Political Geography Intro
Physical vs. Political Borders in VA
Geopolitics • Study of human systems, which are constantly in a state of spatially organizing the land to fit the needs of humans
Geopolitics can answer…. • Why are some areas more prone to war than others? • What are some countries larger than others? • Who determines the boundaries of a state?
Do you remember these? • State – An area with boundaries & sovereignty • Nation – A group of people with a common culture • Nation-state – Occurs when a state’s boundaries coincide with the cultural boundaries of a people
Struggle for Sovereignty among nations • Kurds – Want to establish a state called Kurdistan in portions of Turkey, Iran, & Iraq • Basques – Want to establish a state called Euskal Herria. Mostly located in northern Spain • Flemish – Want to create a state called Flanders. Mostly located in Belgium & feel different from the Walloon population of Belgium • Zulu – Want to create a state called Kwa. Ndebele in South Africa. During Apartheid they were forced to a low status in S. A. • Hmong – Most live in Laos or in refugee camps in Thailand. Many have moved to the United States following the Vietnam war. • Palestinians – What can you tell me?
Boundaries • Three factors that have created the boundaries of states we see today: 1. Latitude & Longitude lines 2. Natural Features 3. Cultural Factors (Language, Religion, Ethnicity)
Geometric Boundaries • Created from latitude & longitude lines • Easy to spot on map because of straight lines that make up the borders of a state
Geometric Boundaries • Antecedent- A Boundary that was put into place before people moved there; so settlement ends up following the boundary • If you wanted to be Canadian you moved to the other side of the 49 th parallel, if you wanted to be American you stayed on that side
Physical Boundaries • Can include rivers, lakes, mountains, deserts, peninsulas, etc. • Problems? ? – If boundaries follow rivers projects such as bridges require the cooperation of two different governments – Or rivers often change (erosion) so the boundaries may also change
Cultural Boundaries (Ethnographic) • Boundaries determined by language, religion or ethnicity • Hardest to establish and enforce because lines between cultures can be ambiguous & fluid
Compare these maps of Africa…
Colonialism in Africa & Boundaries • Conference of Berlin (1884) – 14 European countries met to divide the continent of Africa into countries – Instead of drawing boundaries according to ethnicity they made their own boundaries that didn’t fit the cultures – Ethnic groups who had been in conflict for centuries were now supposed to live **Superimposed Boundary together
Different Types of Boundary Disputes • Ethnic Conflicts – Hutus & Tutsis • Religious Conflicts – Sunni & Shiite Muslims – India (Hindus) v. Pakistan (Muslims)
4 Types of Boundary Disputes 1. Location 2. Operational 3. Allocation 4. Definitional SPELLS LOAD!!!
Location Boundary Dispute • Arise when the border is not questioned but the interpretation of the border is • Mississippi River shifts & the original intention of the boundary is called into question
Operational Boundary Dispute • Occur when two countries next to each other disagree on a major issue involving the border • US & Mexico disagree over illegal immigration • Both sides agree on where the border is but cannot agree on how to handle border crossing
Allocation Boundary Disputes • Question use of border in relation to a type of natural resource • When an aquifer extends across a boundary, who has the dominant right of the water?
Definitional Boundary Dispute • Arise from the legal language of the treaty’s definition of a boundary • Usually one country sues another country in the International Court of Justice
Solving Boundary Disputes • United Nations Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1. Foreign Nations couldn’t have their military or other ships travel within 12 miles of the coast of another country 2. Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs)Countries have the right to explore for resources 200 miles off their shores
Solving Boundary Disputes • Median-line principlea line is drawn in the water equidistant from each competing party • Caspian Sea- Iran feels Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan & Kazakhstan have an unfair advantage to resources
Power of Place #2 • http: //www. learner. org/series/powerofplace /page 2. html