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Boundaries & Geopolitics

Shape of States and International Conflict
by

Dennis Cabrera

on 25 January 2016

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Transcript of Boundaries & Geopolitics

Terrorism by Individuals and Organizations

State Support for Terrorism
Several Middle Eastern states have supported for terrorism in recent years, at three increasing levels of involvement

Providing sanctuary for terrorists wanted by other countries
Afghanistan and probably Pakistan have provided sanctuary for al-Qaeda terrorists

Supplying weapons, money, and intelligence to terrorists
Planning attacks using terrorists












Why Do States Cooperate and Compete with Each Other?

Terrorism by Individuals and Organizations

Terrorism is the systematic use of violence by a group in order to intimidate a population or coerce a government into granting its demands

Distinctive characteristics of terrorists include:
Trying to achieve their objectives through organized acts of terror. e.g. bombing, kidnapping, hijacking, taking of hostages, and assassination

Viewing violence as a means of bringing widespread publicity to their cause.

Believing in a cause so strongly they attack despite knowing they will probably die in the act

Differs from other acts of political violence
Attacks aimed at ordinary people rather than military or political leaders












Why Do States Cooperate and Compete with Each Other?

Cold War Competition and Alliances

Division of world into military alliances resulted from the emergence of two superpowers- U.S. and Soviet Union

Military Cooperation in Europe
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

16 democratic states, including the U.S., Canada, and 14 other European states

Warsaw Pact
Military agreement among Communist Eastern European countries to defend each other in case of attack










Why Do States Cooperate and Compete with Each Other?

Electoral Geography

Gerrymandering takes three forms:
Wasted vote spreads opposition supporters across many districts but in the minority

Excess vote concentrates opposition supported into a few districts

Stacked vote links distant areas of like-minded voters through oddly shaped boundaries

U.S. Supreme Court ruled gerrymandering illegal in 1985 but did not require dismantling of existing oddly shaped districts.









Why Do Boundaries Cause Problems?

Governing States

National Scale: Regime Types
Democracies and autocracies differ in three essential elements cont’d:

Checks and Balances:
Democracies guarantee civil liberties to all citizens.

Autocracies have leaders who exercise power with no meaningful checks from legislative, judicial, or civil society institutions.

In general, the world has become more democratic since the turn of the 19th century.









Why Do Boundaries Cause Problems?

Shapes of States
Countries have one of five basic shapes

Fragmented States:

Problematic
A state that includes several discontinuous pieces of territory.

Two kinds of fragmented states

Fragmented states separated by water

Fragmented states separated by an intervening state.









Why Do Boundaries Cause Problems?

Shapes of States
Countries have one of five basic shapes

Compact States: Efficient
Distance from center of state to any boundary does not vary significantly.

Ideal theoretical example would be circle-shaped with the capital in the center.

Elongated States: Potential Isolation
Long and narrow shape.
May suffer from poor internal communications.

Example: Chile
4,000 km. (2,500 mi.) long north and south
Rarely exceeds 150 km. (90 mi.) wide east and west.








Why Do Boundaries Cause Problems?

Types of Boundaries

Mountain Boundary
Effectively divide two states, if the mountains are difficult to cross.

Useful boundaries because of their permanent quality and tendency to be sparsely populated.

Water Boundary
Examples include rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Less permanent overall than mountain boundaries because of tendencies of water levels to change in bodies of water and river channels to move over time.






Why Do Boundaries Cause Problems?

Earth’s land area is divided into nearly 200 states

It is impossible to find a perfect match between the boundaries of a state and the area inhabited by a single ethnicity

States are separated by boundaries, which are either physical, geometric, or cultural

Competition among states has been replaced in some regions by economic alliances, especially in Europe

Summary

Terrorism by Individuals and Organizations

Supplying Terrorists
Iraq and Iran accused of providing material and financial support for terrorists

Extent of involvement is controversial

Iraq
U.S. asserted that Saddam Hussein had close links with al-Qaeda

Iran
U.S. Accusations
Harboring al-Qaeda members
Trying to gain influence in Iraq
U.S. and other countries feared Iran’s development of a nuclear program was intended to develop weapons












Why Do States Cooperate and Compete with Each Other?

Economic Alliances in Europe
The EU in the 21st Century

Expanded to 12 countries during the 1980s; expanded to 27 in the 2000s

Main task of the EU is to promote development within member states through economic and political cooperation

Eurozone
Most dramatic step toward integrating Europe’s nation-states into a regional organization

European Central Bank given responsibility of setting interest rates and minimizing inflation throughout the Eurozone

Common currency established- euro











Why Do States Cooperate and Compete with Each Other?

Economic Alliances in Europe
European Union (EU)
Formed: 1958

Members: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, & West Germany

Purpose: Heal Western Europe’s scars from WWII

Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON)
Formed: 1949

Members: 7 Eastern European Communist states from the Warsaw Pact plus Cuba, Mongolia, and Vietnam.

Purpose: Promote trade and sharing of natural resources









Why Do States Cooperate and Compete with Each Other?

Cold War Competition and Alliances

NATO and Warsaw Pact were designed to maintain a bipolar balance of power in Europe

NATO’s Objective: prevent the spread of communism by the Soviet Union

Warsaw Pact Objective: Provide the Soviet Union a buffer of allied states between it and Germany to discourage a third German invasion of the Soviet Union in the 20th century

Disbanded once Europe was no longer dominated by military confrontation between two blocs.










Why Do States Cooperate and Compete with Each Other?

Electoral Geography

Boundaries separating legislative districts within the U.S. and other countries are redrawn periodically to ensure each has about the same population

435 districts of the U.S. House of Representatives are redrawn every 10 years, following the Census Bureau’s release of the official population figures

Process of redrawing legislative boundaries for the purpose of benefits the party in power is called gerrymandering.









Why Do Boundaries Cause Problems?

Why Do Boundaries Cause Problems?

Governing States

National governments can be classified as democratic, autocratic, or anocratic.

A democracy is a country in which citizens elect leaders and can run for office.

An autocracy is a country that is run according to the interests of the ruler rather than the people.

An anocracy is a country that is not fully democratic or fully autocratic, but rather a mix of the two.









Why Do Boundaries Cause Problems?

Shapes of States
Countries have one of five basic shapes

Prorupted States: Access or Disruption
Otherwise compact state with a large projecting extension.

Proruptions created for two principal reasons.

Provide a state with access to a resource, such as water.

Separate two states that other would share a boundary.

Perforated States: South Africa
A state that completely surrounds another one.

Encompassed state is dependent on the surrounding state for interactions beyond its boundary.

E.G. Vatican City surrounded by Italy








Why Do Boundaries Cause Problems?

Shapes of States

Controls the length of its boundaries with other states.

Affects the potential for communication and conflict with neighbors.

Shape is part of a country’s unique identity.

Shape also influences the ease or difficulty of internal administration and can affect social unity.







Why Do Boundaries Cause Problems?

Types of Boundaries
Cultural Boundaries

Geometric Boundaries
Straight lines drawn on a map.
E.G. 2,100-kilometer (1,300-mile) straight line along 49º north latitude that separates the U.S. and Canada.

Boundary established in 1846 by a treaty between U.S. and Great Britain.

Ethnic Boundaries
Boundary coincides with differences in ethnicity, especially language and religion.

Language differences influenced the demarcation of boundaries in England, France, Portugal, and Spain before the 19th century in Europe.









Why Do Boundaries Cause Problems?

Types of Boundaries
A state is separated from its neighbors by a boundary, an invisible line the marks the extent of a state’s territory.

Historically, frontiers, which is a zone where no state exercises complete political control, rather than boundaries separated states.








Why Do Boundaries Cause Problems?

Governing States

National Scale: Regime Types
Democracies and autocracies differ in three essential elements:

Selection of Leaders
Democracies have institutions and procedures through which citizens can express effective preferences about alternative policies and leaders.

Autocracies have leaders who are selected according to clearly defined (usually hereditary) rules of succession from within the political elite.

Citizen Participation
Democracies have institutionalized constraints on the exercise of power by the executive.

Autocracies have citizens’ participation restricted or suppressed.









Wasted Vote
Excess Vote
Stacked Vote
Three types of physical boundaries :

Desert Boundary

Effectively divide two states, because deserts are hard to cross and sparsely inhabited.
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