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Gibraltar Bay

Gibraltar Bay | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Gibraltar Bay, located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula, is the central feature of this astronaut photograph. The famous Rock of Gibraltar that forms the northeastern border of the bay is formed of Jurassic-era seafloor sediments that solidified into limestone, a rock formed mostly of the mineral calcite, which is found in the shells of sea creatures. The limestone was subsequently lifted above the ocean surface when the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Gibraltar is 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. "La Linea" marked on the image is the international border

 

Questions to Ponder: Why are both Spain and the UK invested in this piece of territory?  What challenges are there for a small exclave when neighbors aren't friendly?  How does Spanish and British supranational connections impact this issue?

 

Tags: borders, political, Spain, Europe.

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Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 9, 2018 6:37 PM
(Europe) Gibraltar Bay is an important economic and political region located on the very southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. The UK owns city of Gibraltar while the surrounding area is in Spain. The Strait of Gibraltar is a passage separating Spain in Europe and Morocco in Africa, allowing transport between the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The area has tactical value because of the inflow of ships and its geographic position, but also houses oil processing and tourism industries.
Olivia Campanella's curator insight, October 1, 2018 9:27 PM
The Gibraltar Bay, located in the Southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula is the central feature of this picture. The rock of Gibraltar is formed of Jurassic-era seafloor sediments that solidify into limestone. The waters of the Bay and its location close to Africa contribute to the regions strategic and economic importance.
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 3:37 PM
Gibraltar Bay is one of the most fascinating places on Earth, with its formation and location. It has a very successful port and its formation has made it a popular tourist spot.
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Senegal's Great Green Wall combats desertification

"A 7,000 km barrier is being built along the footsteps of the Sahara to stop the desert expanding. The Great Green Wall project started in 2007 in Senegal, along with 10 countries in Africa to combat the effects of climate change. Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque reports from Widou, deep in the Sahel."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Great Green Wall initiative is composed of 11 countries that are cooperating together to combat the physical and human geographic characteristics that make the Sahel one of the more vulnerable ecosystems in the world.  This swath running through Africa is the transition zone where tropical Africa meets the Sahara.  The Sahel is susceptible to drought, overgrazing, land degradation and desertification.  These issues of resource management and land use transcend international borders so this "Green Wall" was created with the intent to protect the environment, landscapes and people of the Sahel from desert encroachment (the shorter, social media friendly version of this video is available here).

 

Tags: Africa, Senegal, development, environment, waterbiogeography, ecology, environment depend, physical, weather and climate, supranationalism, political ecology.

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 1, 2018 2:34 AM
This “Green Wall” was originally supposed to span the southern border of the Sahara from the east to west coast of Africa. It was made up of trees and elements of forests in order to prevent the desert from expanding and reducing the amount of land available for food production. This seems like it would be a great idea that would work well, but the plan has some flaws. In the early stages of building up the barrier, nomadic herders are supposed to be prohibited from using the land, as their cattle would destroy it. However, the system in place in Somolia sees only one soldier guarding hundreds of kilometers by himself. The nomadic people are often desperate for food, so they often try to break in and sometimes resort to violence. This is problematic because it defeats the purpose of the barrier in increasing the farm land. Many of the countries in along the “Green Wall” do not maintain it as well as they should and Nigeria actually abandoned the project all together. For this reason many ecologists believe the effort is a waste and the climate change can not be stopped. But the efforts of the Somalians has paid off. Crops such as grapefruit and watermelon have been grown in areas that would have been unsuitable for such crops a few years ago. Migratory European birds also settle in the area during the winter. Another benefit that comes from the Wall is that nomads are not forced to join terrorist organizations as their only sources for food, because farming is made easier in the Sahel. 
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 5, 2018 8:12 PM
The great green wall is a man made ecological wall from the Atlantic ocean thru 10 countries to the red sea.  This is to prevent the desert from expanding, but also it is protected from nomadic herders, and loss of food.  This project still has a long way to go but ha not been completely abandoned yet. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 3:12 PM
Although Senegal is one of the few countries in the Sahel to actually follow through on its promise of building its green wall, it may be fruitless in the long run. The expansion of desert regions seems relentless. However, what is most surprising is how rapidly the ecosystems have changed and the crops that can be grown there. Watermelon, grapefruit, and European migratory songbirds have all taken hold, drastically altering the agriculture and environment of the region. 
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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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Danielle Adams's curator insight, September 19, 2016 10:18 PM
Geo 152
David Stiger's curator insight, October 8, 2018 5:20 PM
Without a doubt, the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union (EU) - or "Brexit" has deeply shaken the EU. With the British departure, there is fear that the EU may face disintegration and dissolution because it has failed to adequately address important issues, like immigration, that are central to common voters. 

To counteract the turbulence and unease, the EU plans to create a new "road map" for the future at smaller, more informal gatherings like the one in Slovakia's city of Bratislava. Although the meeting is not exactly about Brexit, it will be about addressing the antecedents and consequences of Brexit. The problem is that the EU lacks a unified position on several key issues ranging from a supranational military force and security, the economy, and immigration. Some EU member states, like Slovakia, do not want to accept any Muslim immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East while the EU - led by France and Germany - is pushing for all states to take in their fair share. Another matter is that some countries see the EU bloc as primarily an economic entity ensuring open borders for people and capital but not as a security agency. The question remains if the EU should maintain a centralized standing army to deal with potential threats and matters of defense. 

Regardless of what is discussed, Brexit proved that the EU needs revamping. Listening to the individuals in the videos, it is clear that people see a whole host of problems with the EU but still want to see it succeed. There is not this sense that the EU is a failed experiment and needs to disband but there is consensus that it needs improvement. 

This article shows that running a supranational organization is no easy task. Despite the struggle, the EU seems fundamentally important in maintaining peace by promoting free trade and open borders. This only makes sense as these countries are geographically situated right next to each other. The more countries become economically interdependent, the less likely these countries are to spiral into conflict and antagonistic behavior. 
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Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault

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

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

 

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

 

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Matt Danielson's curator insight, October 11, 2018 12:42 AM
This brings up some good points about a commonly opposed view in Europe and America. Often times we simply put Russia as the bad guy and Putin as its evil leader, but there is more to it then this. It is tough to say Russia's involvement in Ukraine is completely unjustified. To Russia the eastern nations of Europe are their buffer zone to NATO, and would like for them to stay aligned with Russia. When the Pro Russian Ukrainian president was ousted in a popular revolution (or a coup) many in the west simply deemed this as ok because the coup was pro NATO, to Russia this was seen as a threat. Then when Russia got involved the pro Russian "uprising" in Crimea seemed like Russia meddling in other nations internal affairs.  Dont forget that their are many Russians who live in Ukraine, and Russia sees these as their people who they need to protect. Either way this is a complicated situation that gets ignored all too often.
David Stiger's curator insight, October 21, 2018 4:28 AM
A good deal of Ukraine's crisis with Russia is centered around geopolitics. Russia annexed Crimea because of its seaport - a port that NATO had its eye on as a strategic position for keeping Russia in check. The territory of Ukraine as a whole serves as a buffer between Western Europe and Russia. If NATO were to incorporate and pro-Western Ukraine, Russia would feel threatened. As a major power with a history of pride, Russia would never tolerate a direct threat on its border. Making Ukraine into such a threat is not worth the potential political, economic, and military consequences from Russia. Since it is a thin place between two differing ideological powerhouses - Russia and the West - Ukraine might want to consider remaining neutral; even receiving help and assistance from the EU, the United States, and Russia. This route has not been taken because the West, specifically the U.S., has misunderstood Russia as an aging and weak country that would ultimately embrace the good-guy America as a benevolent friend. The U.S. needs to rethink its ideas about Russia and do the sensible thing of giving it a buffer zone and a little deference, just as the U.S. expects other major powers to keep away from Mexico and Central America. 

Matt Danielson's curator insight, October 22, 2018 10:41 PM
This hows a different perspective than the normal western one on the crisis in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Ukraine is more culturally and traditionally connected to Russia than the rest of Europe( historically Kiev was a capital of Russian empires, specifically the "Kieven Rus"). To Russia NATO is a threat, and constantly pushing east towards Russia. Russia wants some kind of friendly buffer Zone out of fears of influence from the west, and possible invasions. Historically Ukraine has been a buffer zone, but with the overthrow of the Russian friendly Ukrainian president and his replacement by a staunch Nato and western supporter Russia feals threaten. Though they denied any involvement at first, in the very least they have been supplying material and training to Crimean and other pro Russian separatist rebels whop are fighting the Ukrainian government in hopes of maintaining some sort of buffer zone.   
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In stunning decision, Britain votes to leave the E.U.

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

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

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

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

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

   

Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, political.

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David G Tibbs's curator insight, February 28, 2018 6:29 PM
With Britain leaving the EU it changes the landscape of Europe. This would be the spark that would light the nationalist fire in Europe. This threatens to break up the supernational organization. This was a massive split in the British politicians. 
 
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Why Do Some in UK Want To Leave The EU?

" Also see our video, Will The European Union Fall Apart? http://testu.be/1UYWZPm "

Seth Dixon's insight:

The European Union at one time seemed as though it would continue to further and further integrate European politics and economics.  With talk of possibly leaving the EU and a referendum on whether the UK should stay in the EU or not, the EU offered some extra special exemptions for the UK.  For a more in depth coverage, see this PBS News Hour video.  

 

Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, political.

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Kate Burkart's curator insight, March 11, 2016 1:53 PM

The European Union at one time seemed as though it would continue to further and further integrate European politics and economics.  With talk of possibly leaving the EU and a referendum on whether the UK should stay in the EU or not, the EU offered some extra special exemptions for the UK.  For a more in depth coverage, see this PBS News Hour video.  

 

Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, political.

ismokuhanen's curator insight, March 12, 2016 10:59 AM

The European Union at one time seemed as though it would continue to further and further integrate European politics and economics.  With talk of possibly leaving the EU and a referendum on whether the UK should stay in the EU or not, the EU offered some extra special exemptions for the UK.  For a more in depth coverage, see this PBS News Hour video.  

 

Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, political.

brielle blais's curator insight, March 25, 2018 6:57 PM
This showcases how political and economic geographies of the EU can cause whole countries to discontinue their membership. For example, the United Kingdom believes there are too many restrictions on the British government, especially concerning immigration. The EU gives immigrants employment and benefits, but Britain only allows employment and benefits if the person has been living in the country for four years. They feel as though Europe is manipulating their government.
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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 4:39 PM
A great read
Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 9, 2015 11:57 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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Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan sign deal to end Nile dispute

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan sign deal to end Nile dispute | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Three African leaders sign an initial deal to end a long-running dispute over the sharing of Nile waters and the building of Africa's biggest hydroelectric dam.
Seth Dixon's insight:

85% of the Nile's water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands--it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011.  The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps).  Prior to this trilateral agreement, Egypt and Sudan received the majority of the Nile's waters because of outdated colonial-era treaties that ignored upstream riparian states.  This explains why in the past, Egypt was so adamantly opposed to Ethiopia's plan fearing that their water supply with be threatened.  Today though, the Egyptian President said, "We have chosen cooperation, and to trust one another for the sake of development."  


Tags: Ethiopia, Africasupranationalism, political, development, environment, water, energy, borders.

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Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, March 31, 2016 4:57 PM

85% of the Nile's water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands--it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011.  The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps).  Prior to this trilateral agreement, Egypt and Sudan received the majority of the Nile's waters because of outdated colonial-era treaties that ignored upstream riparian states.  This explains why in the past, Egypt was so adamantly opposed to Ethiopia's plan fearing that their water supply with be threatened.  Today though, the Egyptian President said, "We have chosen cooperation, and to trust one another for the sake of development."  


Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, supranationalism, political, development, environment, water, energy, borders.

Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, April 1, 2016 5:19 AM

85% of the Nile's water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands--it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011.  The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps).  Prior to this trilateral agreement, Egypt and Sudan received the majority of the Nile's waters because of outdated colonial-era treaties that ignored upstream riparian states.  This explains why in the past, Egypt was so adamantly opposed to Ethiopia's plan fearing that their water supply with be threatened.  Today though, the Egyptian President said, "We have chosen cooperation, and to trust one another for the sake of development."  


Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, supranationalism, political, development, environment, water, energy, borders.

brielle blais's curator insight, May 2, 2018 3:45 AM
This article shows how important it is for countries to have good relationships with one another. This is an example of political geography. Diverting the Nile would help Ethiopia immensely, producing electricity and providing a water source. Egypt and Sudan were able to create a compromise and agree to share, and a long dispute is now over.
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Is it all over for Greece in the EU?

Robert Peston crunches the numbers as finance ministers meet for vital loan talks.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This audio clip shows how the Greek economic crisis is an issue on the national, regional, and global scales.  This BBC video and article also provide some nice context, asking the question, what would happen in Greece quits the Euro? 


Tags: Greece, Europe, supranationalism, currency, economic, podcast

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Norka McAlister's curator insight, February 28, 2015 11:50 PM

If Greece decides to no longer be a part of the United Nations (UN), this will ultimately have a significant impact on Europe’s Union economy. The impact will affect not only Greece as country but also to all members of the UN. In addition to this enormous problem, it will be hard to keep together all countries if Greece goes because as we know certain countries as a Spain, Portugal, Italy and even France are also facing economic issues. Success depends largely on UN giving consent for the members of the organization. The downfall in this disagreement will weaken the economies of the European Union as a whole. On the other hand, cheap currency will create new opportunities and be beneficial for tourists.

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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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Barbara Goebel's curator insight, September 13, 2014 5:00 PM

Compare and contrast Scotland's bid for independence with events leading to American independence. How does a culture decide to change its political geography?

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 5, 2015 8:01 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 6:16 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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NAFTA an empty basket for farmers in southern Mexico

NAFTA an empty basket for farmers in southern Mexico | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"When the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada went into effect in 1994, it removed nearly all trade barriers between the countries. Among the industries affected was agriculture, forcing small Mexican farmers into direct competition with big American agribusiness. Cheap American corn – heavily subsidized, mechanized and genetically modified – soon flooded the Mexican market to the detriment of local farmers.  As U.S. farmers exported their subsidized corn to Mexico, local producer prices plummeted and small farmers could no longer earn enough to live on."

Seth Dixon's insight:

International trade agreements are usually discussed at the national level.  "NAFTA benefits Mexico" is a commonly heard saying because trade with the United States and Canada strengthens the manufacturing sector in Mexico.  Even if there is an overall benefit to a country, there are always winners and losers for different regions, economic sectors and many other demographic groups.   Farmers in southern Mexico were certainly a sector that struggled mightily under NAFTA.


Tags: Mexicosupranationalism, industry, place, agriculture, food production,

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Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, May 29, 2014 4:44 PM

The American agricultural industry has been highly subsidized by the government to create interest in farming and food production. This causes problems for America's neighboring countries' resident farmers. The Mexican corn farmers are struggling mightily with the influx of cheap American corn into Mexico due to the open trade policies created by NAFTA. Some tariffs or new economic regulations must be created to protect Mexican corn farmers and regulate the amount of cheap American corn that is flooding Mexican markets. 

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 29, 2014 5:44 PM

With all the good we thought NAFTA did for the three countries involved, I feel that sometimes we overlook the bad.  Southern Mexico has felt all negative affects from NAFTA.  While the northern states in Mexico are able to keep up with the advanced agricultural processes that America has, the south is unable to.  The old techniques and lack of machinery prevents the south from having any possible competition with the north as well as America leaving the south to become extremely impoverished and potentially unsuitable for any living.

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Love 'em or hate 'em - Britain's rocky relationship with the EU

Love 'em or hate 'em - Britain's rocky relationship with the EU | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The United Kingdom's relationship with the EU - or, in political parlance, 'Europe' - has long been one of the most divisive, emotive issues in British politics."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The beginnings of the European Union are rooted in the aftermath of WW II, with Europe exhausted from war many politicians wanted to unite European countries in a way that would make war with each other impossible.  The United Kingdom, though has had a complicated with the EU, sometimes (and for certain issues) wanting greater European integration to strengthen their regional position and at other times have resisted regional collaboration for fear of losing national autonomy.  This is very over-generalized, but this BBC article gives a nice historical perspective on the rocky relationship of between the two.  


Tags: Europe, supranationalism, currency, economichistorical, sovereignty, UK.

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Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 19, 2015 7:41 PM

This article shows that the United Kingdom is far different than its mainland European counterparts.  Many Europeans (especially the French) often criticize the UK, but this can be contributed to the long standing historical "misunderstandings" between the two countries.  Another fact that the article hits on, that makes Great Britain so much different than the rest of Europe, is the large overseas empire the nation controlled at one point in its history.  The UK is used to being on its own against continental European powers (Napoleon's France, Hitler's Germany, and the Spanish Armada to name a few).  Because of the UK's culture as well as its geographic location, the country has come to be vastly different than a majority of Europe and because of this resists becoming a full member of the European Union.  The country feels it is safer on its own than joining the Eurozone economic system.  Because of its history and location, the UK is in many ways closer to the United States than many countries in Europe.  It seems like until the "EU question" is resolved for good in Great Britain it is not going away any time soon.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 5, 2015 8:11 PM

If there is a more obvious example of geography shaping national politics, I have yet to come across it. The UK has long regarded "the continentals" as an alien race, filled with backwards and strange practices considered unseemly to the British people. This is very much a result of the UK being an island nation; cultural and political diffusion have always taken longer to take hold there as a result of its separation from the rest of Europe; British culture is uniquely "British," in even more of a sense than the cultures of the rest of Europe. English is as unrelated to any other European language as possible. Separated from the rest of the continent, it has always remained relatively aloof from the cultural and political pressures of the rest of the continent, which was only sharped during the Second World War. The British look across to the Atlantic in times of trouble, towards the United States, rather than across the channel to its fellow European nations. Intense pride in its long history of global dominance allows for many British citizens to view themselves as being "above" the political and economic cooperation now being sought in the European Union, reflected in British insistence on maintaining a separate currency. Resistance to forging closer ties to the continent has always been a feature in British politics, but the reality of globalization makes this isolationist sentiment obsolete and backwards. Refusing to move forward with its neighbors, the UK is in danger of falling further behind.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 9:19 PM

that the British have issues with mainland European countries. England [at least] has fought wars against most of them. that some tension would remain after a peace that has lasted one twentieth of the time that whoever lives in Britain has been fighting the people who live on  the continent.

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Rising Anti-Immigration Sentiment in the EU

Stratfor Europe Analyst Adriano Bosoni discusses the political implications of the increasing number of migrants from the European Union's periphery to its c...
Seth Dixon's insight:

The economic crisis has contributed to rising anti-immigration sentiment and policies in Europe.  Immigrants from Eastern Europe continue to enter the core, but now more from the struggling southern periphery of Europe are also on the move.   


One of the free response questions in the 2012 AP Human Geography test focused on increasing Muslim population in many European countries.  This video some background context for that particular Free Response Question (as would this article from Al Jazeera titled Europe's failure to integrate Muslims). 

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 7, 2015 9:05 PM

Western Europe is facing the troubles of immigration for jobs. Countries in Europe, such as Eastern countries of Bulgaria and the P.I.G.S. are moving to core countries in search of work that the cannot find in their own land. The problem becomes a matter of the core country citizens not having jobs for themselves as their economy joins other in slowing down. Racial tensions are rising because of this. The video generalizes the anti-immigration as just anti-immigrants but as images in the video would suggest, much of the resentment is  towards Muslim immigrants.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 9:42 PM

this is hardly surprising that anti-immigrant sentiment has risen to this level. with no go zones in most major European cities it is unsurprising that people are trying to push back. considering that there are areas in Britain with sharia law, it's hardly surprising.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 15, 2015 6:58 PM

whenever you think about people rejecting immigration and illigal immigration being a problem you think about the united states but it is a problem all over the world. it does effect demographics of countries and places need to figure out how to balance helping others by letting them come to your country without it negatively effecting the well being of you own citizens in regards to jobs.

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Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May Triggers Article 50, Making 'Brexit' Official

The United Kingdom has officially kicked off the process of 'Brexit,' almost nine months to the date after the country's momentous vote to leave the European Union.

 

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

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James Piccolino's curator insight, January 19, 2018 12:14 AM
I have a soft spot for nations that seek freedom, control of their own lives/ destiny, and overall individuality for the betterment of themselves against large odds, but nonetheless prevail.

The comment section slightly represents what I expected the general reactions to be. A mixture of sarcasm, excitement over the new possibilities opened now that they are not tied to the EU, those who did not agree thus think this means the end times, and of course the almost necessary exclamation of "first" when you're the lucky guy to comment before anybody else does. 
Nicole Canova's curator insight, March 24, 2018 3:40 AM
In this address to the House of Commons, Theresa May says that she "want[s] [the UK] to be a truly global Britain," but isn't the move to leave the European Union indicative of isolationist attitudes?  She talks about laws being made within the UK, and those laws being "interpreted by judges not in Luxembourg, but in courts across [the UK]."  She also talks about focusing inward, and working to "strengthen the union of the four nations that comprise [the] United Kingdom."  What impact will this have on the UK?  What impact will this have on Europe?  What impact will this have on the global community as a whole?
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Why are the Baltic states so rattled?

This week, soldiers from Germany and Belgium are settling into a new posting in Lithuania as part of the latest NATO troop deployment. Will their hosts—and the region—feel more secure as a result of their presence?
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video from the Economist shows how shifting political situations in one country can create some powerful ripples elsewhere.  It also shows how fluid geopolitical alliances can either embolden a waxing power, or create anxiety among states that might be waning in regional influence.  Supranational allegiances can weigh heavily on smaller states. 

 

Tags: Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, supranationalism, political.    

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James Piccolino's curator insight, March 24, 2018 1:07 PM
This is one of the many cases where it may be easy to understand each side but harder to understand a solution. Imagine being in the position the Baltic states are currently in? Russia will always put the pressure on them, or at least it seems Putin will.
brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 2018 6:02 PM
This post showcases how geopolitical relationships can really cause tension, fear, or even bring positivity between many countries. Russia has been on the offense, testing NATO and the Baltic states. The states feel the need to prepare for anything that could happen, one even calling in more troops and for conscription to bring back the feeling of safety in their country. However, this post also showcases how geopolitical relationships can be positive, as President Trump showed his admiration for Russia. This new bond one may call it, scares the Baltic states even more.
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 9, 2018 9:48 PM
The Baltic states seem to be rattled because Putin has been flexing his muscle lately.  Because Trump has vocally been threatening to leave NATO it seems as if Putin is trying to take advantage of a weak support of NATO.  Considering the Baltic states were at one point part of the USSR before they broke away it seems that now would be the right time to for a take over. 
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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 11:29 PM
Post Brexit can we expect a ...Turkentrance?
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Brexit: Reaction and the Aftermath

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

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

 

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

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MsPerry's curator insight, June 29, 2016 4:29 PM
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Taylor Doonan's curator insight, February 16, 2018 1:40 PM
These graphics are examples of propaganda, which has been used for hundreds of years. Great Britain leaving the EU was a big deal as it was basically GB saying that they were better than the rest of Europe. These graphics show what different sources around the world thought of Brexit. The one that stood out to me was the picture of the woman who appeared beaten up and the captions stated that it was the EU with and without GB, and this shows that GBs influence is not nearly what it used to be and that Europe can survive without it. 
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Europe's Free Travel Zone in Danger: Map of Temporary Border Controls in the Schengen Area

Europe's Free Travel Zone in Danger: Map of Temporary Border Controls in the Schengen Area | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Map and explanation of the crisis in the EU's Schengen Area, where many countries have temporarily reintroduced border controls.

 

Over the past months, concern has been rising that Europe's border-free travel zone, known as the Schengen Area, is falling apart. As unprecedented numbers of refugees and other migrants enter the Schengen Area, individual member countries have begun to re-start border checks in the places where they abolished them decades ago.

 

Tags: borders, political, Europe, supranationalism, refugees.

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yearlingexpandcost's comment, March 30, 2016 8:00 AM
Its remarkable :)
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EU deal gives UK special status, says PM

EU deal gives UK special status, says PM | Geography Education | Scoop.it
David Cameron says a deal with EU counterparts is enough for him to recommend the UK stays in the union, and he will present it to his cabinet on Saturday.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The European Union at one time seemed as though it would continue to further and further integrate European politics and economics; Many still see  great value in EU membership but critics fear that enhanced cooperation was going to head down the road to the formation of a European superstate and further entanglements.  With talk of possibly leaving the EU and a referendum on whether the UK should stay in the EU or not, the EU was offered some extra special exemptions for the UK.  This is a very interesting developing story, one that might impact many regional supranational organizations.  


Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, political.

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ismokuhanen's curator insight, March 1, 2016 11:32 AM

The European Union at one time seemed as though it would continue to further and further integrate European politics and economics; Many still see  great value in EU membership but critics fear that enhanced cooperation was going to head down the road to the formation of a European superstate and further entanglements.  With talk of possibly leaving the EU and a referendum on whether the UK should stay in the EU or not, the EU was offered some extra special exemptions for the UK.  This is a very interesting developing story, one that might impact many regional supranational organizations.  


Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, political.

Bridgitte's curator insight, March 2, 2016 2:23 PM

The European Union at one time seemed as though it would continue to further and further integrate European politics and economics; Many still see  great value in EU membership but critics fear that enhanced cooperation was going to head down the road to the formation of a European superstate and further entanglements.  With talk of possibly leaving the EU and a referendum on whether the UK should stay in the EU or not, the EU was offered some extra special exemptions for the UK.  This is a very interesting developing story, one that might impact many regional supranational organizations.  


Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, political.

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Pressed by Debt Crisis, Doctors Leave Greece in Droves

Pressed by Debt Crisis, Doctors Leave Greece in Droves | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Greece is losing professionals as they flee for more stable employment elsewhere, and the health care sector has been particularly hard hit.


Tags: Greece, Europemigration, supranationalism, currency, economic.

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cantatapledge's comment, July 3, 2015 11:34 AM
Thats brilliant
Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 9, 2015 11:45 AM

The economic troubles in Greece have dominated the headlines in Europe and the United States over the past few years. One major consequence of the continuing economic struggle is the fleeing of talented individuals from the nation of Greece. One of the hardest hit sectors in the Greek economy, is the heath care sector. Trained medical professionals are fleeing Greece in droves for better economic opportunities  elsewhere. The consequences of this mass migration from Greece can not be overstated. A nation needs talented people in order to survive. The loss of talented professionals sends a bad message to the rest of the country. The message sent to the people is basically, our nation is no longer viable enough to keep our most talented people living here.  This trend will likely continue as the Greek government has yet to come up with a viable solution to their debt crises.

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How does the United Nations work?

"Ever curious about the reaches of the United Nation and what they do? Here's a great video featuring Dr. Binoy Kampmark from RMIT University.  This short video can help improve your understanding of the UN, including its role in world politics and policy making."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is a part of a TED-ED lesson that is short and sweet.

 

Tags: supranationalism, political, TED, video.

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Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 25, 2015 1:47 AM

Unit 4

This video explains what goes on at United Nations meetings. 193 people gather in New York to discuss matters of peace and security. Established in 1945 made up of 50 countries and made to prevent another World War. The UN deals with matters of economics social policy, human rights, and culture. And the most important parts is the security council (made up of France, Britain, the United States, China, and Russia) and the general assembly. 

Jacob McCullough's curator insight, May 26, 2015 11:01 PM

Just a nice brief summary or how the United nations worked for political geography 

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 1:47 PM

The UN is one of the most impact organizations we have today. The UN is a powerful peacekeeping supranational organization organized to help all nations and countries

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Scottish Independence

"Scotland is about to vote on whether to secede from the UK. There are solid arguments on both sides."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Admittedly, this video is filled with stereotypes, bad words and a strong political bias all delivered in John Oliver's trademark style--it's also filled with incorrect statements which I hope most people can recognize as humor, but it captures college students' attention.  If, however, you are looking for a more insightful piece, I recommend Jeffrey Sach's article titled "The Price of Scottish Independence," or this summary of the 9 issues that would confront an independent Scotland.  Independence in Europe today doesn't mean what it used to, and this vote will be fascinating regardless of the outcome.    


Tags: devolution, supranationalism, politicalEurope, UK.

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Maria la del Varrio's curator insight, December 5, 2014 5:21 PM

I support Scotland independence! Mother England should understand the current Scotland need more freedom of speech and decisions. This a good example of a peacefully claim of independence, instead of the bloody war (remember England?). The video... Is too funny to take it seriously. 

Louis Mazza's curator insight, February 27, 2015 12:34 PM

Scotland is vying for its independence from the United Kingdom, becoming free from London and its own Country. Here john Oliver analyzes the issue and provides a decent background history while stabbing lots of jokes and puns into his commentary. So basically England and Scotland got into an arranged marriage as Oliver phrased it, forming the United Kingdom some 300 years ago. Oliver goes on to say Scotland got the bad end of the philosophical relationship, setting up reasons for Scotland ambition to possibly leave. For the last 2 ½ years there has been a campaign for this independence, where Scotts feel they can better run the country they live in. Scotland is a liberal country ran by the conservative country England. These are the reasons that set up this split.   

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, March 8, 2015 2:27 AM

This video is hilarious and John Oliver pokes fun at the Scottish, the little brother trying to lobby themselves for independence. Great video to watch hilarious, and also informative at the same time.

 

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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 1:59 PM

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 8:30 PM

APHG-Unit 4

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 14, 2014 6:50 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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The Great Green Wall

The Great Green Wall | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Great Green Wall initiative uses an integrated approach to restore a diversity of ecosystems to the North African landscape.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Great Green Wall initiative is composed of 11 countries that are cooperating together to combat the physical and human geographic characteristics that make the Sahel one of the more vulnerable ecosystems in the world.  This swath running through Africa is the transition zone where tropical Africa meets the Sahara.  The Sahel is susceptible to drought, overgrazing, land degradation and desertification.  These issues of resource management and land use transcend international borders so this "Green Wall" was created with the intent to protect the environment, landscapes and people of the Sahel from desert encroachment (as an aside, the Green Wall spatially corresponds nicely with the apocryphal Mountains of Kong). 


Tags: Africa, development, environment, waterbiogeography, ecology, environment depend, physical, weather and climate, supranationalism, political ecology.

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:53 PM

The great green wall initiative project, is a project which wants to plant tens of thousands of trees, roughly fifty thousand trees alone in Senegal. The point of this is to restore a failing  environment. Around five hundred million people are living in a desertification area. Both human and nature is at fault for this creation of a transition zone getting bigger and bigger, Humans are not necessarily taking care of the land like it should be taken care of and as for factors of nature such as climate change, drought and not enough rain. There are social impacts that may affect the area too, experts think that improvements in land and economy may help curb terrorism in Mali. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 15, 2015 4:59 AM

The great green wall is a way of separating the desert from the rain forest in Africa The Sahel is the area that separates the deforestation and the desert and would be a way to keep the desert in a different climatic region of the country.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 7:40 PM

this a great i think, the only way that countries in an area with such harsh environments can survive is by helping eachother and using their own beneficial land to help other and recieve help for their own deficiencies. 

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Ukraine: To Face Europe or Russia?

Ukraine: To Face Europe or Russia? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"This map illustrates the country's deep division – and why the protests might not be what you think. Ukraine has been wracked by protests for two-plus weeks over President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to reject a deal for closer integration with the European Union. Russian President Vladimir Putin had been pressuring Yanukovych to quit the EU deal and join with a Moscow-led trade union of former Soviet states instead. Will Ukraine's future be with Russia or with Europe?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

The country of Ukraine is both ethnically and linguistically divided and since the fall of the Soviet Union, the partisan politics have mirrored these divisions.  The northwestern portion of the country is primarily ethnic Ukrainian and with the majority speaking Ukrainian.  This section of the country that is hoping to strengthen economic and political ties with the EU and face Europe; those that aren't as bullish on the EU here at least want to explore other options so they aren't overpowered by Moscow's shadow.  The southeastern portion of Ukraine primarily speaks Russian with sizeable ethnic Russian populations (although many ethnic Ukrainians speak Russian here); not surprisingly, this is the part of the country that would rather join in an economic union with Russia and other former Soviet Republics, or at least not turn their backs on Moscow. 


Questions to Ponder: Why are language and ethnicity often tied to political orientation?  Why might trading with all economic partners not be as viable an option?

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 15, 2014 7:16 PM

The Ukraine is divided along Ethno-linguitic lines. Even within the borders of Ukraine there are contrast in the characteristics of local communities. Some identify with Russia, others with Ukraine. The borders of Ukraine are likely to change because there are such differences between its citizens.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 18, 2014 3:08 AM

Ukraine has been wracked by protests for two-plus weeks over President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to reject a deal for closer integration with the European Union. Thousands of protesters in the capital city of Kiev are calling for Yanukovych to step down. This is a potentially big moment for Ukraine, as well as for Europe: Russian President Vladimir Putin had been pressuring Yanukovych to quit the EU deal and join with a Moscow-led trade union of former Soviet states instead. Will Ukraine's future be with Russia or with Europe? What's happening in Ukraine is complicated and driven by many factors: the country's history as an unhappy component of the Soviet Union, its deep economic woes, a sense of cultural fondness for the West, wide discontent with government corruption, two decades of divided politics and a sense that Yanukovych caved to Putin.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 8, 2015 3:23 PM

It is unfortunate to see this happening.  Ukrainians want to be connected to Europe not Russia.  The divide between the people ad the President is quite large.  This makes me wonder if Putin is promising Yanukovych with a monetary bribe.  Or if Putin is threatening Yanukovych.