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Unit IV: Political Organization of Space


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Title: Unit IV: Political Organization of Space

Unit IV Political Organization of Space
  • Mrs. Vazquez

Political Geography
  • organization distribution of political

  • effort to control land
  • world divided by borders
  • countries (or states)

  • From your textbook define

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I. States
  • 1. independent political unit
  • 2. w/ defined territory
  • 3. must be recognized by others

World States
  • 195 recognized by UN

What happened to state size?
Issues defining states
  • some territories not recognized
  • Taiwan
  • Tibet

II. Nations
  • A cultural unit bound by sense of shared

Remember garreau 9 nations quiz???
For example Native Americans who never gave up
their land to white settlers are mainly in the
harshly Arctic north of Canada and Alaska. They
have sovereignty over their lands, but their
population is only around 300,000.
Stateless Nations
  • Nations without a country
  • Palestinians
  • Kurds
  • Basques

Multinational State
A State with more than one nation. State that
contains two or more ethnic groups with
traditions of self-determination that agree to
coexist peacefully by recognizing each other as
distinct nationalities.
The Former Yugoslavia
A multinational state is defined as a state which
contains several different ethnic groups yet
their members identify themselves with the state,
irrespective of which ethnic group they come
from. Bosnia is classed as an multinational
state, yet the ethnic groups of Bosnia often
associate with other identities than Bosnian.
This is primarily down to the geopolitical
locations of several provinces within Bosnia
Republika Srpska and Herzegovina. Republika
Srpska has a large Serb population and
Herzegovina has a large Croat population.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Africa Most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are
former colonies and as such not drawn along
national lines, making them truly multinational
states. Thus, the largest nation in Nigeria is
formed by the Hausa-Fulani, with 29 of the
population similarly, the largest nation in
Kenya are the Kikuyu with 22 of the population.
Multinational State
  • The United Kingdom is an exceptional example of a
    nation state, due to its "countries within a
    country" status. The United Kingdom which is
    formed by the union of England, Scotland, Wales
    and Northern Ireland, is a unitary state formed
    initially by the merger of two independent
    kingdoms, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom
    of Scotland, but the Treaty of Union (1707) that
    set out the agreed terms has ensured the
    continuation of distinct features of each state,
    including separate legal systems and separate
    national churches.

The Nation-State
  • a nation a State (country w/ homogenous
  • A state whose territory corresponds to that
    occupied by a particular ethnicity that has been
    transformed into a nationality
  • about 20 countries
  • Exs Iceland, Portugal, Poland, Japan, Albania,
    Belarus, Sweden, Italy, Israel, Iran

Nation State-Israel
  • Israel's definition of a nation state differs
    from other countries as its concept of a nation
    state is based on the Ethnoreligious group
    (Judaism) rather than solely on ethnicity, while
    the ancient mother language of the Jews, Hebrew,
    was revived as a unifying bond between them as a
    national and official language.
  • Israel was founded as a Jewish state in 1948, and
    the country's Basic Laws describe it as both a
    Jewish and a democratic state. According to the
    Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 75.7 of
    Israel's population is Jewish.26 Large numbers
    of Jews continue to emigrate to Israel. Arabs,
    who make up 20.4 of the population, are the
    largest ethnic minority in Israel. Israel also
    has very small communities of Armenians,
    Circassians, Assyrians, Samaritans, and persons
    of some Jewish heritage. There are also some
    non-Jewish spouses of Israeli Jews. However,
    these communities are very small, and usually
    number only in the hundreds or thousands.

Pakistan-Nation State
  • Pakistan, even being an ethnically diverse
    country and officially a federation, is regarded
    as a nation state due to its ideological basis on
    which it got independence from British India as a
    separate nation rather than as a unified India.
    Different ethnic groups in Pakistan are strongly
    bonded by their common Muslim identity, common
    cultural and social values, common historical
    heritage, a national Lingua franca (Urdu) and
    joint political, strategic and economic interests

Part nation State
  • when a nation overlaps the boundaries of multiple
    States/you have multiple nations states the same
    nation (Arabia)
  • Arabs in North Africa

d. Stateless nation
Types of Relationships Between states
a. nation-State
b. multi-national State (Cyprus)
c. part-nation State (Arab)
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Spatial Characteristics of States
  • Smallest
  • Vatican City
  • City-states
  • Singapore, Monaco, San Marino
  • Microstates Andorra, The Vatican
  • Largest Russia

5 basic shapes
  • Compact (Uruguay, Zimbabwe, Poland)
  • Prorupt (extension out Thailand)
  • Elongated (Chile)
  • Fragmented (difficult to defend Philippines,
  • Perforated (country that surrounds another South

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Relative Location
  • size and shape matter!
  • absolute relative location matter!
  • Ex Singapore, Switzerland
  • Landlocked countries usually at disadvantage
  • Bolivia

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They can be grouped in contiguous groups as
follows Central Asian cluster (6) Afghanistan,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,
Uzbekistan European cluster (9) Austria, Czech
Republic, Hungary, Kosovo (partially recognized),
Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia and
Switzerland Central and East African cluster
(10) Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African
Republic, Chad, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Uganda,
Ethiopia, South Sudan South African cluster (4)
Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, ZimbabweCaucasian
cluster (3) Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Nagorno-Karabakh (unrecognized) South American
cluster (2) Bolivia, Paraguay
Boundary Types
  • 1. Physical mountains, rivers, lakes

2. Geometric lines of latitude/longitude
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  • 3. Cultural separated by language/religion
  • India Pakistan

Boundary Origins
  • 1. Antecedent border before populated
  • boundary that was created before the present day
    cultural landscape developedEx U.S.
  • 2. Subsequent border drawn after
  • 2 types
  • Consequent (Ireland N. Ireland)
  • Superimposed (British India)

  • Ireland N. Ireland

  • 3. Relict/relic Boundary historical boundary,
    no longer valid. Great wall of China, Berlin Wall

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U.N. Convention of the Law of the Sea
  • Territorial waters 12 NM out
  • Exclusive Economic Zone 200 NM (fish, mineral

a sea zone over which a state has special rights
over the exploration and use of marine resources
stretching 200 nautical miles from the coast. The
country that controls the EEZ has rights to the
fishing, whaling, etc., as well as the raw
material resources. -Median-line principle in
situations where there is less than 400 nautical
Types of Boundary Disputes
  • 1. Positional over border
  • 2. Functional over policies (immigration)
  • Resource (oil)
  • Territorial
  • - irredentism

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Capital Cities
  • usually centralized (core area)
  • Primate City dominates economic activity
  • some capitals relocated
  • Forward Thrust Capital (Abuja, Brazilia,
    Canberra, Islamabad)

Nigeria - Abuja
Nigeria - Abuja
  • Ratzels Organic Theory
  • countries are living organisms
  • Mackinder Heartland Theory
  • land-based power (pivot area Europe)
  • Spykman Rimland Theory
  • naval power

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Forms of Government
  • Unitary centralized govt (strong capital)
  • Federal govt organized by territories

Nigerias Federal Government Allows states
within the state to determine whether to have
Sharia Laws
Centripetal Forces
  • promote cohesion
  • nationalism
  • unify
  • better transportation/communication

Centrifugal Forces
  • challenges to the state
  • ethno-nationalism
  • devolution (autonomous regional govt)
  • inequality

Ethnocultural Devolutionary Movements
  • Eastern Europe
  • devolutionary forces since the fall of communism

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Economic Devolutionary Movements
  • Catalonia, Spain
  • Barcelona is the center of banking and commerce
    in Spain and the region is much wealthier than
    the rest of Spain.

Electoral Geography
  • Gerrymandering redrawing of voting districts to
    benefit 1 political party
  • protects minority districts

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Supranational Organizations
  • 3 or more states form an alliance
  • - military (NATO)
  • - economic (EU, NAFTA)
  • -political (UN)

  • Supranationalism a venture of three or more
    states (sometimes two or more) involving formal
    economic, political, and/or cultural cooperation
    to promote shared objectives. Some examples
  • -United Nations (UN) established at the end of
    WWII to foster international security and
    cooperation (192 member states) precursor was
    the League of Nations that went defunct at the
    beginning of WWII. Has many subsidiaries such as
    the Security Council, World Health Organization
    (WHO), ).
  • -European Union (EU) union of 27 democratic
    member states of Europe began with the formation
    of Benelux by the end of WWII, then with the
    formation of the European Economic Community
    (EEC) years later. The EU's activities cover most
    areas of public policy, from economic policy to
    foreign affairs, defense, agriculture and trade.
    The European Union is the largest political and
    economic entity on the European continent, with
    over 500 million people and an estimated GDP of
    gtUS18 trillion (2008).
  • -North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) a
    military alliance of western democracies begun in
    1949 with 28 member states today its members
    agree to mutual defense in response to an attack
    by any external party.
  • -North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) a
    trilateral trade bloc in North America created by
    the governments of the United States, Canada, and
    Mexico. Poverty rates have fallen and real
    incomes have risen in Mexico, but farmers havent
    fared well due to cheaper food from US
    agribusiness also US manufacturing workers have
    lost jobs to maquiladora plants in Mexico (mostly
    due to cheaper labor costs).
  • -Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
    confederacy of states of the former Soviet Union
    it possesses coordinating powers in the realm of
    trade, finance, lawmaking, and security also
    promotes cooperation on democratization and
    cross-border crime prevention. Some states are
    considered to be part of the near-abroad,
    referring to states (e.g., Baltic states
    Estonia, Latvia Lithuania) with strong Russian
    ties linguistically and politically

Global Scale The United Nations
Regional Scale The European Union
How many points?
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Domino theory the idea that if one land in a
region came under the influence of Communists,
then more would follow in a domino effect. A
resulting policy out of the Truman Doctrine that
promoted containment of communism, the domino
theory was used by successive United States
administrations during the Cold War to justify
American intervention around the world. New World
Order commonly refers to the post-Cold War era
vision in which world affairs would not be
dominated by the competition between the two
nuclear superpowers a positive and hopeful
vision for the future.
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