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Political Geography of the World
Transcript of Political Geography of the World
Perforated State Types of
Boundaries Boundaries are what separate states. They can either be man-made, invisible, imaginary lines, or physical features found in the natural environment. Frontier
Neutral Buffer Zone The Arabian
Peninsula Frontiers Frontiers are what originally replaced boundaries. A frontier is a sparesely inhabited geographic area that is often several kilometers wide to separate two states. Frontiers have all been replaced with modern boundaries, except for in Antarctica and the Arabian Peninsula, where frontiers still separate Saudi Arabia from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Yemen. This type of boundary provides more separation between two states, limiting contact and potentially maintaining peace. However, the frontier zone is usually uninhabited, so there is no economic gain from that area because it is completely empty. Also, frontiers may cause conflict when defining which area of the frontier belongs to which country. Chile Mountain Boundary Mountain boundaries are natural physical boundaries that act as dividers. Mountains can be effective boundaries because they are relatively difficult to cross and provide sufficient separation, limiting contact between the states on either side. However, Chile and Argentina, separated by the Andes Mountains, have faced conflict due defining their territory on the Andes Mountains. Close to fighting a war over boundary disputes, U.S. mediators helped Chile and Argentina decide where to divide the mountains and declare their territory. Thailand & Laos Water Boundary Water boundaries, such as rivers, lakes, and oceans, are physical features that are most commonly used as boundaries. The Mekong River, that runs through Southeaster Asia, acts as a boundary between Thailand and Laos. The boundary usually runs through the middle of the body of water, and it remains relatively unchanged. Water boundaries also provide good protection, because in order to attack, another state must transport its troops by water or by air to reach its destination, allowing the state being attacked to prepare its own troops to defend its territory. Water boundaries can cause some difficulty, such as a river shifting its course and causing some land to be on the wrong side than the original agreement. The Mekong River
separates Thailand and Laos. Algeria Geometric Boundary A geometric boundary is a completely man-made straight line that indicates the border between two states, such as the straight lines that divide Algeria, Mali, and Mauritania. Geometric boundaries often do, however, have good reasoning behind them, for example, a geometric boundary is often drawn to separate speakers of different languages or those of different cultures. Geometric boundaries might look like perfectly straight dividing lines on a map, but in reality they often stray, which results in an actual zig-zag like path. Conflict may arise from geometric boundaries, because the states could argue that a certain piece of land is on their side or they may want to shift the line in order to increase their territory. Mali Mauritania Ireland Religious Boundary Religious conflict on the island of Eire is the most intense in all of Western Europe. The entire island is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, except for the northern region, which has a Protestant majority. As a result, Northern Ireland chose to be part of the United Kingdom instead of the Republic of Ireland. Discrimination of the minority religion still persists in both regions, but the attempt to separate the two religions with a boundary somewhat prevents serious conflict. Belgium Language Boundary Belgium is a state in which intense segregation of different language speakers is necessary to prevent conflict. Southern Belgians (Walloons) speak French, where Northern Belgians (Flemings) speak Flemish. They are strongly divided by their languages, and they have difficulty sharing power, so each region has become somewhat independent, each selecting their own representatives to send to their own regional assemblies. This kind of boundary can cause problems because it is not an official boundary, and they might argue about their territory, as well as the problem of some people being on the wrong side of the boundary. Cyprus Neutral Buffer Zone The island of Cyprus, situated in the Mediterranean Sea, is divided by a buffer zone patrolled by UN personnel. A buffer zone is a neutral area to separate hostile forces and prevent contact. The Greek Cypriots and the Turks were integrated in the past, but after the Greeks attempted to seize control of the government to reunite with Greece, which caused the Turkish military to invade, Greeks and Turks became segregated. The northeast became the Turkish region, and the South, with the Greek majority, became the Greek region. Those living in the wrong regions were forced to migrate to "their" side. The two sides became fairly independent, and now have a patrolled buffer zone between them to prevent any crossing over, but the UN is currently striving to unite the two sides once again. Divisions Sub-National Divisions & Electoral Geography Supranational Divisions Oregon Sub-National Electoral Division of Oregon The state of Oregon is divided into 5 electoral divisions, each made to have roughly the same amount of people, which explains the extreme size difference between region 2 and region 3. Eastern Oregon has fewer inhabitants than northwestern Oregon, so it has a much larger land area than the other divisions. Also, electoral divisions might have odd shapes, such as region 5 in Oregon, and that is a result of gerrymandering. The purpose of gerrymandering is to benefit the party in power through redrawing legislative boundaries. The shape of region 5 is most likely a result of "stacked vote" gerrymandering, where areas of people who are likely to share a common vote are linked through oddly shaped boundaries. Supranational Divisions A supranational organization is a union of countries that cooperate in order to benefit them all. To be part of a supranational organization, it requires each country to give up some of its power, independence, and sovereignty to be part of a larger union.
Some example of supranational organizations include... The European Union (EU) The African Union (AU)
North Atlantic Treaty Organization The United Nations
(UN) A compact state is a state that is circular in shape, ideally with the capital in the center. This allows the distance from any boundary to the center to be fairly similar, having the shortest possible boundaries to defend. This type of state is especially beneficial to smaller states, such as Uruguay, located in South America, allowing them to maintain quick communication to all regions, ensuring efficient control of all areas and promoting a unified, nationalistic state. This also helps to prevent any one region from feeling distant, making it less likely that they would want to break off and have their own independence, which could cause conflict within the state. However, compactness can also be a limitation to a state, preventing it from attaining valuable resources and in some cases, access to water because of its condensed shape. Compact State Elongated State Italy, located in Southern Europe, is an example of an elongated state. An elongated state is a stretched state with a long and narrow figure. Its length extends over 700 miles, but it is only abut 120 miles wide in most places. This unbalance causes regions in the northern part of Italy and regions in the South to have major differences. The northern region is more economically developed as a result of a variety of industries that are thriving there because of its closer proximity to the rest of Europe, while the relatively isolated Southern part of the Italian Peninsula is more of an agricultural society. This causes significant differences in cuisine, availability of resources, and overall culture. Italy's elongation not only creates separatist regions, but also hinders communication and administration. However, Italy's unique, stretched out shape allows it to be part of the European economy, but also offers a close distance to Africa, as well as the Middle East. Prorupted State A prorupted state is a roughly compact state with an extending piece of land, such as Myanmar's strip of land in the Southeast region near Thailand. Most of the time, proruptions are created either to provide a state with certain resources that are in an outside region, or to prevent two countries from sharing a border. Although proruptions can be beneficial if they provide resources, it often creates separatist areas as a result of having a stray piece of land far away from the hearth of the country. The distance from the capital to the proruption can cause communication problems as well as absence of unity in the state. North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) The North American Free Trade Agreement is an agreement between Canada, the United States, and Mexico, made in 1992 to eliminate any barriers in trade in the North America region. The agreement eliminates most tariffs on imports from from other places in North America. Signed in December 1992, NAFTA was not implemented until 1994, and it is still in effect today. The European Union, established after the end of World War II, seeks to unify Europe through economic and political union. It consists of 27 countries and 23 languages, all sharing a common currency, the Euro. Another European country, Croatia, has been accepted into the union and will be a member as of July 2013. Political centers of the European Union are located in Brussels, Luxembourg, and Strasbourg. The European Union has received a 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts of promoting peace and unity in Europe. The African Union is a collection of 54 African states established in 2001 to replace the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The AU represents the interests of all Africans and works together with the United Nations (UN) to address concerns and problems in Africa. Attempting to unify and bring peace to Africa, as well as improving conditions throughout, is the common goal of all these countries who have banded together in a union. NATO: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty, in which all of its members agree to mutual defense against an attack by an external force. NATO's headquarters are located in Brussels, are it consists of a total of 28 countries spread across North America and Europe. The United Nations is the most important supranational organization, consisting of a total of 193 member states located throughout the world. The United Nations was created at the end of World War II by the Allies, as an attempt to prevent a third world war. It has grown from the original 49 member states to almost the entire world. This international organization focuses on international security, economic development, human rights, and social progress, with an overall aim of achieving world peace.