1. Refer to Figure 6.25 on SLIDE# 62 What kinds of conflicts may arise between conservation goals and indigenous peoples’ rights, and how might we resolve them? Consider this question in the context of the text’s examples and the the recent protests at Standing Rock. http://time.com/4548566/dakota-access-pipeline-sta…2. Refer to figure 6.21 on SLIDE #54What might cause so large and populous a nation as Kurdistan to fail to achieve independence? Consider this question additionally in the context of the recent Catalonia efforts for independence from Spain. http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/08/europe/spain-catalon…
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CULTURE, GLOBALIZATION, LANDSCAPE
RODERICK P. NEUMANN
PATRICIA L. PRICE
C. 2015 W.H. FREEMAN & CO.
A DIVIDED WORLD
POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY AND STATES
The geographic study of politics and political matters.
• An array of both formal and functional political regions
exists; the most important and influential is the state.
A centralized authority that enforces a single political,
economic, and legal system within its territorial
boundaries. Often used synonymously with “country.”
• Earth is divided into roughly 200 independent countries
FIGURE 6.1 The independent countries of the world. In the twentieth century, the map
was in rapid flux, with a proliferation of new countries. This process began after World
War I with the breakup of such empires as those of Austria-Hungary and Turkey, then
intensified after World War II when the overseas empires of the British, French, Italians,
Dutch, Americans, and Belgians collapsed. More recently, the Russian-Soviet Empire
• In the modern international system, states recognize
each other’s sovereignty.
The right of individual states to control political and
economic affairs within their territorial boundaries
without external interference.
A learned cultural response, rooted in European
history, that produced the external bounding and
internal territorial organization characteristic of
• Nationalism: The sense of belonging to and self-identifying with a
national culture; springs from a learned or acquired attachment
to region and place.
• Late 18th century – The nation-state was proposed as the ideal
political geographical unit …
• Geographic boundaries of a nation (a people and its culture)
would be identical to the territorial boundaries of the state.
• The more people have in common culturally, the more stable and
potent is the resultant nationalism.
• Modern nation-states include Germany, Sweden, Japan, Greece,
Armenia, and Finland.
FIGURE 6.2 Nation-states, multinational countries, and other types. This
classification, as is true of all classifications, is arbitrary and debatable. How
would you change it, and why?
• Theoretically, the more compact the territory, the
easier is national governance.
• Circular or hexagonal forms maximize
compactness, allow short communication lines, and
minimize the amount of border to be defended.
• Brazil and France are examples of states that
approximate this compactness.
• Any one of several unfavorable territorial distributions can
inhibit national cohesiveness – but there are exceptions for
all territorial forms in which they do not create instability.
A piece of territory surrounded by, but not part of, a country.
A piece of national territory separated from the main body
of a country by the territory of another country.
An intrusive piece of territory with only the smallest of outlets.
FIGURE 6.3 Differences in the distribution of national territory. The map, drawn from
Eurasia, Africa, and South America, shows wide contrasts in territorial shape. France
and, to a lesser extent, Brazil approach the ideal hexagonal shape, but Russia is
elongated and has an exclave in the Kaliningrad District, whereas Indonesia is
fragmented into a myriad of islands. The Gambia intrudes as a pene-enclave into the
heart of Senegal, and South Africa has a foreign enclave, Lesotho. Chile must
overcome extreme elongation. What problems can arise from elongation, enclaves,
fragmentation, and exclaves?
THE EXAMPLE OF PAKISTAN
• Pakistan provides a good example of the national instability
created by exclaves.
• It was created in 1947 as two bodies of territory separated
by almost 1000 mi (1600 km).
• West Pakistan held the capital and most of the territory. East
Pakistan was home to most of the people.
• West Pakistan hoarded the country’s wealth, exploiting East
Pakistan’s resources but giving little in return; also ethnic
• 1971 – Pakistan broke apart – the distant exclave seceded
and became Bangladesh.
BOUNDARIES IN HISTORY
• In the past, many boundaries were not sharp,
clearly defined lines, but zones called marchlands.
• Today, the nearest equivalent is the buffer state, an
independent but small and weak country lying
between two powerful, potentially belligerent
countries (e.g., Mongolia between Russia and
China; Nepal between India and China).
A small, weak country dominated by one powerful
neighbor to the extent that some or much of its
independence is lost.
• Most modern boundaries are lines rather than zones, and we
can distinguish several types:
❖Natural: Follows some feature of the natural environment,
such as a river or mountain ridge.
❖Ethnographic: Follows some cultural border, such as a
linguistic or religious border.
❖Geometric: Drawn in a regular, geometric manner, often a
straight line, without regard for environmental or cultural
❖Relic: No longer functions as a boundary.
FIGURE 6.5 A boundary disappears. In Berlin, the view toward the
Brandenburg Gate changed radically between 1989 and 1991, when the
Berlin Wall was destroyed and Germany reunited. (Courtesy of Terry G.
• Political geographers recognize two basic types of spatial
Concentrates power in the central government and grants
little authority to the provinces (e.g., France and China).
Gives considerable powers and even autonomy to its
constituent parts (e.g., the United States and Australia).
• Whether federal or unitary, a country functions through
some system of political subdivisions.
Any factor that supports the internal unity of a country (e.g.,
official national language, monuments, national parks).
Any factor that disrupts the internal unity of a country (e.g.,
ethnic divisions, problematic spatial organization of territory).
• Strong group identity (nationalism) is often key to a state’s
territorial integrity. BUT …
• The meaning and form of nationalism are unstable (e.g.,
WWI – “The outcome of a mentality in which the individual
person had to sacrifice for the good of the greater whole:
• When a specific ethnic group or ethnically based
political party controls the state’s military, we sometimes
see forced deportations and attempted genocides in
efforts to create an ethnically homogeneous national
citizenry (e.g., Rwanda in 1994, Balkans in the 1990s,
Occurs when an ethnic or linguistic minority population
seeks to secede from the state or to alter state territorial
boundaries to promote cultural homogeneity and political
• The world’s newest nation-state, South Sudan, is a good
FIGURE 6.6 The war in Darfur. The far west of Sudan is home to African cultures
ethnically distinct from the Arab peoples that control the Sudanese
government and military. Many international observers have labeled the
Sudanese military’s efforts to control Darfur as acts of genocide.
(AP Photo/Abd Raouf.)
• E-mail, the Internet, and the World Wide Web can
cross borders in ways previously not possible.
• How can countries impose their laws and
boundaries in the computer age?
❖Restrict citizens’ access to technological hardware –
becoming increasingly difficult for even the most totalitarian
❖Allow citizens’ access to the web but control the flow of
information they receive (e.g., deal cut between Google
and the People’s Republic of China in 2006).
FIGURE 6.7 Cyber censorship during the Arab Spring. Beginning in Tunisia in
2011, a wave of political protests swept across Arab countries with the aid of
the Internet and various social media. Several governments responded by
drastically restricting their citizens’ access to the Internet. (AFP/Getty Images.)
SUPRANATIONAL POLITICAL BODIES
• In addition to independent countries and their
governmental subdivisions, the third major type of
political functional region is the supranational
Exists when countries voluntarily give up some portion of
their sovereignty to gain the advantages of a closer
political, economic, and cultural association with their
Regional trading blocs:
Agreements made among geographically proximate
countries that reduce trade barriers so the nations will be
better able to compete with other regional markets (e.g.,
FIGURE 6.8 Some supranational political organizations in the Eastern
Hemisphere. These organizations vary greatly in purpose and cohesion.
ASEAN stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and its purposes
are both economic and political. What might this map indicate about
THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU)
• The EU is the most powerful, ambitious, and successful
supranational organization; present membership of 28
• Member countries have all sacrificed some sovereign
powers to the EU administration.
• The euro has been adopted by most EU members.
• Most international borders within the EU are now open,
requiring no passport checks.
• The EU is standardizing a range of social norms related to the
tolerance of religious and ethnic difference, human rights,
and gender relations.
ELECTORAL GEOGRAPHICAL REGIONS
• Voting in elections creates another set of political
The study of the interactions among space, place, and
region and the conduct and results of elections.
• Following each national census, political redistricting
takes place in the United States – new boundaries are
drawn for congressional districts to reflect the population
changes since the previous census.
• Geographers often assist in the redistricting process.
GERRYMANDERING THE VOTE
The drawing of electoral district boundaries in an awkward
pattern to enhance the voting impact of one constituency at
the expense of another. Done by:
❖Drawing district boundaries to concentrate all of the
opposition party into one district; creates an unnecessarily
large majority while also ensuring that it cannot win
elsewhere – “packing.”
❖Drawing boundaries to divide opposition votes into many
districts; dilutes the opposition’s vote so that it does not form
a simple majority in any district – “cracking.”
FIGURE 6.9 Gerrymandering of a congressional district in Maryland.
Gerrymandering is often identifiable by the oddly shaped boundaries it
produces. The shape of Maryland’s Third District, likened to an “amoeba
convention” and “a broken-winged pterodactyl,” is a case in point. While
gerrymandering is difficult to prove, such shapes raise suspicions. In this case,
Democrats defended the shape, while Republicans wanted the district
redrawn. Gerrymandering may be in the eye of the beholder. (Source:
RED STATES, BLUE STATES
• In recent years, various commentators in academia
and the popular media have used maps of national
election results to suggest that the United States is
divided into distinct culture regions.
• States where the majority of voters favored the
Democratic Party’s presidential candidate were
assigned the color blue.
• Those favoring the Republican candidate were
FIGURE 6.10 2012 presidential election results. News media have adopted a
standard color coding for political parties—red for Republican, blue for
Democrat—in election result maps. It is now common to hear of the United
States being politically and culturally divided into “red state” and “blue state”
regions. (Source: Courtesy of Mark Newman, http://wwwpersonal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012/.)
IS THE U.S. CULTURALLY DIVIDED
BETWEEN RED AND BLUE?
• Solid blocks of starkly contrasting colors give the
appearance of a deeply divided country (e.g., the
South appears politically and culturally conservative,
whereas the West Coast appears liberal).
• These maps are overly simplistic and, therefore,
misleading – give inordinate visual importance to states
of larger areal extent, no matter what their population.
• A cartogram provides a better representation of the true
significance of states in the election and the relative
proportion of voters favoring Democrats or Republicans.
FIGURE 6.11 Cartogram of the 2012 presidential election results. This map sizes
America’s 50 states in proportion to their respective populations. How does
this cartogram compare to the map in Figure 6.10 in its representation of the
relative popularity of the Republican and Democratic candidates? (Source:
Courtesy of Mark Newman, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/
THE PURPLE STATE MAP
• The limitations of the red state/blue state
designation have led to the introduction of the term
purple state to signify closely divided states.
• If we apply the purple state idea (i.e., shadings of
color) to county-level election results, we find that
the simplistic division of the United States into liberal
and conservative regions begins to break down.
FIGURE 6.12 Purple America. Rather than using stark color contrasts to
represent the 2012 presidential election results, this map uses color shading.
How does the use of shading affect our understanding of a sharply divided
American electorate that appears so prominent in Figure 6.10? What other
kinds of geographic voting patterns emerge? (Source: Courtesy of Mark
Newman, http://www-personal. umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012/.)
THE CORE AND PERIPHERY
The territorial nucleus from which a country grows in area and
over time – often contains national capital and main center of
commerce, culture, and industry – the node of a functional
• Peripheral areas generally display self-conscious regionality
and can provide settings for secession movements.
• Countries that diffused from core areas are, as a rule, more
stable than those created all at once to fill a political void.
• The absence of a core can blur or weaken national identity
and make it easier for various provinces to develop strong
local or even foreign allegiances (e.g., the Congo).
FIGURE 6.14 Russia developed from a core area. Can you think of reasons
why expansion to the east was greater than expansion to the west? What
environmental goals might have motivated Russian expansion?
AND POLITICAL INNOVATION
• One of the consequences of colonialism was the creation
of new patterns of mobility among conquered populations.
• Example: Colonial rule in Africa depended on a small cadre
of educated African civil servants.
• They were sent to universities in Europe where they
absorbed ideals of Western political philosophy (e.g., right
of self-determination, independent self-rule, and individual
• Educated Africans returned and organized new nationalist
movements to oppose colonial rule … spread of political
independence in Africa.
FIGURE 6.15 Independence from European colonial or white minority rule spread rapidly
through Africa in the 1950s and 1960s. Prior to the 1950s, there were only three
independent countries in Africa. Between 1951 and 1968, most attained self-rule. The
remaining few gained freedom over the next three decades. By 1994 independence
had spread from the Mediterranean to the Cape of Good Hope. Many of the ideas
about national liberation were spread by African leaders educated in Europe. Why do
you think it took a few countries so much longer than most to gain independence?
MOBILITY, DIFFUSION AND
• Political innovations also spread within independent
countries (e.g., the spread of suffrage for women).
• Federal statutes permit, to some degree, laws to be
adopted in the individual functional subdivisions.
• The result is often a patchwork legal pattern that
reveals the processes of cultural diffusion at
work(e.g., the clean air movement).
FIGURE 6.16 The diffusion of suffrage for women in the United States and of the Equal
Rights Amendment. The suffrage movement achieved victory through a constitutional
amendment in 1920. Both the suffrage movement and the campaign for an Equal
Rights Amendment (ERA) for women failed to gain approval in the Deep South, an
area that also lags behind most of the remainder of the country in the election of
women to public office. What might be the barriers to diffusion in the Deep South? The
states failing to ratify the ERA lay mostly in the same area. The ERA movement did not
succeed, in contrast to the earlier suffrage movement. (Source: Adapted in part from
Paulin and Wright, 1932.)
THE FORCED MOBILITY OF
• “Refugees have to move if they are to save their
lives or preserve their freedom. They have no
protection from their own state—indeed it is often
their own government that is threatening to
persecute them.” [The UN]
• Often repression is driven by cultural difference—
based on religion, race, or ethnicity—as much as by
political disagreement (e.g., by 2013 Syria was the
source of at least 1.6 million refugees who flowed
into the nearby countries of Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt,
Iraq, and Jordan).
• There is thus a nearly hidden political geography of
displaced persons worldwide.
• Some refugee camps last decades and become
major population centers absent on most maps.
• Millions of people are born and come into
adulthood in refugee camps with no promise of
becoming citizens in a new country and little hope
of returning to their home country – protracted
refugee situation (PRS).
FIGURE 6.17 Refugee
spaces in the Middle
East. Civilians fleeing
armed conflict that
establishment of the
state of Israel in 1948
produced a new
political geography of
refugee settlements in
the region. The United
Nations continues to
camps in four countries.
Civil and legal rights for
the 1.4 million camp
residents vary greatly
from country to country.
THE DIFFUSION OF
• Many observers have recognized the relevance of
contagion diffusion in the spread of armed conflict
from one state to another.
A type of expansion diffusion in which cultural
innovation spreads by person-to-person contact,
moving wavelike through an area and population
without regard to social status.
• Diffusion patterns are also relevant to analyzing the
spread of a single conflict within state boundaries.
THE DIFFUSION OF
• Conflicts in Europe and Africa – Violence has
spread through time and space in a pattern of
• Such cases illustrate escalation diffusion in civil wars
and armed conflicts (i.e., civil wars “intensify” or
“escalate” through diffusion of violence across
ever-greater areas over time).
• In one case, relocation diffusion—the movement of
violence to another location—took place as well.
• As globalization has evolved, one of the most profound
effects has been the division of the entire globe into
• Scholars generally trace the nation-state model to
Europe and the European settler colonies in the
Americas of the late 18th century.
• When the UN was created in 1945, it incorporated the
principle of national self-determination into its charter.
• This principle was adopted by independence
movements in European co …
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