1POLITICAL GEOGRAPHYStates, boundaries, andgeopoliticsPOLITICAL GEOGRAPHYStudy of the human organization of spaceand the distribution of political phenomenaIncludes the study of nationalityIncludes the study of country units orstatesTYPICAL ISSUESBoundary delineationsInternational alliancesRegional compactsProducer CartelsVoting PatternsConstituency boundariesSTATES, NATIONS, ANDNATION STATESStateIndependent political unit, occupying adefined, permanently populated territory. Astate has full sovereign control over its internaland foreign affairsMost countries can be considered statesExceptions includeColoniesProtectoratesOf all of the worlds states, the largest in termsof area covered in Russia. Russia is so vastthat it spans eleven different time zonesNationRefers to a group of people with a commonculture who occupy a particular territoryAlways a strong sense of unity usually arisingfrom shared customs and beliefsLanguage and religion may be integral in theidea of nationSTATES, NATIONS, ANDNATION STATES
2Nation StateA state whose territorial extent coincides withthat occupied by a distinct nation or peoplewith common beliefsE.g. Japan, Iceland, PolandSTATES, NATIONS, ANDNATION STATESTYPES OF NATION STATESBi-national / multi-nationalContains more than one nationPart nation stateOne nation is dispersed across more than onestateE.g. Arab nation is present over 17 statesStateless nationA nation that has no stateEVOLUTION OF THEMODERN STATEDeveloped by Europeans in the C18thPeople owed allegiance to a state and thepeople that it represents rather than to theruling bodyGEOGRAPHICCHARACTERISTICS OF STATESEvery state can be distinguished fromother states by its geographiccharacteristicsThese includeSizeShapeLocationCore areas and capitalsSIZESize of states vary from very small (e.g.Leichtenstein) to very large (e.g. Russia)In general larger states have access tomore resources than smaller statesSmall states are more likely to be culturallyhomogenous than large onesSHAPECOMPACTThe ideal state shapeis considered as acircle with the capitallocated in the centerCapital is accessiblefrom all parts of thestate
3PRORUPTAlmost compact statesContain one or two narrowextensions of the territoryMay representPeninsulasBuffer zones between two otherstates that may other be joinedA corridor providing access tostate resourcesShape cont.ELONGATELong and narrow statesMost parts of the state arefar from the capital, and canbe isolatedCharacterized byClimatic diversityCultural diversityShape cont.FRAGMENTEDComposed entirely ofislandsFragmentation makes itdifficult to impose centralcontrol over territoryShape cont.PERFORATEDOccurs when one statecompletely surroundsanother over which it hasno controla.k.a. enclaveBefore removal of theBerlin Wall, EastGermany was perforatedShape cont.LOCATIONAbsolute and relative location aresignificantE.g. Iceland has an absolute location ~65°north in the Atlantic OceanThe country is mostly barren (lots of volcanic andglacial activity)Most settlement is concentrated around the rim ofthe island
4Relative location of one state comparedto another can be vitalE.g. Landlocked states are disadvantagedStates that have no ocean frontageNo access to maritime trade routeslocation cont.CORES AND CAPITALSOriginal core area of a state usuallycontains the densest population, andlargest citiesSoutheast EnglandNortheast USACapital city is usually in the core areaBOUNDARIESEach state is separated by internationalboundariesWithin that boundary a stateAdministers lawsCollects taxesProvides defenseBefore boundaries there were frontierzonesBOUNDARY CLASSIFICATIONNatural boundariesfollow a physical feature, often a river, mountain rangeor lakeMountains and Oceans create the best boundariesGeometric boundariesfollow a geometric shape, typically a straight line,parallel of latitude, or meridian of longitudeParts of the US/Canada and US/Mexico boundary aregeometricUS/ Mexicoborder @Mexicalli
5US/Canada borderSaskatchewanAlbertaMontanaBoundary classificationcont.Antecedent boundariesdrawn before there was much humansettlement in an areaSahara of northern AfricaCanada / US the result of a treaty signed in1846 between the US and BritainSubsequent boundariesdrawn after people had already settled inan areaConsequent boundaries (ethnographicboundaries)drawn in such a way as to pay particularattention to human patterns on thelandscapeIndia and Pakistan boundary drawn carefully toaccommodateMuslim majority in PakistanNon-Muslim majority in IndiaBoundary classificationcont.Superimposed boundariesdrawn after people were living in an areaand ignores human patternsMost of the boundaries of Subsaharan Africawere drawn with no real regard to tribal identitiesand other human patternsRelic boundariesno longer functioningBerlin Wall separating east and west BerlinHadrian’s Wall separating those areas in Britainconquered by the Roman Empire, from those notconquered by the Roman EmpireBoundary classificationcont.Great Wall ofChina: a relicboundaryHadrian’s Wall: a relic boundary
6Boundary disputesPositional disputesStates disagree about where a boundary actually liesTerritorial disputesArises over the ownership of a particualar regionResource disputesFunctional disputesNeighboring states disagree over function of boundaryGeopoliticsA branch of political geography thatconsidersEconomicPoliticalMilitary aspects of spaceCan assess and recommend actions ininternational relations best designed fornational security, projection of powerGeopolitical theories – theheartland theoryRooted from Halford MacKinder at thebeginning of the C20th when Russiaand Germany dominated EasternEuropeMajor powers would be those thatcontrolled the land rather than the seaThose lands with the largest landmasseswould become the most powerfulThe interior (heartland) would provide abase for world conquestModification of the Heartland theory byNicholas SpykmanCoastal fringes (rimland) are the key, not thecoreContain the densest populationsContain the most resources“ Who controls the Rimland rules Eurasia,Who rules Eurasia controls the destinies ofthe world”Geopolitical theories – therimland theoryBy the end of WWII, heartland was equatedwith the USSRDuring the Cold War US foreign policy wasdominated by containmentConfine the USSR by making regional alliances inthe RimlandNATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)CENTO (Central Treaty Organization)SEATO (Southeast Treaty OrganizationAllows military intervention where communistexpansion seemed to be taking placeGeopolitical theories –containmentStates that where a country in the Rimlandis successfully taken over by a country inthe “Heartland”, all adjacent countries willfallInvoked to explain US intervention inVietnamGeopolitical theories – thedomino theory
7Centripetal ForcesPromotes unity and national stabilityNationalismUnifying institutionsOrganization and AdministrationTransportation and CommunicationOnly 8 railroads cross the boundary between the US andCanada – promotes national growthCentrifugal ForcesChallenges State AuthorityNation states generally are not affected bycentrifugal forces that weaken or destroysa state’s unity and stabilityMost strong in states that contain two ormore nationalities that occupy distinctterritoriesWhen more than one nationality occupiesa stateCan be disruptive if a group believes thatits right to self-determination has not beenachievedNationalities have the right to governthemselves in their own state or territorySubnationalismCentrifugal Forces cont.RegionalismOccurs when a minority nationality has anexplicit territorial identityExpressed as a desire for more autonomyand sometimes separation from the rest ofthe countryQuebec, CanadaScotland, UKCentrifugal Forces cont.
8DevolutionOften when regionalism occursgovernments have offered decentralizationof political powerE.g. Scotland and Wales now have their ownparliaments although they are not states ofthemselvesCentrifugal Forces cont.