Geography Education
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Drought and Famine

In which John Green teaches you a little bit about drought, which is a natural weather phenomenon, and famine, which is almost always the result of human activity. Throughout human history, when food shortages strike humanity, there was food around. There was just a failure to connect those people with the food that would keep them alive. There are a lot of reasons that food distribution breaks down, and John is going to teach you about them in the context of the late-19th century famines that struck British India.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Famine is exacerbated by natural factors such as drought, but those only stress the system, they rarely cause the actual starvation.  The real failure is that the political/economic systems created by governments and how they handle stains in the food production/distribution systems.  Widespread famines are very rare in democracies and are much more prevalent in authoritarian regimes.  Many of the recent examples have come from collectivation strategies that governments have implemented (currently Venezuela, but historically the Soviet Union and China).  The Choices program has some good resources about teaching current events with the famines today.

 

Tags: food, povertyhistoricalcolonialism, economic, political, governance, agriculture, crash course

 

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Bad drivers are a good indicator of a corrupt government

Bad drivers are a good indicator of a corrupt government | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Traffic accidents kill 1.25 million people per year, and it’s well-known that those deaths are disproportionately in low- and middle-income countries. Over at CityMetric, writer James O’Malley has added an interesting wrinkle, by showing a correlation between the number of traffic fatalities in a country and the corruptness of its government."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I love the last paragraph in this article because it echoes the "Broken Windows" theory--not at the neighborhood scale, but for the state.  Horrible driving isn't the worse thing for a country, but it is indicative of the degree of social trust in each other and in the collective system; corruption erodes both. 

 

"Bottom line: If you’re in a country where everyone drives on the sidewalk and nobody stops at stop signs, you can be pretty sure the government isn’t working right."

 

Tags: political, governancetransportation.

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Adilson Camacho's curator insight, June 10, 2016 2:12 PM
Será?
Caitlyn Scott's curator insight, June 14, 2016 1:05 AM
This article shows a scarily real insight into the effects of corruption on certain countries. Would be useful for situations where looking at the broad range of effects of corruption but also has some interesting statistics regarding earnings and road fatalities.
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Global Peace Index

"The 2015 Global Peace Index reveals a divided world, with the most peaceful countries enjoying increasing levels of peace and prosperity, while the least peaceful countries spiral into violence and conflict. Explore the state of world peace on the interactive Global Peace Index map. www.visionofhumanity.org "

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Middle East and North Africa is now the world’s least peaceful region for the first time since the Index began, due to an increase in civil unrest and terrorist activity while Europe, the world’s most peaceful region, has reached historically high levels of peace.  This might not seem shocking, but there is a great richness to this dataset that can provide detailed regional information as well as answer some big questions about global security.  Explore the data on your own with this interactive map of Global Peace or also of the states within the United States

 

Tags: political, terrorism, conflict, development, statistics, visualization, mapping, governance.

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Romania’s lost generation: inside the Iron Curtain’s orphanages

Romania’s lost generation: inside the Iron Curtain’s orphanages | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Romania's Soviet-era approach to child rearing led to one of history’s most comprehensive studies on the effects of institutionalisation on young children.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In the past I have highlighted pro-natalist government policies (and private encouragement) such as Singapore's National Night and Denmark's "Do it for Denmark!" Those programs and policies are designed to slow down declining populations; agency, choice and the well-being of the next generation are deeply embedded into the fabric of those plans.  This horrific, historical example shows everything that could go wrong with enforced pro-natalists policies in an authoritarian government.  

 

TagsRomania, declining populations, historicalgovernance.

 

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Power Distribution: Unitary, Confederation, and Federal

an easy, graphical way to learn the three forms of government power distribution.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In the unit on the political organization of space, one of the items listed to understand is the various forms of governance, including unitary, federal, and confederate forms of government.


Questions to Ponder: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each system?  How do this impact the human geography and how does the human geography help to shape these governance systems?  What real world examples can you think of for these categories? 


Tags: APHG, political, governance, unit 4 political, video

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The Myth of the Caliphate

The Myth of the Caliphate | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Myth Article #1: Western pundits and nostalgic Muslim thinkers alike have built up a narrative of the caliphate as an enduring institution, central to Islam and Islamic thought between the seventh and twentieth centuries. In fact, the caliphate is a political or religious idea whose relevance has waxed and waned according to circumstances.


Myth Article #2: ISIS may use terrorism as a tactic, but it is not a terrorist organization. Rather, it is a pseudo-state led by a conventional army. So the counterterrorism strategies that were useful against al Qaeda won’t work in the fight against ISIS.


Myth Video #1: This video points to the reasons that recruits are attracted to extremism (not just poverty and ignorance).


Tags: politicalgovernance, religion, Islam, historical, terrorism, geopolitics, ISIS.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, November 26, 2015 5:12 AM

Myth

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, November 30, 2015 2:32 PM

The idea of the Caliphate seems to be more of what all the groups which called themselves Caliphates seem to be pursuing. It seems to me that the fact of the matter is less important than the idea, as what happened one hundred years ago is far less important than what is believed to have happened. That ISIS is a state can be argued, but the fact that they are fighting a conventional war is indisputable. Yes, the tactics we use must be shifted, but this means that support from aircraft or by indirect means are even more viable than they were during the Second Gulf War.

 

 

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One Place, Two Names

One Place, Two Names | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The government of the People’s Republic of China calls the country’s westernmost region Xinjiang, but the people who have lived there for centuries refer to their home as Eastern Turkistan. Many times when two groups do not refer to a place by the same name, it points to a cultural or political conflict, as is the case here.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Multiple names on the map can hint at bigger cultural and political fault lines.  Is it Londonderry or just Derry?  The Sea of Japan or the East Sea?  This article I wrote for the National Geographic Education Blog is on the always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province.  


TagsCentral Asia, toponyms, culture, political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia, religionIslam, landscape.

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Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:45 PM

it seems that this a a recurring theme with china. disputed lands surround this country inside and out, they claim to own all of it as well. but when the people that live their claim to be independent and choose not to associate themselves with you than it creates and interesting dynamic.

James Piccolino's curator insight, March 24, 2018 9:52 AM
Very interesting. I am curious to know where this will lead to. There is something also unnerving about how most of us are never taught this in public schools even though it is a very big and very important topic. I can not image there being a split eventually over time, though there is no way that this area will stay as they are with the treatment of their government. This is surely a region to keep an eye on.
othni lindor's curator insight, October 20, 2018 4:06 AM
This article talks about how the "government of the People’s Republic of China calls the country’s westernmost region Xinjiang, but the people who have lived there for centuries refer to their home as Eastern Turkistan." Usually when two groups or more have different names for the same place there is a political or cultural conflict happening in that country. 
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The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests

The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The territory's residents are demanding democracy in city intersections, not central squares.


The significance of the protests, which have brought tens of thousands into the streets, lies not only in what protesters are demanding but also in where they're demanding it—and where they're not. Consider that pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong typically happen in Victoria Park, which is about two and a half miles from Central District and which hosts the annual June 4 candlelight vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing. This time around, however, few police or protesters have ventured there.

The unpredictable, spontaneous geography of the protests is important precisely because it transcends the status quo. It is a testament to how serious these demonstrations are that they refuse to be contained.

Tags: political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia.

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Morgan Manier's curator insight, April 24, 2017 5:20 PM
This article relates to our class by people protesting and with our projects, people in Syria protested and were punished and this relates to political geography. My opinion is that people should be acknowledged with why they are protesting and where they are doing it, also how it affects everyone else. 
Colby Geiger's curator insight, April 28, 2017 7:25 AM
This article relates to political geography because the protestors of Japan are protesting to shut down the cities main shopping center where the government buildings are. The people of Japan want democracy and I believe that they should have it. To me, democracy is a fair way for the people of a country to choose a ruler and have everybody heard for their opinions.
Kobie Carroll's curator insight, April 28, 2017 11:44 AM
I believe the OCLP (Occupy Central with Love and Peace) campaign had good intentions, wanting to build a truly harmonious society. I, however, believe they made a wrong decision to shut down Hong Kong's Central District. This relates to what we are learning because it shows how individuals with conflicting views can express hate towards each other in one geographical area.
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Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off

Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Tensions escalated on Sunday when the broader Occupy Central protest movement threw its weight behind student-led protests, bringing forward a mass civil disobedience campaign due to start on Wednesday.  China's leaders must be sitting uncomfortably in Beijing.

As long as the protests continue, there is a chance they will spread to the mainland, where many are unhappy with one-party rule.  But if the protesters hold their ground, how far will Beijing allow events to spiral before getting directly involved?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Hong Kong is probably the only place under the control of the People's Republic of China (PRC) where protests of this type against the government could have started.  Hong Kong, once administered by the UK, was turned over to the PRC, but with special conditions that grant Hong Kong residents greater freedoms than those available the rest of the citizens of mainland China (One China, two systems).  Hong Kong students are protesting for full universal suffrage and for the right to choose their own candidates--something that Beijing is not willing to concede; some autonomy yes, power to make further breaks with Beijing?  No.  In addition to political control, some students feel economically marginalized by Beijing's policies.  In 1997, when Hong Kong became a part of the PRC, it represented 18% of the GDP of the country; today it is only 3% of the PRC's economic output.  The Chinese govt. is currently blocking Instagram, trying to prevent the spread of viral images that show discontent.  Still have questions?  You are not the only one as the world turns it's gaze to China wondering about the strength of the Communist Party and the collective will of the protestors. 


Tags: political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 6, 2014 5:42 AM

Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:36 PM

Seeing all of these protesters laying across the highway caught my interest.  These people are serious about what they want with their elections and it is not have their candidates picked out for them.  People are taking over roads, shopping malls, schools, whereever they can go to prove their point.  They know that the amount of police forces is not enough to stop them.  Although for the most part other countries are staying out of the business of China Britain is supporting the protests as long as they stay within the rules of protesting.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:42 PM

It will definitely be interesting to see how far this political protest goes and how far the Chinese Government will go to stop this. China in some ways is a victim of its own success, in the past China would have been able to simply throw its military might on the political dissidents and silence all opposition but how possible is that today? Now China is a global economic power and the Western World's view on China matters, not wanting to risk trade problems China is showing far more caution this time around. While China is reaping the rewards of its world position without doubt China is also missing some of the benefits of the Bamboo Curtain.

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France to redraw nation's map to save money

France to redraw nation's map to save money | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"France's administrative regions — Normandy, Alsace, Burgundy, etc. — have long been part of the identity of citizens of this diverse country. Now, merging some of them is seen as a logical way to save money on bureaucracy, and the French support it — as long as it's someone else's turf."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an interesting concept that shows the divergence between national and regional identities.  68% of French citizens recognize that consolidating regional administration will be economically more efficient at the national level; however 77% don't want to see the elimination of their own local region.   The formation of place-based identities operate an multiple scales.  How would you feel if your state was absorbed by a neighboring state?  How come? 


Tags: communityplacegovernance, France.

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Jordan Schemmel's curator insight, May 21, 2014 1:04 PM

How countries identify smaller administrative regions is crucial to understanding both how they are governed, and how these regions impact cultural differences.

Joy Kinley's curator insight, June 16, 2014 3:28 PM

It is amazing that people are all for redrawing and redistricting until it impacts them.  This is a touchy subject in the United States with some small towns and communities merging even though they only have decades of identity not centuries.  If these merges happen in France I see that there will be many strikes and protests and when it is over everyone still would maintain what they would call their "real identity" not what France gave them.  

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Protests in Venezuela

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video shows the student activist perspective as to the reasons and causes of behind the political protests in Venezuela in the last few days (as will many YouTube videos, remember that this source isn't trying to be 'fair and balanced,' but to spread the strength of their movement).  The Venezuelan government has expelled U.S. consular officials, accusing them of helping to organize the student movement.  This is an issue worth following in the coming week.   


Tags: Venezuela, South America, political.

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Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 26, 2015 1:48 PM

A modern-day Nazi-Venezuela seems to be forming right in front of our eyes.  It's crazy to think that governments in 2015 are still committing horrific crimes against humanity.  These protesters are some of the bravest people in the world, in my opinion.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, October 13, 2015 12:51 AM

Alot of the things in this video reminded me of the Arab spring, were the internet was shut down, and the military was sent out to abuse and arrest peaceful protesters. I hope that the people of Venezuela never give up. It is after all the majority, the population, that fuels the country!

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 22, 2015 11:33 AM

Wow!  I understand there are two sides to every story and we are just seeing one side here in this video. But its amazing how when a population of people have had enough of political corruption, being treated unfairly by peace keepers, living in poverty while others are living extravagant life styles, some by no fault of their own and want to vent and have exhausted their means of peaceful communications with no one that wants to listen then its captivating how citizens who are on the outside think these people are irrational. This is happening more and more globally even in our own country. People have had enough of being treated unfairly, countries becoming a military state or a police state, corruption by the very government officials who are elected by the people to represent the people. I am not an expert or even know what is happening to cause this protest except for this video but I do know that when people of this magnitude and the people of Syria and the people of the U.S.  including civil rights movement protesters of the 1960s ( oh yeah that's right that was a no cause protest those were people who didn't know what they were talking about they were irrational people because they took to the streets because no one would listen peacefully) then people on the outside should listen. Its sad that protest get out of hand because it takes billions in reparations, it causes unstable governments, causes deaths, and most importantly lack of trust among the citizens and government officials, as well as local officials. This prevents growth via jobs, tourism, etc... so sad...

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IMF hits Argentina with first-ever censure of a country

IMF hits Argentina with first-ever censure of a country | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The International Monetary Fund has censured Argentina for failing to supply accurate economic data, the first time the global crisis lender has taken such an action against a member.
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chris tobin's comment, February 21, 2013 1:22 PM
The debt was paid with the IMF in 2006 but now the IMF will assist Argentina with data collection-their sovereign debt is indexed to inflation, and wonder what their international debt is
chris tobin's curator insight, February 21, 2013 1:37 PM

Perhaps Argentina's under-reported inflation percents is due to the fact that its sovereign debt is indexed to inflation and has deep international debt but the IMF will assist Argentina with data collection (since 2006 their debt was paid with the IMF)

 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 1, 2015 8:25 AM

For the first time in history, the IMF has censured a member state. This is a low point for Argentina. The censure was levied due to the nations failure to provide the organization with accurate economic data. The fault is entirely on the country of Argentina in this debacle. You can not lie about how your country is performing economically. Hopefully the nation will be more forthcoming with its economic statistics in the future.

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On Israel's system of segregated roads in the occupied Palestinian territories

On Israel's system of segregated roads in the occupied Palestinian territories | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Tags: MiddleEast, territoriality, transportation, borders, conflict, governance, political, unit 4 political

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Zach & Wafeeq's curator insight, November 4, 2014 5:04 PM

Area/Geography: This is a diagram of what Israel is like for Palestinians and Israelis. It shows extremely restricted access for Palestinians. Whereas Israelis have all of the roads. This diagram fairly falls under the Area/Geography category because of the fact of how the Israeli government is manipulating the area/geography of the land of Israel to suit their best interest. 

Jacqueline Garcia pd1's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:33 PM

Here one can see the political territoriality among Israel. For example in this article webpage we saw that people with Palestinian license plates can not drive on Israeli roads. This is one of the many instances where people are segregated according to their beliefs. 

Olivia Campanella's curator insight, October 31, 2018 11:30 AM
In this article you can see a map of how the roads in the Palestinian territories were split. There is a key down at the bottom to see which roads were for Israel and which were for Palestinians.
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Venezuela Is Starving

Venezuela Is Starving | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Once Latin America’s richest country, Venezuela can no longer feed its people, hobbled by the nationalization of farms as well as price and currency controls. The resulting hunger and malnutrition are an unfolding tragedy.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Widespread famines are very rare in democracies and are much more prevalent in authoritarian regimes.  This is because food production is but a small part of a larger picture; the system of food production and distribution in Venezuela has been decimated by the nationalization of private farms.  Individual farmers can’t make a profit in the new political economy and consequently are going to stop producing for the market.  This vicious cycle is political in nature more so than in is agricultural. 

 

Tags: food, poverty, Venezuela, South America, economic, political, governance, agriculture, food production.

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Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, February 9, 2018 10:46 PM
(South America) It's depressing to see the dramatic turn of events in Venezuela's political and economic climate in recent decades, coming from the richest country in Latin America to the country with the world's highest inflation rates and number two on country murder rating. This causes increased levels of crime, stealing and looting food for families to survive. The Venezuelan government has refused foreign aid and yet cannot find a solution to fixing the lack of food, healthcare, and medicine. This problem affects several South American countries and always poses a threat of travelling across borders. We tend to think of the Western World as more enlightened yet just south of the US we find authoritarian countries with the highest crime rates in the world, starving its own people.
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, February 15, 2018 2:05 PM
Sometimes the world seems like a really hopeless place and this article definetly supports that train of thought.  Venezuela only a few years ago produced enough food to feed themselves and actually had enough surplus that they were able to export.  What they couldn’t grow they would import.  The food shortage that the country is facing is not an agriculture problem in the sense that the land is incapable of producing food or shipping routes have been compromised, but a problem with how the government started running the system.  As one farmer said, “‘The system is created so you can’t win.’”  The government took ownership of many large farms and fertilizer and feed production.  Those groups have barely been producing anything and causes the entire agricultural community to suffer and Venezuelans to starve.  Another problem that is making the situation in Venezuela even worse is that the economy collapsed and inflation is rampant.  The value of currency is so low that people cannot even afford the scarce food available.  There are few employment opportunities, making finances even more strained.  But perhaps the most upsetting part is that children are literally starving to death and there is nothing hospitals can do to stop these deaths because they themselves do not have the resources.  The combination of an economy in shambles and a botched agricultural system have left Venezuelans in turmoil with little government effort to help.  The government is not only not providing help, but they are literally refusing aid from foreign governments who have offered.  Geographically, Venezuela is located in an area with sufficient farm land and large reserves of oil, so they shouldn’t be struggling.  But people have the ability to ruin or ignore what nature has provided them and that is why Venezuelans are withering away.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, September 29, 2018 10:05 PM
Venezuela has so much potential to be such an affluent country however it is severely mismanaged. It seems when the political power was lifted Venezuelas economy went down the tubes. There’s no hope in city for these people because the people in office do not even want to acknowledge that there’s a lack of food crisis. It is so bad that many Venezuelans have lost twenty pounds in only a year. Some call it the Maduro diet. The situation of the lack of food is a big problem the biggest concern is how fast Venezuela got to into this dire crisis. Even the meat in Venezuela is losing weight. Pigs for example have lost close to 60-70 Ibs with the food humans are suppose to be consuming losing weight. How can there be enough food to feed this crisis. 
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There has never been a country that should have been so rich but ended up this poor

There has never been a country that should have been so rich but ended up this poor | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Venezuela has become a failed state.  According to the International Monetary Fund's latest projections, it has the world's worst economic growth, worst inflation and ninth-worst unemployment rate right now. It also has the second-worst murder rate, and an infant mortality rate that's gotten 100 times worse itself the past four years. And in case all that wasn't bad enough, its currency, going by black market rates, has lost 99 percent of its value since the start of 2012. It's what you call a complete social and economic collapse. And it has happened despite the fact that Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves. Never has a country that should have been so rich been so poor.  There's no mystery here. Venezuela's government is to blame--which is to say that Venezuela is a man-made disaster. It's a gangster state that doesn't know how to do anything other than sell drugs and steal money for itself."

 

Tags: Venezuela, South America, op-ed, economic, political, governance.

 
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Douglas Vance's curator insight, February 2, 2018 4:08 PM
Venezuela has the most promise to be an economic powerhouse. Their plethora of fossil fuel resources should make them such. However, their gross abuse of power and economic mismanagement have doomed the country to devastating economic hardships. Despite the clear fact that Venezuela should be a global fossil fuel player, the blatant and indredibly brash corruption and governmental incompetence was too much for their economic potential to withstand. 
David Stiger's curator insight, September 23, 2018 3:54 PM
The line "there has never been a country that should have been so rich but ended up this poor" is jarring. Venezuela has the world's largest oil supplies - a natural resource so valuable some refer to it as "black gold." But, the nation has oddly become, as the article judged, a "failed state." The nation is suffering from staggering unemployment, poverty, and economic decline. People are starving and cannot meet their basic needs. The country tried tackling poverty under a socialist system by sharing the oil wealth with its citizens. This socialist project collapsed into failure with the onset of increased government corruption. 

Hugo Chavez, the country's former president, set in motion a government that was doomed to fail. Seeking to find supporters who were loyal to him, Chavez removed the economic and oil experts from power. Oil production fell drastically while government officials began engaging in drug dealing and embezzlement of public funds. The three pronged cancer has crippled an economy based on only one export - oil. If the economy had been diversified from the start, perhaps the crisis would not be so terrible. 

To alleviate hyper-inflation, President Nicolas Maduro has been subsidizing certain businesses. These businesses have found that selling their capital on the black market is more profitable than restocking their shelves to sell needed products at discounted rates. The governments efforts only cause the nightmare to grow. 

As people decry the deplorable acts of crony capitalism in the U.S., it would be wise to examine how sour a purely socialist system can turn. More equitable distribution of a country's wealth can be wise only if there are safeguards against corruption. Venezuela is a key example of what happens when a elite few loot and pillage an entire nation. 
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Doreen Massey on Space

Doreen Massey on Space | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In honor of the late Doreen Massey, an eminent geographer who died Friday at age 72, we repost her Social Science Bites podcast, which has long been one of our most popular. In this interview, Massey asked us to rethink our assumptions about space -- and explained why.
Seth Dixon's insight:

If you've wanted to see how an academic geographer approaches space, politics, and power, this podcast is a good entry point.  It is also a nice intellectual tribute to a giant social theorist who contribute greatly within the discipline and beyond (see also the AAG's tribute).

 

Tagsspace, spatial, political, governance, culture, cultural norms, perspective.

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Michele Fitts Barnaby's curator insight, March 16, 2016 12:14 PM

If you've wanted to see how an academic geographer approaches space, politics, and power, this podcast is a good entry point.  It is also a nice intellectual tribute to a giant social theorist who contribute greatly within the discipline and beyond.

 

Tags: space, spatial, political, governance, culture, cultural norms, perspective.

Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, March 19, 2016 8:38 PM

If you've wanted to see how an academic geographer approaches space, politics, and power, this podcast is a good entry point.  It is also a nice intellectual tribute to a giant social theorist who contribute greatly within the discipline and beyond (see also the AAG's tribute).

 

Tags: space, spatial, political, governance, culture, cultural norms, perspective.

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Xinjiang Seethes Under Chinese Crackdown

Xinjiang Seethes Under Chinese Crackdown | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Chinese government has introduced unprecedented measures aimed at shaping the behavior and beliefs of China’s 10 million Uighurs." http://wp.me/p2Ij6x-60y

Seth Dixon's insight:

This NY Times article is a good update on the situation of Xianjiang.  I wish this was available when I wrote this article (with links for more teaching resources) for the National Geographic Education Blog on the always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province.  

 

TagsCentral Asia, culturepoliticalconflictgovernance,ChinaEast AsiareligionIslamlandscape.

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Chinese forces 'used flamethrowers' in Xinjiang operation

Chinese forces 'used flamethrowers' in Xinjiang operation | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A Chinese military newspaper gives graphic details of a raid in Xinjiang province against suspected militants." http://wp.me/p2Ij6x-60y 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This BBC article gives an update on China's crackdown on Uighur nationalism under the guise of cracking down of 'foreign terrorists.'  Earlier this year I wrote this article for the National Geographic Education Blog on this topic, the always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province of Xinjiang.  


TagsCentral Asia, political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia.

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Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 12:11 PM

As a student who someday wants to teach social studies at the high school level, this article brought to light one of the hardest concepts to teach. There are always two sides to every story. While the victors get to write history, the victims are often silenced over time. One man's violent rebellion is another man's treasonous operations. Honestly, the Chinese have done an excellent job of keeping this out of the western media. The only real struggle we ever hear about in China that of Tibet and Taiwan.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 12:37 PM

This is really disturbing to know that China is attacking their ethnic minority who is just protesting for what they believing in. To make things worst, the Chinese government controls the media and they basically can say whatever they want. For example, referring to these ethnic minority as foreign terrorist. That changes the perspective on how people view and perceive the situation happening in Xinjiang.

tyrone perry's curator insight, April 24, 2018 5:13 PM
The Chinese government is on an all out mission to eradicate terrorizism from the Uighur and anyone else for that matter.  Thou news reports are controlled by China its tough to get accurate reports.  But their use of force shows they are not playing.  Uighurs are suspected Turkish militant Muslims that have been forced out over the years.  China has said they have been terrorizing and attacking the people of Xinjiang. 
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Eye in the Sky

Eye in the Sky | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Ross McNutt has a superpower — he can zoom in on everyday life, then rewind and fast-forward to solve crimes in a shutter-flash. But should he?

In 2004, when casualties in Iraq were rising due to roadside bombs, Ross McNutt and his team came up with an idea. With a small plane and a 44 mega-pixel camera, they figured out how to watch an entire city all at once, all day long. Whenever a bomb detonated, they could zoom onto that spot and then, because this eye in the sky had been there all along, they could scroll back in time and see - literally see - who planted it. After the war, Ross McNutt retired from the airforce, and brought this technology back home with him. Manoush Zomorodi and Alex Goldmark from the podcast 'Note to Self' give us the low-down on Ross’s unique brand of persistent surveillance, from Juarez, Mexico to Dayton, Ohio. Then, once we realize what we can do, we wonder whether we should."


Tagsgovernance, remote sensing, geospatial.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a great podcast to show the ethical ramifications of using advanced geospatial technologies.  This shows the amazing potential as well as some of the privacy issues that wide-scale surveillance can raise.

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The colourful propaganda of Xinjiang

The colourful propaganda of Xinjiang | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"China is in the midst of a crackdown on what it describes as 'terrorism driven by religious extremism'. The campaign is focused on the western province of Xinjiang, home to China's Uighur ethnic minority who are predominantly Muslim."

Seth Dixon's insight:

China does not have a good track record of dealing with ethnic and religious minorities and the murals that can be seen in Xinjiang are a testament to that fact.  This has led to many Muslims in Western China being attracted to more radical ideas.  While I certainly don't condone radicalism nor China's heavy-handed tactics, I am fascinated by the cultural messages that are strategically being placed in the landscape to influence the politics and culture of the region.  


Tags: political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia, religion, culture, Islam, landscape.

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Kendra King's curator insight, April 3, 2015 7:37 PM

This art seems like a logical extension of the government’s use of power although I personally don’t agree with their abuse of power. In China the government will uses its authority to monitor the personal activities of its citizens as demonstrated by the pictures dictating what people should and shouldn’t wear. When the citizens don’t follow through with China’s rule, violence typically happens. In fact, a fair deal of the paintings showed violence (i.e. the tank running people over). I actually find those depictions more offensive and disturbing than any of the other pictures because the end result is clearly that of dath rather than disapproval. Now, I understand that some places need to be ruled with an iron fist (i.e. Iraq), however I don’t really see how threatening people with more violence solves the issue of extremism. If anything, doesn’t this just give the extremist more of a reason to dislike the government? As such, is the government just creating more resentment that will lead to demonstrations in the future? I say this because eventually when a local population is subject to such horrible treatment, there isn't much else to lose and very little reason no to fight back. 

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 16, 2015 9:20 PM

This article has great insight on the way government influences popular belief. We have seen these many times in American society also when government was afraid of communism during the cold war for instance. Often we have prejudgements or beliefs and we are not sure where they even stem from. Pushed Propaganda can be very influential over the mass population, in instilling certain beliefs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:45 PM
The point the Chinese are trying to make is that the Muslim people are bad, they do unacceptable things and it needs to be taken care of. They are making it hard for a couple to get married and if they do it is with special permission. They even banned anyone under the age of 18 to enter a mosque. Praying in Xinjiang is highly regulated and comes with strict rules and consequences. In all their propaganda you can see how they represent getting rid of the muslims because they are wearing black. If you ask me, it seems like the government is doing this because they are afraid of being taken over and losing the area, just like we used to use propaganda in the wars.
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Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution

Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The story behind the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests
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Giselle Figueroa's curator insight, October 8, 2014 2:52 PM

What caught my attention was the name that this protest has ("umbrella revolution”). After investigating I could find why this protest has that name, the reason is  because the people who are protesting  used umbrellas to protect themselves from tear gas.The Occupy Central movement ( which is  a civil disobedience campaign initiated by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong , and advocated by Occupy Central with Love and Peace) threatens to block financial and commercial center of Hong Kong if their demands are neglected: the resignation of the Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying and the possibility of holding truly democratic elections in 2017. If none of the parties can agree I think there will be any solution for both parties and this will continue.

Maria la del Varrio's curator insight, October 10, 2014 2:56 PM

The umbrella revolution in Hong Kong is simply that Protestants are using all kind of tools to block the tear gas that the police are pulling them. Protests in Hong Kong are to change some of the rules that Beijing has also want Leung Chun-ying resign his position. The vast majority of the protesters are young and who began the protests were also young people who are fighting for the good of their city.

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Moving Argentina’s Capital From Buenos Aires Could Make Things Worse

Moving Argentina’s Capital From Buenos Aires Could Make Things Worse | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Argentina should be careful in considering the implications of the idea of moving the capital [from Buenos Aires] to Santiago del Estero. While a dramatic move might be appealing as a fresh start, it could end up aggravating the challenges of governing the country. Capitals, like flags, are symbols, but their choice has very real consequences."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Countries occasionally choose to move their capital cities to a region of the country where they want to promote growth.  A new capital such as the one being considered in Argentina, would be called by geographers a forward capital.  Although that term is not used in the article, it is one of the few examples of a forward capital being discussed a news article and it nicely discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages of forward capitals and the impacts they can have of regional growth, regime stability and the political organization of space.  


Tagspolitical, governanceArgentinaSouth America, unit 4 political.

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Lena Minassian's curator insight, February 13, 2015 11:18 AM

This article discusses how there is a chance that the capital city in Argentina can change from Buenos Aires to a smaller city called Santiago Del Estero which is in the middle-north of the country. Many say this move can heal the divide between the two cities but the bigger picture it that it'll make it a lot worse. I wasn't aware that moving capital cities is actually a more common thing than we think. Buenos Aires is very over populated which is one of the reasons for wanting to move it. The major problem is an outcry from the people living in those cities and rebelling against this which could cause the government more problems. 

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:50 PM

Very interesting article on capital city moves in this century. It also works for capital cities in the US that are rural in nature and away from the bright city lights. The plus side is that capital cities located within the most populated areas of a country or state will be under intense scrutiny to do the right thing and politicians will be held accountable for their actions. Doing business in the place where you live usually has this effect.

The negative aspect of moving to a rural area is that politicians can govern in relative anonymity away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. There is also a fear factor in South American countries that we in the US don't face; coups that will overthrow governments if they don't do the right thing. A protest in Buenos Aires for instance will carry much more weight than a protest in the rural setting of Santiago del Estero.

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 28, 2015 11:08 AM

National capitals are symbols of identity for countries, and moving them constitutes altering said symbol dramatically. It is a decision that should not be made lightly, as it does have consequences, and this should be kept in mind by Argentine legislators as they debate moving their capital. I did not agree with the author's assertion that shifting the capital away from major population centers decreases the government's ability to effectively lead; look at the United States, Brazil, Canada, Australia, etc. All of these nations are enormous in size, with urban populations scattered in all corners of their borders, yet their governments are still able to govern faraway urban centers effectively. I think his claim is right within the context of Argentina's history and the reality that Buenos Aires is a "super city" in much the same way that Mexico City is; to move the government away from the nation's only enormous urban center would be to suggest that the government is scared of its own people, and would almost undoubtedly lead to increased corruption. However, to make a blanket statement that this is true for all countries is absurd. I, for one, and interested in seeing if the move takes place. Perhaps the move would do the nation some good. However, I have a feeling that the problems the Argentine government are trying to run away from, and that the populace are protesting about, will only get worse with increased space between the ruling body and its constituents.

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Gambia president rejects English language

Gambia president rejects English language | Geography Education | Scoop.it
President's decision to shift official language from English to local language comes months after its decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Gambia has been showing signs that they want to remove neo-colonial influences.  Last year the President withdrew the Gambia from the Commonwealth (a collection of 54 countries, mainly former British colonies), tired of being 'lectured' about human rights.  Now they have rejected English as the official language.  Mandingo (38%), Fula (21%) and Wolof (18%) are the three most widely spoken languages but it is currently unclear if one of these will become the new official language or if several will receive that status. 


Questions to Ponder: What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the old colonial language as the official language in multilingual African countries?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a local language/languages as the official language?    


Tags: languagegovernance, Africa, colonialism.

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 3, 2014 1:25 PM

Gambia does not want the English language to be the official language that is spoken anymore.  Noting that it reflects the UK and they don't believe that they and the UK have much in common especially on the platform of human rights.  Cutting the English language as the official language continues to cut ties with the UK.  One of the problems with this is if there are multiple local languages spoken in Gambia which one are they going to choose as the official language.  With this more problems are presented, those that do not know the local language that is chosen to be official will have to learn the new language quickly if they want to have any idea as to what is going on in their own country.

Kendra King's curator insight, March 15, 2015 6:32 PM

The president’s reaction is more than understandable. His country is in the midst of trying to heal after de-colonization. His actions show he is trying to cut out the west altogether. It is an extreme move, but if done correctly it could give the country a chance to start over to develop their own culture again. I think having a more local language could have the potential to unite the country. However, given the many dialects spoken in a typical African country, I do wonder what language will actually be chosen. If anything, there might have to be a few official languages so as to keep the peace among the population. Furthermore, English will still need to be learned. As much as Gambia may resent the United States or the UK those countries are too dominant. As such, the nation will have to do business with them or one of the many other countries that speak English. When this happens, English will be the expected language and not an African dialect because Africa doesn’t have the power to really negotiate its terms. Therefore, I think all this will end up being is a symbolic stand as the world is far to interconnected for Gambia to truly cut off ties with the western world permanently.  

 

I can also see where the president is coming from in regards to the human right’s issues as well. I am in no way condoning the countries handling of domestic affairs. I think a firing squad is outdated to say the least. However, being talked down to by a country who egregiously violated the population without ever really making amends is insulting. Furthermore, being reliant on their money is probably insufferable. I would say the country might need the money, but given how aid is improperly implemented in most foreign countries I don’t even think cutting them off matters much. Still, one might think that after experiencing such social injustice the leader would be a little more compassionate to its people. 

Aidan Lowery's curator insight, March 21, 2016 8:46 PM
unit 3
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Oil Pirates and the Mystery Ship

Oil Pirates and the Mystery Ship | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Forget Somalia, the world's new epicenter of piracy is on the other side of Africa."


Some experts believe that the uptick in the number and geographical reach of pirate attacks is due in part precisely to the 2009 government amnesty for the Nigerian militants in the Niger Delta who had justified their attacks on oil infrastructure and their widespread theft of crude oil as a political protest. "With the political pretense lost, there is no longer any need for oil thieves to limit themselves to targets in the Delta," a United Nations study said.

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Shiva Prakash's curator insight, February 3, 2014 11:20 PM

Technology is changing the shopping habits of buyers. Compete recently conducted a survey that reported a rapid increase in the number of people using their mobile devices for shopping Online shopping which u can buy from home easily with lots of designs of cloths and new technology mobile phones without going out for shopping just click here to go eaZy http://shopdeer.blogspot.in/

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:08 AM

This article points to the little known problem of piracy off the western coast of Africa.  When one thinks of African piracy, one thinks of the Somali pirates it is important to know that piracy is not just limited to eastern Africa.

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The countries most at risk for a coup in 2013

The countries most at risk for a coup in 2013 | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The map [above] sorts the countries of the world into three groups based on their relative coup risk for 2013: highest (red), moderate (orange), and lowest (beige)."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While this is not predicting a coup in any of these places, this map is a visualization of data that was used to assess the factors that would make a coup likely (to see an alternate map, here is the Washington Post's review of the same data that mapped the 30 countries most likely to have a coup). 


Questions to Ponder: What factors do you think would be important in compilling data of this nature?  What makes a country susceptible to this type of governmental overthrow?  What creates governmental stability? 


Tags: political, conflict, unit 4 political, governance, Africa.

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wereldvak's curator insight, January 26, 2013 5:28 AM

Factoren die meespelen zijn hieronder genoemd.

 

The algorithm for successful coups uses just four risk factors, one of which is really just an adjustment to the intercept.

Infant mortality rate (relative to annual global median, logged): higher risk in countries with higher rates.Degree of democracy (Polity score, quadratic): higher risk for countries in the mid-range of the 21-point scale.Recent coup activity (yes or no): higher risk if any activity in the past five years.Post-Cold War period: lower risk since 1989.

The algorithm for any coup attempts, successful or failed, uses the following ten risk factors, including all four of the ones used to forecast successful coups.

Infant mortality rate (relative to annual global median, logged): higher risk in countries with higher rates.Recent coup activity (count of past five years with any, plus one and logged): higher risk with more activity.Post-Cold War period: lower risk since 1989.Popular uprisings in region (count of countries with any, plus one and logged): higher risk with more of them.Insurgencies in region (count of countries with any, plus one and logged): higher risk with more of them.Economic growth (year-to-year change in GDP per capita): higher risk with slower growth.Regime durability (time since last abrupt change in Polity score, plus one and logged): lower risk with longer time.Ongoing insurgency (yes or no): higher risk if yes.Ongoing civil resistance campaign (yes or no): higher risk if yes.Signatory to 1st Optional Protocol of the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (yes or no): lower risk if yes.

from:http://dartthrowingchimp.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/assessing-coup-risk-in-2012/ ;