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Geographies of Political Change De- and Re- Territorializations.

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Presentation on theme: "Geographies of Political Change De- and Re- Territorializations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Geographies of Political Change De- and Re- Territorializations

2 Where and how does change occur? Sometimes peacefully –European Union Often amidst conflict –Looking for clarity in conflict zones…….

3 Huntington’s civilizations

4 “Balkanization”


6 Conflicts in Africa: 1990-2002

7 Ancient Kingdoms of Africa

8 The Spread of Islam in Africa

9 African Colonialism

10 Nations in Africa


12 African nations and states

13 A better explanation of global political change? The fundamental clash is not about civilizations but about “different conceptions of community and how these conceptions should be reflected in political arrangements and organizations.” (Holsti). Key is linking expressions of communal identity territorial control BUT AT WHAT SCALE?

14 Political Geography-Key Terms State – political unit with defined territorial limits Nation – group of people sharing cultural characteristics –Ethnographic boundaries – match nations to state boundaries Regionalism: Government at the regional level Global/International Governance and Politics

15 Political Geography-Two key imperatives Centripetal forces - pushing together –citizenship rules, common language, strong state –regional unions –international agreements Centrifugal forces – pulling apart –Multi-national state, regional disparities in income –Balkanization –Fragmentation


17 Political change In order to understand how the political world is changing…….  Need to understand where it has been and where it is now Historical context

18 Empires and Kingdoms Pre-1000 AD: Discrete Empires –China, African kingdoms, Latin American (Pre-Colombian) 1000 AD  Kingdoms – France, Germanic Empire, Principality of Poland, etc. –Feudalism

19 Feudalism gives way to the State End of Feudalism: –Struggles and peasant rebellions, –spread of trade, –Spread of Renaissance culture and classical political ideas –Military technology

20 Early modern states Two Types during 16 th -18 th C. –absolutist France, Prussia, Spain, Austria, Russia, Sweden –constitutional monarchies UK and Holland Characteristics: –Absorption of smaller, weaker units –Strengthened ability to rule –Tightened system of law and order –Single sovereign head

21 Absolutism paved the way for the emergence of the nation state by virtue of INSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNANCE : Territorial boundaries/uniform system of rule Fiscal management Centralized administration, military power Development of diplomacy and standing armies Law making and enforcement

22 The Interstate System: Westphalian Model The European “Society of States”: The Interstate System –Westphalian Model –Peace Treaties of Westphalia 1648, concluding 30 years war –1648-1945 (or later) Coalesced the system of politics and governance that we take for granted today What are the unique attributes of the model of Westphalia?

23 How did the Interstate system evolve? Expansions of state system by colonialism Intergovernmental organizations expand during end of 19 th century –ITU –Postal Union –Railway Congress –Patents –Maritime Law –Scientific Standards

24 The modern Nation-State Territoriality: exact borders Control over means of violence: “pacification” of peoples; breaking down of rivals (fragile achievement) Impersonal structure of power: needed distance from power of religion and nobility Claim to legitimacy: loyalty has to be won Since WWII: rise of liberal democracies –1974: 64% of states are authoritarian –1995: 75% of states are more or less democratic

25 Issues of Concern amidst Democratic Growth 1.Cycles of Democratic Growth –Reversals of Democracy –Illiberal Democracies 2.Democracy and Human Rights 3.Post-war international norms: what are they? 4.Uneven development 5.Responses to Globalization

26 The Diffusion of Democracy

27 Criteria for Democracy Constraints on the executive decision makers Extent of competition among political forces Regulation of political participation Openness of recruitment into decision making bodies From: O'Loughlin 1998

28 Diffusion of Democracy MOVIE!!

29 Political Geography-Two key imperatives Centripetal forces - pushing together Centrifugal forces – pulling apart What is the role of Borders? –Reinforced? –Made permeable? –Moved –Disappeared?

30 European Union/Euroland

31 Currently: 50 ongoing conflicts

32 Group 1 Group 3 Group 2 Issues: 1.Irredentism 2.Separatism 3.Minority Rights 4.Border Issues 5.Statelessness Group 5 Countries 4

33 Variations on a theme Fragmentation/ Balkanization –Yugoslavia –Maybe Georgia Separatist movements –Chechnya –East Timor (already finished) Border Conflicts –Israel/Palestine –Kashmir (Pakistan/India) Statelessness –Kurds –Palestinians Minority rights –Zapatistas


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