Geography Education
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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Clinton would have won if the United States looked like the top map

Clinton would have won if the United States looked like the top map | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Can you tell what’s wrong with this map of the United States? I’ll give you a hint: Look near the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. Spot the problem yet? A further hint: Look at the border of Wisconsin and Illinois as well as the Florida Panhandle. See it now? The Wisconsin-Illinois border is slightly more southern and the Florida Panhandle is slightly shorter.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This mapping application is my favorite discovery after the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.  The election was obviously very contentious and incredibly close, both in regard to the popular vote as well as the Electoral College.  Using this mapping application, you can re-divide the states of the union by shifting the counties around.  Using the voting patterns based on the county-level data, you can see how your proposed divisions would have impacted the 2016 presidential election. 

There have been many plans on how to divide the 50 states into various regional configurations (50 states of equal population, regions of economic interactions, cultural regions, and the Nine Nations of America), and this is another iteration of that age-old theme. While this isn’t an activity in gerrymandering in the strictest sense (this is not reapportioning within the state based on population change but between states), it shows just how gerrymandering works.  It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency, but you could make it a landslide (in either direction) if you manipulate the current state borders.  The highest electoral vote I could engineer for Donald Trump was 407, and the highest electoral total I could manufacture for Hillary Clinton was 402.  The point of this is to show that the balance within and among states can be far more delicate than we might presume.  Just a line here or a line there can dramatically alter the balance of power.        

Activity #1: Try to make this a landslide victory for the Republican Party.  How many electoral votes could you garner for the Republicans? Add a screenshot.

Activity #2: Try to make this a landslide victory for the Democratic Party.  How many electoral votes could you garner for the Democrats? Add a screenshot.

Activity #3: Try to tip the election to the Democrats with the most subtle, minor changes that might go under the radar. Explain your changes to the state map.  Add a screenshot.   

 

Tags: gerrymandering, political, mapping, census, unit 4 political, regionsNorth America.

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Douglas Vance's curator insight, January 23, 12:49 PM

This article provides the reader with the most interactive tool available to see how elections are not decided by entire states or millions of people, but rather a few thousand people in a couple of critical counties. By utilizing the interative map, I was able to get Secretary Clinton's Electoral College total down to 183 votes. Im sure there would be a number of ways to further reduce that number if I had the time or patience to do so. Also, this is ever more interesting and eye opening to me as during the 2016 election I was completing my Masters Degree in Public Affairs. To see how a handful of votes in states that Secretary Clinton failed to focus on like Michigan and Wisconsin were able to change the election was eye opening. Understanding the demographics and political leanings of even the smallest counties is essential in an election, and a failure to focus on flipping votes in potentially contested areas can lead to a loss, despite winning the popular vote as in the case of Clinton.

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Judges Find Wisconsin Redistricting Unfairly Favored Republicans

Judges Find Wisconsin Redistricting Unfairly Favored Republicans | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A federal panel called the 2011 redrawing of Wisconsin Assembly districts an unconstitutional gerrymander, ruling in a case that could go to the Supreme Court.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The redistricting process is far from neutral; to be fair we should remember that gerrymandering is has happened on all ends of the political spectrum, depending on who is charge during the redistricting process.  Which map to you think is the best way to divide these districts?  What is the fairest way to divide them?

 

Tags: gerrymandering, political, mapping, census, unit 4 political.

 

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Election Cartograms

Election Cartograms | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The states are colored red or blue to indicate whether a majority of their voters voted for the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, or the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, respectively. There is significantly more red on a traditional election maps than there is blue, but that is in some ways misleading: the election was much closer than you might think from the balance of colors, and in fact Clinton won slightly more votes than Trump overall. The explanation for this apparent paradox, as pointed out by many people, is that the map fails to take account of the population distribution. It fails to allow for the fact that the population of the red states is on average significantly lower than that of the blue ones.

We can correct for this by making use of a cartogram, a map in which the sizes of states are rescaled according to their population. That is, states are drawn with size proportional not to their acreage but to the number of their inhabitants, states with more people appearing larger than states with fewer, regardless of their actual area on the ground. On such a map, for example, the state of Rhode Island, with its 1.1 million inhabitants, would appear about twice the size of Wyoming, which has half a million, even though Wyoming has 60 times the acreage of Rhode Island."

 

Tags: electoral, scale, politicaldensity, mapping.

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Maps to change how you think about American voters — especially small-town, heartland white voters

Maps to change how you think about American voters — especially small-town, heartland white voters | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Small towns are as Democratic as big cities. Suburban and rural voters are the Republicans.

 

I have assembled a Web map from precinct-level 2008 election data that allows users to zoom in and out, focus in on specific towns or neighborhoods and superimpose census data on income and race, allowing readers to examine their own favorite postindustrial towns. One of the most striking lessons from exploring these maps is that the red non-metropolitan counties on election-night maps are internally heterogeneous, but always following the same spatial pattern: Democrats are clustered in town centers, along Main Street, and near the courthouses schools, and municipal buildings where workers are often unionized. They live along the old railroad tracks from the 19th century and in the apartment buildings and small houses in proximity to the mills and factories where workers were unionized in an earlier era.

Seth Dixon's insight:

There have been SOOOO many articles about the 2016 election, what happened, why it happened and how particular demographics voted and why.  Most of these articles are highly partisan, or ideologically informed but this just analysis of past spatial voting patterns  (I am waiting for the updated version of these maps to show what happened in 2016--but I'm thinking some of this changed).  Too often we’ve lumped the geography of small towns and rural areas as though they are one and the same.  Too often will only see electoral maps with state-level voting data or possibly county level data; but the sub-county scale reveals what would otherwise be missing in our assessment of electoral, spatial patterns (Scale matters?  Who knew?)

 

Tags: electoral, scale, political, mapping.

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Election maps are telling you big lies about small things

Election maps are telling you big lies about small things | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In 2012, 160 counties cast about the same number of votes as the rest of the country. But, your run-of-the-mill election map won't show you that.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is nothing new to most visitors to this site, but every four years we have a wonderful teaching moment to show how population density can change our interpretation of a map and the meaning of the data embedded in that map.  In preparation for next week, this article for the Washington Post as well as this one from the New York Times should help get students be better prepared for the onslaught of maps that we know are right around the corner, to properly assess and contextualize the geographic content in these maps.     

 

Tags: electoral, political, mapping.

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Germany reunified 26 years ago, but some divisions are still strong

Germany reunified 26 years ago, but some divisions are still strong | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"While 75 percent of Germans who live in the east said that they considered their country's reunification a success, only half of western Germans agreed. With eastern and western Germans blaming each other for past mistakes over the past two years, that frustration has likely increased. Younger citizens, especially — who do not usually identify themselves with their area of origin as strongly anymore — have grown worried about the persistent skepticism on both sides. But where do those divisions come from? And how different are eastern and western Germany today?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This series of 10 maps (and 1 satellite image) highlights many of the cultural and economic divisions between East and West, despite efforts to in the last 26 years to smooth out these discrepancies. The social geographies imposed by the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall are still being felt from this relic border and will for years to come. 

 

Tags: Germany, industry, laboreconomichistorical, politicalborders.

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Jeremy Hansen's curator insight, November 1, 2016 11:25 AM
Seth Dixon's insight: This series of 10 maps (and 1 satellite image) highlights many of the cultural and economic divisions between East and West, despite efforts to in the last 26 years to smooth out these discrepancies. The social geographies imposed by the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall are still being felt from this relic border and will for years to come.
Douglas Vance's curator insight, February 9, 3:00 PM
The social, political, and economic impacts of reunification are still being flt today. The old policies of both East and West Germany still impact the cultural and social habits of Germans. Despite the borders between the two former nations being eliminated almost 30 years ago, the differences between the two halves of Germany will be felt for decades to come. Issues from vaccines to child care to trash production all feel the effects of the policies of the former division.
tyrone perry's curator insight, Today, 11:48 AM
From when this article was written it has been 26 years since Germany was completely unified.  But over the last two years there has been a rift between east and west Germany.  Economically the east feels left behind by the west with their rise of wealth.  The west is mad that the east doesn’t taken in as many refugees as they do.  These rifts between the two are not making things easy to work out between the two.  All they are doing are pointing fingers and not coming up with solutions.  Many people of the younger generations don’t feel as divided as the older generations do.  They feel they are Germans and not east or west.  Maybe they can find a way to bring people together as one. 
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Turkey’s New Maps Are Reclaiming the Ottoman Empire

Turkey’s New Maps Are Reclaiming the Ottoman Empire | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Erdogan’s aggressive nationalism is now spilling over Turkey’s borders, grabbing land in Greece and Iraq.

 

In the past few weeks, a conflict between Ankara and Baghdad over Turkey’s role in the liberation of Mosul has precipitated an alarming burst of Turkish irredentism. President Erdogan criticized the Treaty of Lausanne, which created the borders of modern Turkey, for leaving the country too small. Turkey won’t be annexing part of Iraq anytime soon, but this combination of irredentist cartography and rhetoric nonetheless offers some insight into Turkey’s current foreign and domestic policies and Ankara’s self-image.  The military interventions and confrontational rhetoric this nationalism inspires may worsen Turkey’s security and regional standing.

 

Tags: political, irredentism, culture, Turkeyhistorical, bordersempire, geopolitics.

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What This 2012 Map Tells Us About America, and the Election

What This 2012 Map Tells Us About America, and the Election | Geography Education | Scoop.it
History, race, religion, identity, geography: The 2012 election county-level map has many stories to tell, including about the 2016 race.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The coverage of this election feels less objective than in past years (maybe that's just my perception, but that is why I've shared less electoral resources than in past years).  This article show's good map analysis and electoral patterns without much of any ideological or partisan analysis of the political platforms.  

 

Tags: electoral, political, mapping.

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Colombia rejects FARC deal: What's next?

Colombia rejects FARC deal: What's next? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A narrow win for Colombia's opponents to a government peace deal with FARC rebels has thrown the country into disarray, leading one journalist to starkly declare, 'Nobody really knows what will happen tomorrow.'  Likened to the fallout from the United Kingdom's 'Brexit' referendum, the vote's unexpected failure has left the Colombian political classes reeling and unsure how to respond in order to save four years of hard negotiation with the Marxist militia."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Colombian peace negotiations with FARC (the insurgent rebels in drug producing regions) were hailed as the key for Colombia to move past it's violent, drug-cartel past and move into the future.  As the Colombian population rejected the deal by the slimmest of margins (50.22% against), it leaves the government "without a Plan B." There are more questions than answers at this point about what might happen (if you are asking what's FARC?, then this primer will walk you through it). 

 

TagsSouth America, Colombiapoliticalnarcotics, conflict.

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, February 14, 7:43 PM
This article highlights the amount of division that is occurring within Colombia.  The country is divided in two ways.  Those who are supporters and members of FARC who believe communism is how Colombia should be governed are in conflict with the rest of the population who want to maintain their democratic ways.  Even among the majority of Colombians who are not associated with FARC, making peace with them is a point of division.  A nationwide vote very narrowly rejected a deal that would make peace with FARC.  Those who voted no do not want to forgive FARC for the crimes they have committed and feel the only way to make peace is to lock up those in FARC.  The rest of the country, including the Colombian president simply wanted to establish peace in Colombia.  The country was unsure what would happen going forward when this article was written.  This example of Colombian conflict shows the effects of globalization.  FARC was inspired by the vision of communism that Lenin had back in the early 1900s and is still effecting a country far from Russia one hundred years later.  As the world became more connected, so too were ideas able to spread and take hold in regions far from their origins.  Another big source of conflict involving FARC is the drug trade, which was only made possible by the consumption and demand of Americans.  Many of the problems facing the world today are often very complex and involve exterior forces, much like the dilemma in Colombia.
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PBS Election Central

PBS Election Central | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Check out Election Central from PBS with tools, resources & solutions to engage students in the political process.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The first presidential election last night has intensified the already polarized political conversation in the United States. This is a great resource to explore historic political maps and cartograms.  It also has rich tools to project the possibilities for the 2016 election with ready-made lesson plans. 

 

Tags: electoral, politicalhistorical, mapping.

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Kelly Bellar's curator insight, September 29, 2016 10:32 PM

The first presidential election last night has intensified the already polarized political conversation in the United States. This is a great resource to explore historic political maps and cartograms.  It also has rich tools to project the possibilities for the 2016 election with ready-made lesson plans. 

 

Tags: electoral, politicalhistorical, mapping.

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

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

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

 

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

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Remembering September 11th

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

 
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Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, September 10, 2016 11:16 PM
Because many students were not born when 9/11 occurred, or don't remember, it is important to have sources like this available.  Take a moment and look at this information about this time in U.S. history.
James Piccolino's curator insight, January 31, 6:20 PM
I was only between 4 and 5 years old on September 11 2001. I admittedly do have trouble recalling that day. I seem to remember having my kindergarten class cancelled for that day as I was in the afternoon class, but I did not know why. By what my father has told me, many people thought the world was coming to an end. He told me his experience of that day when I was young but still long after the event, and he told me with a level of emotion that I never saw him speak with of anything else. What fear my father had, and the world had on that day, stuck with me after I had heard it. I do vaguely remember visiting the site somewhere around 2003 or 2004 I believe. What I saw was not the beautiful memorial site there is today, but a collection of chain link fencing and concrete. The fences were covered with memorials, flowers, pictures and papers. This video, accompanied with that sadly fitting piano rendition of Mad World, reminds me of what I almost was too young to know. This combined with the realization that as of this month there are adults who were born in the 2000's brings the realization that there are people who may not be able to "never forget" what they never knew. This is why it is important to always educate young people on the past, of dangers, of terrorism, and where they have brought us to now.
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What assimilation means to the 'taco trucks on every corner' Trump supporter

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

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

 

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

 

Tags: culture migration, political.

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Bamenda protests: Mass arrests in Cameroon

Bamenda protests: Mass arrests in Cameroon | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Some 100 people are arrested after protests against using French in Cameroon's English-speaking region.

 

Areas controlled by Britain and France joined to form Cameroon after the colonial powers withdrew in the 1960s. The country has 10 semi-autonomous administrative regions - eight are Francophone and use the French civil law. English-speakers have long complained that they face discrimination. They often complain that they are excluded from top civil service jobs and that government documents are often only published in French, even though English is also an official language. Bamenda is the founding place of Cameroon's largest opposition political party, the Social Democratic Front.

 

Tags: language, colonialism, CameroonAfrica, culturepolitical, devolution.

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D.C. Votes Overwhelmingly To Become 51st State

D.C. Votes Overwhelmingly To Become 51st State | Geography Education | Scoop.it
District of Columbia voters passed the referendum Tuesday with nearly 80 percent in favor. Congress, which will ultimately decide the fate of the federal district, is not expected to approve it.

 

Voters in the District of Columbia passed a measure on Tuesday in favor of petitioning Congress to become a state in the union.

79 percent of voters cast votes in favor of the ballot measure, which splits the district into a residential state with a small federal district in the middle of it for government buildings and monuments, as we have reported.

The newly approved measure had four parts:

  1. agree that the District should be admitted to the Union as the State of New Columbia
  2. approve of a Constitution of the State of New Columbia to be adopted by the Council
  3. approve the State of New Columbia's boundaries
  4. agree that the State of New Columbia shall guarantee an elected representative form of government.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: Why do the residents of the District of Columbia want to change the legal status of the District to a state?  Why might some states and politicians NOT want to see a 51st state?  What is needed in the United States to admit a new state (Puerto Rico is still a possibility to become the 51st state)?  

 

Tags: political, sovereignty, autonomy, Washington DC.

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US election 2016: Trump victory in maps

US election 2016: Trump victory in maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The map above shows where Mr Trump improved on the share of the vote achieved by Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate who failed to beat President Barack Obama in 2012.

 

Tags: electoral, political.

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ISIS and the U.S. Presidential Election

The United States is already taking some steps to roll back the Islamic State (ISIS) and restrict its resources and recruits, including airstrikes, armin
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a non-partisan post and a video that is fairly balanced; this video nicely lays out some of the cultural and political factors that the next president of the United States should consider when crafting foreign policy in the especially problematic Middle East.  

 

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

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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 7, 9:47 AM
Since this video was made we have already had a Presidential election and policy made to deal with some of these key issues. Within the past year US policy (some continuation from the Obama Era) under President Trump has been to destroy ISIS and for the most part it has be done. ISIS has been displaced from the region, however that does not mean that the fighting in Syria has stopped. There are still many issues in the area and one that will not simply be rectified within a few years, this is a battle that we will see repeat over and over again. Much like Afghanistan, this area is one with much upheaval and when one power goes away another one rises and new problems can arise. It is an area in which, like the video states a major conundrum. How can we support one place and not make a country like Turkey angry (the Kurd's example  from the video)? So one could say well just stay out of the whole area, while that can make sense it is to important as a world leader (especially America) to not be involved in both a key geographical area for Russia and human rights area.  While there is no doubt there has been improvements in the last year, it is the same story in the Middle East, what is the end game? How do we get to the finish line and does anyone have the right answers. 
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Why you're probably wrong about levels of immigration in your country

Why you're probably wrong about levels of immigration in your country | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In developed countries around the world, people think immigrant populations are much larger than they actually are.

 

Americans consistently mention immigration as one of the nation’s most pressing political concerns, and it has become a signature issue in the presidential campaign. But while many Americans consider immigration one of the biggest issues for the future president, surveys suggest that they also have little understanding of the scale of the problem. The United States wasn’t alone in this tendency to exaggerate.

 

Tags: migrationstatistics, political.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, November 3, 2016 2:26 AM

Global challenges: Population 

Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 3, 2017 10:03 AM
Support immigration debates with some solid facts
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Who Likes Whom in The Middle East? Key players & Notable relationships

Who Likes Whom in The Middle East? Key players & Notable relationships | Geography Education | Scoop.it
An interactive network visualisation of key players & notable relationships in the Middle East region. Continually updated. Awesome looking.
Seth Dixon's insight:

News flash:the Middle East is complicated.  In a region where the enemy of an enemy can be your friend, keeping track of local, regional, and global interests can be a staggering proposition.  This flow chart is both incredibly complex, but also aids the user in making sense of the relationships that help to define the region.  

 

Tags: MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopoliticsregions.

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Taylor Doonan's curator insight, March 24, 4:40 PM
This infograph is fun to play with and it shows who like who and who hates who in the middle east. it is interesting when you only look at the "love" reationships and realize how many nations don't have any. Though there are nations that  have no "love" relationships every one, but Oman, has at least two hate relationships, this is a great learning tool. 
brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 4:45 PM
In geography it is important to understand what countries are enemies, what countries are alibis, and what countries have strained relationships. Without this knowledge, you really are left clueless to important relationships or causes to wars, or how each place affects another economy, politics, etc.
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Four maps that explain the chaos of the Middle East

Four maps that explain the chaos of the Middle East | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Without trying to defend or absolve U.S. policy, then, it is worth stepping back to ask what shared historical experiences might have left these four countries — Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen — particularly at risk of violent collapse. The following maps help highlight how, at various points over the past century, historical circumstances conspired, in an often self-reinforcing way, to bolster the stability of some states in the region while undermining that of others."

Seth Dixon's insight:

These maps are not cartographically inspiring, but the it's the historical and political insight that makes them valuable. The goal of this set of maps is to find some underlying causal reasons for political stability(or more importantly instability) in the Middle East. These four maps focus on these key issues:

1. Century-old states are more stable today

2. Colonial rule led to fragile states

3. Instability and regime change

4. The shadow of the Cold War

 

Tags: MiddleEast, war, conflict, political, geopoliticshistorical.

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Kelly Bellar's curator insight, October 22, 2016 9:30 AM

These maps are not cartographically inspiring, but the it's the historical and political insight that makes them valuable. The goal of this set of maps is to find some underlying causal reasons for political stability(or more importantly instability) in the Middle East. These four maps focus on these key issues:

1. Century-old states are more stable today

2. Colonial rule led to fragile states

3. Instability and regime change

4. The shadow of the Cold War

 

Tags: MiddleEast, war, conflict, political, geopoliticshistorical.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, March 28, 1:49 PM
From the western perspective, it's easier just to assume the Middle East is constantly in conflict purely out of their own fault.  However, the story is more complicated than that and much of the conflict in the area is due to involvement from the west.  These four maps show the different factors that impact the countries in the Middle East.  The first one shows that countries that were fully formed states for longer, tend to be more stable.  This makes sense because they haven't had outside influence for longer and have had more time to create stronger governments.  Looking at just this map, it seems like Iran and Egypt should be more stable than Saudi Arabia today.  However, this map doesn't tell the whole story.  The second map shows the types of colonial rule that each country was under in recent history.  Turkey was the only country in the region that was able to stay fully independent.  Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Israel are some of the countries that were under full colonization.  Not surprisingly, the struggles they had to gain their independence still effects the stability of these countries today.  This shows that the involvement from outsiders has had negative, long-term effects on the area and that the west is not free from blame of what is happening in the Middle East.  The third map differentiates between the countries that changed regimes after World War II and those that did not.  There is a correlation between which countries experienced the change and the countries that are the least stable today.  The final map shows which countries were pro-western, pro-Soviet, or shifted alignments during the Cold War.  Once again the outside influence of both the west and in this case the Soviet Union, lead to further divide in the region.  The history and shifting geography of the Middle East in just the last hundred years helps to give insight to how the region has become as conflicted in some countries, yet stable in others.
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‘The Wall Is a Fantasy’

‘The Wall Is a Fantasy’ | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A week in the borderlands with migrants and guards.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is not a political statement but a reiteration of the geographic realities of borders; they are inherently permeable and unite people just as much as they divide. 

 

Tags: Mexico, borders, political.   

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Alexander peters's curator insight, October 17, 2016 12:41 PM
The Wall Is a Fantasy
By DECLAN WALSH OCT. 14, 2016
This article talks about an american high jumper that want a wall torn down so he goes to Donald j .Trump and he said no. I liked this article because it talks about the political side of things.
tyrone perry's curator insight, February 9, 7:31 PM
According to the people in the article, Mexicans as well as the drug lords will always find ways to get into the US regardless if a way goes up.  Many of them have tried several times to come in and have been caught, detained, brought back to Mexico and then tried again.  I have assisted the border agents in 2007 for five months on active duty orders.  Watching many of them trying to come here to better their lives and the struggles they have to endure is both impressive and sad.  It is the smugglers that are more of the problem and the will stop at nothing to get their product here.  Also according to some ranchers thou they want a closed border and land security they feel as if the wall is a waste because of the resiliency of the Mexicans. 
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This is where your smartphone battery begins

This is where your smartphone battery begins | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Workers, including children, labor in harsh and dangerous conditions to meet the world’s soaring demand for cobalt, a mineral essential to powering electric vehicles, laptops, and smartphones, according to an investigation by The Washington Post.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a land rich with minerals and resources vital for high end consumer goods (laptops, cellphones, electric cars, etc.).  This in-depth investigation from the Washington Post of the cobalt mining districts in the DRC (60% of global cobalt production) is incredible.  It has great videos, maps, and an detailed article that cuts across the geographic themes (exploited local labor, global commodity chains, political governance, polluted water supply, medical geography, etc.).  

 

Just two days ago, the United States pulled the families of all governmental officials out of the DRC amid political turmoil and violence in the streets of Kinshasa, highlighting the fact that the weakness of political institutions in the DRC are a major reason for this situation.  

 

Tags: Congolaborwatermedical, environmentpollution, political, conflict, resourcespolitical ecology, Africa.

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ROCAFORT's curator insight, October 4, 2016 2:29 AM
This is where your smartphone battery begins
James Piccolino's curator insight, March 24, 10:21 AM
As sad as this is, what I think is more sad is that I have to admit when I first saw this headline while scrolling my initial thought was "Oh yeah, I need to buy a new phone battery". I think this says a lot about the differences in culture and priorities of those cultures. We in further developed countries do tend to take things for granted. There are things we get and throw away in a day that some in far off lands spend days to even obtain, with their lives sometimes depending on it.
David G Tibbs's curator insight, March 29, 3:36 PM
We take the luxuries that we have for granite and forget where it comes from, or who pays the physical price for us to have them. One example is electronics and the Congo. The Congo is a country filled with Colbolt which is critical to lithium batteries which powers majority of products that are rechargeable. The price they pay is unsafe mining conditions, indecent wages, and environmental hazards to local communities. 60 percent of the cobalt used today comes from the Congo, and while some companies track it to make sure its "clean" some companies do not check its origins. In 2010 there was a push to add cobalt to a list of resources that come from the Congo to be from a militia free mine. Individual companies have started to be stricter about where they get their Cobalt it's still not mandatory under international law. However with the demand for cobalt is increasing due to more electric power styling for vehicles and other products. In order to meet these demands the cobalt will continue to come from abused people until companies or international law limits and outlines how to deal with the cobalt question.
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DR Congo election: 17 dead in anti-Kabila protests

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

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

 

Tags: Congo, political, conflict, Africa.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 24, 2016 7:46 AM
DR Congo election: 17 dead in anti-Kabila protests
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Introducing ISIS

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

 

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

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Turkey's 'bumpy ride' into the EU?

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

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

 

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

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Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 8, 2017 6:29 PM
Post Brexit can we expect a ...Turkentrance?