Political Geography
.
Definitions
and
Examples
The Four Major Issues
1. Where are states located?
2. Where are boundaries drawn
between states?
3. Why do boundaries between
states cause problems?
4. Why do states cooperate with
each other?
Were are states located?
The Two Main Points are:


Problems of defining states
Development of the state
concept.
State:
A political territory equivalent to a
“country.” Necessary components to
qualify as a full-fledged state include
(a)defined boundaries,
(b)an effective government,
(c) international recognition of their formal
independence,
(d) full sovereignty,
(e) an organized economy and circulation
system, and
(f) a permanent resident population.
Problems in Defining states
There is some disagreement
about the actual number of
sovereign states.
 Koreas and
China-Taiwan

Development of the State
Concept.
City States
Colonies and Colonialism




European states came to control much
of the world through colonialism.
The colonial area began in the 1400’s
The three motives for colonies were
God, Gold, and Glory.
Most former colonies have become
independent states only a couple of
colonies are left.
A Case Study in
Colonialism
AFRICA
THE DARK
CONTINENT
AFRICA’S
PHYSIOGRAPHY
PLATE BOUNDARIES
CHAD
DJOUF
SUDAN
CONGO
KALAHARI
ESCARPMENT
B
A
S
I
N
S
NIGER
SHAVI
ZAMBEZI
NILE
R
I
V
E
R
S
CLIMATE
VEGETATION
EARLY KINGDOMS
THE ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE
COLONIALISM

EUROPEAN COLONIAL OBJECTIVES
– A port along the West African coast
– A water route to South Asia and Southeast
Asia
– 1500’s- looking for resources; Slaves
– 1850- industrial revolution occurs in Europe
 Increased demand for mineral resources
 Need to expand agricultural production
BERLIN CONFERENCE
1884
14 States divided up Africa without
consideration of cultures.
Results of superimposed boundaries
-- African peoples were divided.
-- Unified regions were ripped apart.
-- Hostile societies were thrown together.
-- Hinterlands were disrupted.
-- Migration routes were closed off.
So, when independence returned to Africa after
1950, the realm had already acquired a legacy
of political fragmentation.
COLONIALISM
French
Spain
Italy
Germany
Belgium
Portugal
Britain
COLONIAL POLICIES

Portugal: “Exploitation” (Guinea-Bissau,
Angola, Mozambique)
– First to enslave and colonize and one of the last to grant
independence
– Maintained rigid control; raw resource oriented

Belgium: “Paternalistic” (Rwanda, Zaire,
Burundi)
– Treated Africans as though they where children who
needed to be tutored in western ways; did not try to
make them Belgium
– Raw resource oriented; ignored the development of
natives
COLONIAL POLICIES

Great Britain: “Indirect Rule” (Ghana, Nigeria,
Kenya, Zimbabwe)
– Indigenous power structures were left intact to
some degree and local rulers were made
representatives of the crown.

France: “Assimilationist” (Senegal, Mali, Ivory
Coast, etc.)
– Enforced a direct rule which propagated the
French culture through language, laws,
education and dress (acculturation)
INDEPENDENT STATES IN AFRICA
1960
1950
1970
INDEPENDENT
THE LEGACY

Several hundred languages are spoken.

Antagonism between tribes (e.g., Rwanda)

Low level of development is linked to colonization
– Transportation facilities - Movement of goods is from
the interior to coastal outlets.
– Communication within Africa is impeded by desert,
dense forest, and lack of navigable rivers in certain
regions.
– Dual economy remains intact; most states rely on a
single crop or mineral and are vulnerable to world
markets.
SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA’S
ECONOMIC CHALLENGE



Economic growth rate- 1.5% - world’s
lowest
The region’s 646 million people have a
combined GNP of less than $150 billion,
roughly the same as Belgium and its 10
million people.
Population - growing at a rate of 2.6%
annually, vs 1.7% for South America
and 1.9% for South Asia
MEDICAL GEOGRAPHY


Studies spatial aspects of disease and
health
Africa is an extraordinary laboratory.
-- Disease incidence and diffusion
-- Widespread nutritional deficiencies

Millions suffer from:
– malaria
- river blindness
– yellow fever - sleeping sickness
– AIDS
- bilharzia
MEDICAL GEOGRAPHY

Endemic
-- Exists in equilibrium with the population
-- Many develop an immunity of sorts
-- Saps energy, lowers resistance, shortens lives

Epidemic
-- Sudden outbreak at local, regional scale

Pandemic
-- Worldwide spread
MALARIA
WIDESPREAD
INCIDENCE
SLEEPING SICKNESS
Tsetse Fly
WIDESPREAD
INCIDENCE
Cases Per million
<9
10-50
50-299
300-499
500+
AIDS
IN AFRICA
1990
AIDS
IN AFRICA
1999
SOURCE:
UNAIDS, 2000
In J an u ary 200 0 th e re w e re
32 ,000 ,000 p eo p le kn o w n to
b e in fe cte d w o rld w id e .
Where are Boundaries
drawn Between States
The shape of a state controls
the length of its boundaries
with other states.
 The five basic shapes are
Compact, Prorupted,
Elongated, fragmented, and
perforated

Why do boundaries between
states cause problems?
One state with many
nationalities, e.g., Russia.
 One nationality on more than
one state, e.g., the Kurds.
 Internal organization of states

Figure 13.6
Figure 13.7
Figure 13.8
Albanians
Croats
Muslims
Serbs
Slovenes
Others
Bosnia
18%
40%
33%
9%
Croatia
75%
12%
13%
Kosovo
90%
10%
Macedonia
23%
2%
67% Macedonians
8% Others
Montenegro
7%
1%
9%
68% Montenegrins
Serbia
20%
2%
65%
13%
3%
2%
Slovenia
15%
Vojvodina
Total (Former
Yugoslavia)
90%
56%
14%
20%
9%
36%
5%
21% Hungarians
23% Others
8%
13%
Figure 13.9
Figure 13.10
Figure 13.11
Figure 13.12
Figure 13.13
Figure 13.15
Figure 13.17
Figure 13.18
Figure 13.23
Why do States cooperate
with Each Other?
Political and military cooperation
An example is when European states
joined one of two military alliances,
NATO or the Warsaw Pact.
Economic Cooperation
An example is the European Union.
Definitions of Key Terms





Colony: An area conquered and administered by a
foreign power.
Diaspora:Scattered settlements of a particular
national group living abroad.
Ethnonationalism:
A strong feeling of belonging
to a nation that is a minority within a state, has its
own distinctive homeland within the state=s territory,
and has deeply rooted feelings that it is different
from the rest of the state=s population.
Homeland:
Perceived ancestral territory of a
nation.
Irredentism:
A movement to reunite a nation=s
homeland when part of it is contained within another
state. The piece of homeland that is ruled by the
other state is known as an “irredenta.”

Nation: The largest human grouping characterized by
a common origin or ancestry. A territorially based
community of people who usually have similar language
or religion, a common history (real or imagined), and
accepted social ways of behavior that give it a common
culture.

Nation-State:
as a nation.
A state that has the same boundaries

Nationalism:
Loyalty to the nation to which you
belong. Often misused today to refer to patriotism.

Patriotism:
you live.

Province: First-level administrative subregion of a state.

Regional Autonomy: Limited self-rule for a region
Loyalty to the governing state in which
Refugee:A person who is outside of their country
due to a well-founded fear of persecution, and who is
unable or unwilling to return.

Secession:
Complete break-off of a region into
an autonomous, independent state. This occurs when
a separatist movement achieves its goals.

Separatism:
The desire to break a region away
from its state and form a new independent state.

Shatterbelt:
A region caught between powerful
forces whose boundaries are continually redefined.

State:
A political territory equivalent to a
“country.” Necessary components to qualify as a fullfledged state include (a) defined boundaries, (b) an
effective government, (c) international recognition of
their formal independence, (d) full sovereignty, (e) an
organized economy and circulation system, and (f) a
permanent resident population.
Bibliography
Rubenstein, James. An Introduction to Human
Geography. Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice
Hall, 2002
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Political Geography - Utah Education Network