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The Political Organization of Space

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Presentation on theme: "The Political Organization of Space"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Political Organization of Space

2 Boundaries Boundaries are what create states.
A boundary is: an invisible line marking the extent of a states territory. How these line are created and the fact that it is a shared piece of land with another state can cause conflict.

3 Boundary – a vertical plane that cuts through the rocks below and the airspace above, dividing one state territory from another.

4 Boundary Basics Three determinants: Geometric Physical

5 Types of Boundaries Geometric boundaries – based on grid systems
eg. Boundary between the US and Canada Physical-political boundaries – follow an agreed-upon feature in the physical geographic landscape. eg. Boundary between the US and Mexico

6 Geometric Boundaries Using a latitude or longitude line to determine boundary. Drawing straight line boundaries. 49th parallel

7 Antecendent boundary a boundary that existed before human settlement

8 Physical Boundaries Desert Mountain Water

9 Mountains Can be an obvious and effective separation of nations.
Limited contact with people living on other side. Useful because permanent.

10 Water Rivers, lakes and oceans

11 Law of the Sea

12 Meandering River

13 Ethnographic Boundaries
Religious Language Would be easiest, however they are hardest to enforce and establish Lines between cultures can be ambiguous and fluid

14 Religious Boundaries Do not happen often
Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India Catholics and Protestants

15 Language Boundaries Unifying a state.
Used to create new borders after WWI

16 Berlin Conference European countries forewent the ‘nation-state’ model completely disregarding the ethnic diversity of the continent and placed conflicting ethnic groups together setting them up for unrest at their infancy.


18 Boundaries, Control, and Disagreements
Disagreements can lead to conflict Conflict meaning military engagement There have been several agreements forged to curb military deployment. Organizations include: NATO CENTO SEATO /seato North Atlantic Treating Organization- Southeast Asian Treating Organization- Central Treaty Organization

19 Generally, these organizations were established to stop the spread of communism and force states around the world to “pick a side” US v. Soviet Union

20 Warsaw Pact and Satellite States
Was created in reaction to the Warsaw Pact which united countries under Soviet Communism. Countries that were apart of the Warsaw Pact were considered to be ‘satellite states’. This created a cultural boundary known as the “Iron Curtain”


22 Shatterbelt Region Conflict between the two super powers would often times include, or were centered around other states. These states were called ‘shatterbelt regions’

23 East Asia Korean War Vietnam War

24 Middle East Soviet occupation of Afghanistan

25 Central America Nicaragua Contra supported groups by US

26 Shatterbelt regions have a history of unrest and was ripe for communist and democratic control but it never really stuck. Geographically they tended to be isolated, mountainous regions with little governmental control.

27 Buffer State Neutral countries that lye between two conflicting states. Mongolia has been an example of conflicts between China and the Soviet Union

28 Theories of Control and Political Power
The Heartland Theory The Rimland Theory The Domino Theory

29 Geopolitics Geopolitics – the interplay among geography, power, politics, and international relations.

30 Classical Geopolitics
German School eg. Ratzel’s organic state theory British / American School eg. Mackinder’s Heartland Theory

31 Mackinder’s Heartland Theory: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island Who rules the World Island commands the world”

32 The Heartland Theory Whoever owns Eastern Europe and Western Asia has the political power and capital to rule the world. Eastern Europe is extremely rich in agricultural resources. i.e Ukraine could produce enough wheat to sustain a large population. Coal production

33 The Heartland Theory Cont
Fans: Hitler Fails: Hitler- he couldn’t complete with tough resolve and harsh climate. Technological advancements When asked about Russia in 2012 Mitt Romney said “This is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe”


35 The Rimland Theory Nicholas Spykman, “Containment”
The belief that forming alliances in necessary to keep the Heartland in check. The heartland is so powerful that no country alone contain it. NATO, SEATO,CENTO are evidence of this theory Also, the heartland may control the land, but the rimland controls the sea.




39 The Domino Theory When one country experiences rebellion or political disunity, other countries around it will also experience turmoil as a result leading to a domino effect of political instability in the region. Used as propaganda for involvement in Southeast Asia conflicts like Korea and Vietnam Critics say US is fine even when Mexico isnt.

40 Irredentism US foreign policy model
An attempt by one country to provoke coups or separatist movements in another country. Example: Country A tries to spark a separatist movement from a nationality within country B. This can be done through radio, literature, radio programs, or television ads.

41 Examples of US irredentism
US companies like Facebook are used to spark revolution in Arab countries by communicating the benefits of capitalism and democracy. Used a lot also during WWII and cold war against Germany and Soviet Union

42 Other Forces Centripetal and Centrifugal forces to influences states and their populations. Centrifugal forces- forces that break up a state. Centripetal forces-forces that tend to unite a state. To make an enemy out of the enemy and a hero of yourself









51 C.C Forces Religion Language Government Ethnicities Morphology
External Threat

52 Religion Centrifugal:

53 Language Centripetal:

54 Government Centrifugal:

55 Ethnicities Centrifugal

56 Morphology Centrifugal

57 External Threat ???? Which one?

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