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Which Countries Have Shrinking Populations?

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video explores some of the impacts of a declining population on a country (for example, a smaller workforce, economic decline, and growing public debt).  Eastern Europe as a region is used as the principle example and the countries of Bulgaria, Moldova, and Japan are highlighted. 

 

Tags: declining populations, population, demographic transition model, models, migration, Bulgaria, Moldova, Japan.

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Secretary Kerry Delivers Remarks on Ukraine

"U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry deliver remarks on Ukraine at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC on April 24, 2014. A transcript is available here."

Seth Dixon's insight:

If you want to understand the U.S. government's official stance and perspective on the escalating geopolitical tensions in the Eastern part of Ukraine (and Crimea), this speech is a good place to start.  These geopolitical tremors have regional impacts; so how might this situation impact Moldova and the Transdniestria region (breakaway section with pro-Russian sentiment)?        


Tag: Ukraine, political, conflict, geopolitics.

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Kaden Schmittner and Jack Rosetti's curator insight, October 12, 2014 3:45 PM

Other countries are breaking the agreement about the Ukrainian war and are getting involved and choosing sides. Could this lead to WWIII?

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The fate of religious freedom in the former USSR, 25 years after its collapse

The fate of religious freedom in the former USSR, 25 years after its collapse | Geography Education | Scoop.it
It's been 25 years since the fall of the Soviet Union. How has religious freedom fared in this part of the world?
Seth Dixon's insight:

The collapse of the former Soviet Union was one of the biggest political events of the 20th century with long-reaching cultural ramifications.  The generations of state-sponsored atheism followed by a variety of new political policies has meant that religious freedoms vary greatly in the regions that were once a part of the USSR.  This article gives a good breakdown of all the former SSR’s and the state of religious freedom today in each of them.    

 

Tags: religionChristianityIslam, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, AzerbaijanGeorgia, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan.      

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David Stiger's curator insight, October 22, 2018 10:20 AM
For post-Soviet countries, power and fear might be freedom's greatest challenges. On one hand, there is a dominant religious institution -  Eastern Orthodox Christianity - seeking to grow its influence and power. This might be a goal for a religion that is not popular elsewhere around the world (many Americans only know of Protestants and Roman Catholics, completely oblivious to the third major branch). They may see their geographic location as especially important - serving as a home-base of spiritual operations to launch evangelical missions, build coalitions, and influence national policies that shape society in a way their particular brand of Christianity approves of. On the other hand is fear of extremist groups which have resorted to terrorism to achieve their objectives. Countries like Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Tajikistan, and Azerbaijan have all placed restrictions on minority faiths, such as Muslims and Protestants, requiring these groups to register with the state. Geographically, the Islamic world, which is in a constant state of turmoil, lies directly south of the post-Soviet Union, making Islam a key focus as immigrants and ideas easily flow into the region. This need for state approval is a form of control which clearly hampers independence and freedom of expression.  The irony in all of this is that fear of extremism leads to more extreme measures of security. This toxic process will only sow discord, distrust, and animosity between sub-populations leading to civil unrest.  




Matt Danielson's curator insight, October 22, 2018 5:49 PM
It is not surprising to me as a history major that they is still suppression of religious freedom in many former soviet territories. The more westernized countries have less of an issue than the countries farther from the west. This is partially due to them wanting to join Nato which requires religious freedom for joining. The more Islamic countries to the south seem to have the most difficulties with religious freedoms (as do a majority of Islamic nations). Russia would also have some problems from years of atheism being forced by the communist party. Somehow the Eastern Orthodox religion was able to hold on through out it all, but they seem to be the only;y religion openly accepted in Russia.  
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, November 1, 2018 10:45 AM
After years and years of suppression under the Atheistic USSR, many would not be unreasonable to have believed that when the USSR fell they would be able to practice their religion however they would like. Unfortunately, nothing changes in a day and when fear is a tactic learned from their former occupiers. Many countries still use the growing terrorism in the region to suppress their own citizen's rights to religious freedom.  Countries such as Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are of great concern where Religious minorities, mainly Muslims, are rounded up and registered, monitored during religious practices or severely restricted. It is not a surprise that this is happening is former-USSR countries, but you must understand it takes time for deeply rooted behaviors to change. 
 
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Trans-Dniester pleads to join Russia

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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