3 What is Geopolitics?The study of how geography impacts politics, demography, and economics, especially with respect to developing foreign policy and international conflicts.
4 GeopoliticsA term used to describe how nations or groups of people interact with or exert their influence over other peoples or surrounding nationsRefers to one nation’s sphere of influence over its neighbors
5 A key to understanding geopolitics is understanding that political attitudes and actions in the past are important factors in determining the current world condition.These attitudes develop in large part in response to the nation’s geographic situation in the world.
6 Many mechanisms can be used by a nation to exert its influence over anothercountry. Ø Military forceØ Trade Ø Foreign aidØ Mass mediaØ ReligionØ Economic sanctions and Industrial Development** Energy and Pollution** Population Policies
7 When interaction between groups or nations is "ʺconfrontational"ʺ human rights are often at issue. Human rights issues can involve:~ loss of life ~ economic deprivation ~ religious persecution~ torture ~ arbitrary detention ~ abuse of children (childpornograpghy, labour)
8 The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights – 1948 (rev. 1968)"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.""… entitled to all rights and freedoms without discrimination of any kind…"
9 The United Nations Commission of Human Rights receives over 400,000 complaints a year from individuals, families or groups such as Amnesty International
11 All humans are born free and equal and in dignity and rights Everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political opinion, national origin, property, birth or other status
12 All human beings are entitled to the following freedoms: ~ life ~ liberty ~ freedom from torture ~ equality before the law ~ freedom of movement (including right to immigrate) ~ ownership of property ~ freedom of opinion and expression ~ choice of employment ~ equal pay for equal work ~ unhindered trade union membership ~ a standard of living suitable for health or well-‐‑being ~ free participation in the cultural life of the community
13 How universally accepted are these human rights?
14 Malaysia argues that under Islamic law, men and women are treated differently China and Iran claim:"ʺtheir national circumstances are their own affair"ʺ ie. NOT the UN'ʹsShould traditional cultural values be placed ahead of Universal Human Rights?
15 Facts on Human Rights*Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive violation ofhuman rights in the world today*Discrimination against women and girls is an important cause ofmalnutrition. The very high rates of child malnutrition and low birthweight throughout South Asia are linked to such factors as women'ʹspoor access to education and their low levels of participation in paidemployment, compared to other regions.*More than 1 million children, mostly girls, are forced into prostitutionevery year*2 million girls each year are at risk of genital mutilation– approximately 6,000 per day*Disabled persons constitute ten per cent of the world'ʹs population79 percent of the indigenous people in Peru are poor, and more thanhalf live in extreme poverty*Some 250 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are currentlyworking according to the ILO. Of this total, 120 million are workingfull-‐‑time. 61% of child workers (153 million) are found in Asia;32% in Africa and 7% in Latin America(www.un.org)
18 SovereigntyA sovereign nation is one with a national government that is able to control what happens within its bordersi.e. unrestricted by the polices and actions of others
19 Sovereignty and Ethnicity Often, sovereignty and ethnicity conflict with each otherEthnicity – membership in a particular cultural group sharing cultural, linguistic and other traits in commonThe right of an ethnic group to independence if it so wishes (self‑determination) has long been accepted in principle – but in practice is often ignorede.g. Kurds, Welsh, Basques
20 Problems Associated with Ethnic Independence In practice, few ethnic groups have sole possession of an area of landMembers of other ethnic groups usually share the same area in a "ʺjumbled"ʺ manner
21 Problems Associated with Ethnic Independence b) An ethnic minority seeking independence would itself create other ethnic minoritiesWhere does it stop?
22 Problems Associated with Ethnic Independence c) Independence would produce literally hundreds of small nationsThis conflicts with the concept of the "ʺglobal village"ʺ of closer cooperation between nations and larger political and economic unitsConsider the case of Africa
23 Problems Associated with Ethnic Independence Presently there are 50 countries, but there are 5000 different tribal groups
24 Problems Associated with Ethnic Independence Does each tribe have a right to self-‐‑ determination?This would establish a number of micro-‐‑ nations of 50,000 to 100,000 people
25 Minority Rights are a major concern for the United Nations Ø Minorities are often disliked by the majority, who expect the minority to "ʺadjust"ʺ to the majority culture (eg. some countries prohibit the teaching of minority languages)Ø Minorities are often regarded as "ʺforeigners"ʺ -‐‑ even in their land of birthØ Persecution is often the result -‐‑ Xenophobia
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