which bring nations together such as the combination of South and North Korea. 

Caroline Ivy's curator insight, May 21, 11:12 AM

Devolution/Fragmentation

 

This article is about nations that could become potentially independent in the near Future, whether due to chronic ethnic incoherence, redrawn governemnt policies, or a growing stateless nation group. Some examples given are an independent Khurdistan, a larger Azerbaijan, and the split of Belgium. 

 

Centrifugal forces are the root of conflict in many countries. These forces include ethnic variety, lack of common language, political instability. These are what may be causing a split in both Belgium (developed country) and Somalia (developing country). There may also be a unification of countries—the map gives an example of the Saudia Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain, and other melding into one Arabian Gulf Union, of China absorbing Siberia. This does not necessarily herald the presence of centripetal forces, as these countries may be the result of military conquest. 

 

 

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Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided

Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Twenty years ago this week, the Bosnian war began with the siege of Sarajevo, the longest in the history of modern warfare. The siege ended more than three years later, leaving 100,000 dead — the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

 

Ethnic and political conflict led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.  This NPR podcast is a good recap that shows the devolutionary forces of ethnic, religious, cultural and political differences that led to tragic violence and ethnic cleansing. 


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Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 8, 2013 3:54 PM

These stories are never pleasant.  It seems Europe after World War II and the fall of the Soviet Union were left in a strange middle ground.  With so many cultures, religions, languages all on one continent, its not hard to believe that Europe has been the stage of so much conflict all throughout history.  People are and always have been intermingling between countries.  Many of the countries in Europe are easy to travel throughout, such as a car or bus ride which may only take a few hours in some cases.  This gives easy access for immigration in which history shows that people try to flock to opportunity or to where there are people similar to them.  These patterns can sometimes be unwelcoming to current citizens and lead to violence and cleansing in extreme cases, all because of disagreements based on beliefs and traditions.

After all the wars fought, looking at Europe as a whole is tricky.  Though the countries all have political boundaries and jurisdictions, the lifestyle and what goes on within the borders can be very segregated.  Even in the 21st century, the divisions of people in the same country, holding the same citizenship, shows that things aren't always as good as they seem.

Devon marzo's curator insight, February 6, 2014 12:37 PM

This article show political because the population is protesting against the government 

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 17, 9:36 PM

It's interesting to see a country's government want to maintain ethnic divides rather than bridge the gap between the two groups. This reminds me of a portion of my Anthropology class last semester on the Rwandan Genocide. Afterwards, the new government attempted to bring everyone together and tried to erase the racial differences that caused the conflict in the first place. It did this in an attempt to solidify power and to gain further control. In my mind, I see this reaction as the more logical one than keeping the races at odds with each other. Judging by their own smaller "Occupy" movement and from the commentary within the article, it seems that some in the country are ready to put past old feelings and become united as a country.

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The 2011 Failed States Index

The 2011 Failed States Index | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

How can political stability and security be measured?  What constitutes effective governance?  Foreign Policy, in conjunction with the Fund for Peace, has created a statistical ranking to measure the lack of effective political institutions.  For the 4th year running, Somalia has been statistically measured as the most failed state on Earth. Chad and Sudan are respectively ranked as the 2nd and 3rd most failed states.The 12 metrics that are a part of this index are:

•Demographic Pressures 

•Refugees/IDPs

•Illegitimate Govts.

•Brain Drain

•Public Services

•Inequality

•Group Grievances

•Human Rights

•Economic Decline

•Security Forces

•Factionalized Elites

•External Intervention


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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 16, 2012 9:57 PM
The global fallout of the Arab revolutions may be largely determined by demographics and political stability. Unlike Somalia for example which is in total anarchy, the Arab Spring uprisings occurred in more stable but oppressive governments. So this brings up the question, can a failed state rescue itself?
Derek Ethier's comment, November 5, 2012 2:35 PM
Althought sub-Saharan Africa has 5 of the 10 most quickly developing countries, they still lag very far behind the rest of the world in quality of living. Somalia, Chad and Suda are the most failed states on Earth, in order. The governments are unable to protect/provide for their people, brain drains suck the great minds to more developed countries, income inequalities ravage the nations, basic human rights are denied and the economies are pathetic. Overall, it is a sad story as many of these African nations also suffer from drought, famine and massive food shortages.
Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 4:11 PM

 I wonder why it is difficult for states to be formed. I would think it would be great because the village people won’t be forced to make big decisions they can just hire someone to do it for them. But in the other hand there would be other people who will make it difficult for them and will ruin it for everyone else. Becoming a state can change there live. They should have approved to become a state.