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Political Geography.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Geography."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Geography



4 Basic introductory concepts
State A government with a capitol and border Examples – the USA, Canada and Russia Nation A national group, often the same as “ethnic group” (or linguistic group) The Pottawatomi “nation”, the Flemish nation, the Thai nation “nation-state” When the borders of a “nation” match the border of a single state Centrifugal forces Centripetal forces

5 Cooperation among States – the “supranational” institutuion
Political and military cooperation The United Nations Regional military alliances Economic cooperation The European Union

6 United Nations Members
Fig. 8-1: The UN has increased from 51 members in 1945 to 191 in 2003.

7 The European Union and NATO
Fig. 8-12: NATO and the European Union have expanded and accepted new members as the Warsaw Pact and COMECON have disintegrated.

8 Defining States and the Development of the “State Concept”
Problems of defining states Korea: one state or two? China and Taiwan: one state or two? Varying sizes of states




12 Antarctica: National Claims
Fig. 8-2: Antarctica is the only large landmass that is not part of a state, but several countries claim portions of it.

13 Development of the “state concept”
“City state” emerged with agriculture Multicultural Empires eventually emerge and become the historical norm Treaty of Westphalia – 1648 – the establishment of the principle of “sovereignty” The ideal of the “nation-state” – 19th century

14 The Fertile Crescent Fig. 8-3: The Fertile Crescent was the site of early city-states and a succession of ancient empires.

15 Colonial Possessions, 1914 Fig. 8-4: By the outbreak of World War I, European states held colonies throughout the world, especially throughout Africa and in much of Asia.

16 Colonial Possessions, 2003 Fig. 8-5: Most of the remaining colonies are small islands in the Pacific or Caribbean.

17 Boundaries and Boundary Problems of States
Shapes of states Five basic shapes Types of boundaries Boundaries inside states Unitary and federal states Trend toward federal government Electoral geography

18 State morphologies: (1) compact, (2) elongated, (3) fragmented, (4) prorupted, and (5) perforated

19 African States Fig. 8-6: Southern, central, and eastern Africa include states that are compact, elongated, prorupted, fragmented, and perforated.

20 Types of borders: frontier, geometric and contested
Fig. 8-8: Several states in the Arabian Peninsula are separated by frontiers rather than precise boundaries.

21 Aozou Strip: A Geometric Boundary
Fig. 8-9: The straight boundary between Libya and Chad was drawn by European powers, and the strip is the subject of controversy between the two countries.

22 Division of Cyprus: a contested border
Fig. 8-10: Cyprus has been divided into Green and Turkish portions since 1974.



25 European Boundary Changes
Fig. 8-13: Twentieth-century boundary changes in Europe, 1914 to Germany’s boundaries changed after each world war and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

26 Unitary vs. Federal States


28 Electoral Geography




32 “Gerrymandering” Fig. 8-11: State legislature boundaries were drawn to maximize the number of legislators for Republicans in Florida and Democrats in Georgia.


34 PG Case Study: The EU in 2007 World’s largest supranational union (with 460 million people presently) 25 member states (internally very diverse, multiple languages and ethnicities) Established officially in 1992 by the Treaty of European Union Most significant factors Single common market Customs union Single currency managed by the European central bank (Euro) Common trade policy Common agricultural policy Abolished passport and border checks internally for most member states (greater mobility for people, capital, ideas)

35 Institutions of the EU Council of the EU The EU commission
The European Court of Justice The European Parliament The European Central Bank Yet, there is no official capitol like Washington DC in the US Rather, these institutions are headquartered in various important cities BRUSSELS: European Commission STRASBOURG: European Parliament LUXEMBOURG CITY: European Court of Justice


37 Geographical Expansion of the EU
Founding members (“core members”) Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg

38 Progressively expansion to Periphery and the East

39 What is the point of the EU? Advantages of the EU…
Peace Economically-dependent countries rarely go to war with each other Counterweight to US dominance Population (it’s bigger) Economy (about the same size) Rising importance of the Euro on the global stage Problem solving abilities Prosperity – open borders create economic efficiency and economic growth

40 However, there are “Eurosceptics”

41 Economic Patterns within the EU

42 What about Culture? People who identify as European first, their nationality second…
Germany 22% Belgium 21% Luxembourg 21% France 20% Britain 15% Denmark 6% Greece 5%

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